Musha Shugyo Exercises
Ronin1eye asks, “Is it possible to have Meaning, Purpose, and Identity, with no words?” Consider all the athletes, amateur, professional, and Olympic who have done just that. This post is about doing accomplishing the same, only better, without the thousands of hours on the field or in the gym.
There is quite a bit of research behind this, plus years of martial arts and various teaching gigs. But even if the science and philosophy are over your head, boring, or forgettable, the exercises will carry you through, and over time you will be transformed.
Hopefully that sounds good, but right now these are just words on a page, but as you begin, you will change, with no perspiration, or muscular strain.
Everything here I have tested, and know it works. They may seem ridiculous at first, or amusing, such as focusing on the sound of your urine striking the toilet, but the long term effects can be profound. For example, using the exercise just mentioned will enable you to grasp, “The sound of one hand clapping.”
As I said the exercises, as simple and easy as they are , are transformative. Each exercise has been designed to take no time out of your day, and to be very simple. All that is required is will and intent. How is this possible?
You will spend about 30.000 hours in your lifetime driving, about 80,000 watching TV. And then there are all the other mundane tasks that we do throughout the day. We can harvest some of those hours for training. No one will know what you are doing, but each time you do such a task , you will be ever so slightly changed. Even better the exercises fuel themselves because they are their own reward.
I like the way Amelia Earhart said it, “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”
So all you have to do is begin, because it feels good to change and improve. It has to be rewarding for the caterpillar to make his climb. I know this sound simple minded, but here it is. Consistent exercise of the type we will describe will produce transformation. To a certain extent they will generate Will and Intent. It’s built in, isn’t that cool?
And you have to do it, or fail. Your heroes didn’t get that way overnight, except in the movies, and neither did the actors who play those parts.
Often times comic book super heroes have a life changing event, and suddenly they go from 0 to 60. Captain America is injected, enters a machine a nerd and comes out a super hero just like microwave popcorn. Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider, and so it goes. Real heroes get the way they are by training every day. The same is true for the actors who play those parts. They have worked very hard to get that way.
The idea is to make a small improvement everyday. The Japanese word for this is kaizen. This begins each morning when you do an exercise. And during the day when you do something better, and note it, and give yourself credit for it. This isn’t like going from a couch potato one day to doing pushups to exhaustion the next. It can be as small as just being more focused when you brush your teeth.
Small improvements everyday.
There is no one thing that is difficult, except the commitment to the program, and the vision of being the hero of your life. This program has nine positions we will cover in depth, and each has a very simple exercise. Now I know that doing “simple” exercises daily is not easy and I struggle the same as you. One thing that helps is that after you do an exercise, tell yourself, “That is me,” doing it better. And then visualize the change and direction of improvement, as you move toward being a warrior-scholar.
What we are going to do is focus on just one exercise a week. I will be doing it with you. After seven days you will begin to see a difference, and the exercise will make more sense. Then next week we will focus on another position of the program and an exercise that goes with it.
We will start next week with an exercise that increases your free will and develops emotional control. It is quite “easy,” and only takes three seconds.
Any thoughts or comments?