I am what my choices made me. Not the wise choices mind you; but, it was surviving the unwise ones that did the trick. I survived because I began to realize that I would always follow my heart’s desire and such actions would incur risk. By developing discipline I would have a processed resource by which to refine decisions and cultivate my actions. During the life long effort, I became aware of the conundrums.
The conundrums were the human condition and the two worlds. The first is that we are at our best when at our worst and vice versa. The second is my world and the world are two different things unless I learn how insignificant and yet how precious I am and what to do about it. I had to grow faith through the development of disciplines that made me aware that I am not the center of everything. However, I had to do it my way which meant fighting for everything and try to find nobility in the effort.
Religion became an act of seeking the science of life…
Faith is a science. A science is a process that solves problems in a reliable manner, given a set context and expected results. One cannot give validity to a faith process without experiential reference. This means that even though a person may not have completed the process to conclusion and manifested the desired results… they know that they will. It is wise to have faith. It is fortunate to have belief.
Belief is more like hope. Hope is nice but the process for manifesting it as a functional reality depends upon developing a dependable process. This is a trust issue. Trust is not the act of manipulating a person, place or thing to do what one wants them to do. Trust is the experiential process of learning the potential behavior of a person place or thing in a given context. In essence it is using your senses to learn the nature of a person, place or thing. Knowing the nature of a person, place of thing means one can potentially know what it is and is not capable of thinking, being or doing.
Martial Sciences cultivate discipline. For the warrior discipline is the expression of balancing the cognitive, kinetic and affect behaviors descriptive of love and hate. The result is a person capable of transcending his or her natural and tangible limitations. Energetics is the alchemy that gathers and refines the essence and energies that allow a person enhance modal behavior (thinking, doing, feeling). In other words to transcend their natural and intangible limits. Martial Energetics is the science of a faith that will result in a person realizing a fuller modal behavior. If one wishes to transcend their natural limitations of thinking, doing and feeling then it is a wise course of action to follow this faith.
Where does such a faith lead to mentally, physically and emotionally?
I am a Sikh. This is a spiritual warrior path. Through martial energetics I have come to realize that from my point of view, emotions are spirits. Without the discipline of breath controlled awareness they can take us in mental, physical and sensate directions that obscure a path of benefit. This is done by taking us to the extremes of thinking, doing or feeling. Breath control begins the energetic path to separating the essential nature of an emotion leaving the energy of that spirit so that we can use it as required to strengthen our disciplinary resolve. How has this evolved my thinking as a Sikh?
The Sikh faith is a process of listening and mantra rondo that leads to conscious surrender to thoughts, actions and feelings that allows one to feel a connection to a higher state of being. The energetic science of Ashtanga Yoga has helped me cultivate the emotional essence and energy of my Sikh practices into a vitality I had hoped for but now have a scientific process to follow. My faith in the face of the unknowns of life leading to death has begun to significantly allay my fears on the topic. One might ask how?
First off it is the martial practices of combative training that presents a double edged sword. It begs am awareness of one’s own mortality. Moreover, it consistently presents a case no matter how competent one gets there is always another more competent. This experiential reflection yields to a sense of humility even with accomplishment. Secondly the question of what’s the point is raised. And, it is answered during the energetic breathing regimens. These regimens with time alter consciousness beyond normal states of awareness. With advanced practice one actually practices breathing methods that lead to a stasis of beingness. To the non-practitioner observing one will seem to be practicing death and longevity exercises. The pumping of the breath process brings the latter. The retaining and cessation of the breath brings the former.
These breathing processes along with the martial practices have brought me to an understanding of the coupling of mantra and breath routines that enhance the anterior cingulate cortex and the amygdale… the connection centers for empathy and compassion. Metta or compassion meditation is the visualization of persons, places and things in a manner that is of benefit to themselves and others. Metta meditation is a Tibetan sourced process that has led me to the Thodal Bardo: Tibetan Book of the Dead.
I began the martial energetic path in college. It came into focus during S.E.R.E. school in 1986. Meeting my spiritual master later in Grad School brought the path more clearly into focus as my faith practices yielded results both tangible and intangible. Not only did my modal behavior evolve but I was manifesting the material resources in the connections with people, places and things. This experiential process had strengthened my faith, not only in my path but in the realization of my part in assisting others in completely unrelated paths. Such paths have one thing in common. Cooperation over competition is the way to go. Everything on the breath and we rise!!!