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Exercise: Listening in the Shower




You take so many showers in your life, what if you did a small practice in each shower? Would that not add up to something? It is necessary to grow new pathways in the brain and form a new mind. You need to create a mental space that you can access on demand as you enter the arena. For you the arena might be anything from a golf game to a business presentation, in each case maximum performance demands the mind of the martial artist.

One way to create that space is through intense listening.

For this exercise it would be well to align yourself, but not vital. Begin like this. Listen to the water striking you; striking the shower floor. Go into that sound and merge with it.

Now slowly turn the water to cold. At first you won’t be able to go all the way over. Then do it just enough to challenge your focus. You must not tense up, nor have your breathing change. Deep even breaths and intense listening as you turn the knob to cold.

I recall long ago there was one fellow in the gym who when he showered would grimace his face, turn on the cold water, and beat on his stomach with his fists, as if he were enduring some torture. Don’t do that.

I would have you be able to turn on the cold water any time with no emotional reaction, just awareness.

It is not enough to be able to do this practice perfect. You must be aware that you are building a process you can use whenever it is needed. Thus before you begin, review your affirmation or identity statement. For instance.

“I am the man in the Arena.”

Then breath out slowly and go deeply into listening.

“the martial artist.”

And slowly begin to increase the cold, all the time Listening and Breathing. Capitalized on purpose. They are specific parts of a process you will invoke when challenged.

After a time attempt to access this part of your mind during the day. Even when driving, you can go deeply into listening to the sounds of the road for a time. Finally, when you are challenged, just before you step onto the mat, dojo floor, or onto the stage, execute your process, and go deeply into listening with an even deep breath.