The Warrior Athlete - Body, Mind & Spirit by Dan Millman

The Warrior Athlete – Body, Mind & Spirit by Dan Millman

 

Self-transformation through total training

Introduction

The natural warrior athlete in action.

  • You can find the natural warrior athlete in any nursery, we often only think of athletes as highly trained Olympians but remember all infants are born with natural athletic ability.
  • Infants have an incredible ability to learn with a mind that is concept free and therefore entirely receptive.
  • You were once a natural warrior athlete with unlimited potential, but then the socialisation process gave you fears, associations, beliefs, attitudes and concepts
  • Your mind learned to criticise yourself and to be afraid of failure. You began to develop emotional constrictions and inhibitions that resulted in physical tension, and as you grew and struggled with gravity, you developed psychological and physical imbalances and compensations.

 

Athletics and the Game of Life

  • The simultaneous development of mind, body and emotions will only happen if you perform a task that puts a demand on all three centers.
  • But most people’s lives, jobs and hobbies are very specialised and only place a claim on isolated portions of our full capacity.
  • To return to the state of the natural athlete, we focus on the balanced development of all three centers. In turn, this will have the best carryover effects on all parts of your life.
  • Most people just look at athletics as purely physical exercise and recreation with only a casual or random look at developing the mind and emotions. But you can gain far more from athletics and develop your total capacities for life.
  • You can create a harmony of body and mind to become a new breed of warrior athlete. Gaining access to your original state as a natural warrior athlete that will help you succeed and excel in athletics and daily life.

  

The Map

 

Understanding the game.

  • You can represent the experience of training as that of the journey up a mountain path.
  • Everyone has their personal mountain to climb, and the peak of the mountain represents your highest potential. If you are going to climb the mountain, it is best to have a map, so you avoid drifting or wandering
  • Know precisely where you are going and your what your checkpoints and goals are along the way and what obstacles may lie in your way.

 

THE LESSONS OF NATURE

 

Rules of the game

  • The essence of talent is not so much the presence of certain qualities but rather the absence of self and society imposed obstructions. Young children are free of the mental, physical and emotional obstructions that we unconsciously develop in our later years.
  • This form is seen in nature. Trees bending in the wind shows the principle of nonresistance. Gently running water cutting through solid rock displays the law of accommodation. All things thriving in moderate cycles shows the principle of balance. The regular passing of seasons shows the natural order of life.
  • These laws are all psychophysical and apply to nature and equally to the human psyche and inseparable from the human body.
  • The principles of training are not just concerned with physical exertion but are a psychophysical challenge. That accepts that the world is not just a static physical environment but is filled with energy, movement, and subtle things found in nature and universal laws.
  • Through training that incorporates these principles, athletic development will reawaken our innate ability to learn, and the benefits will spill over into our daily life.

 

Principle 1: Nonresistance

  • There are four ways to deal with the forces of life. Surrender to them fatalistically, Ignore them and have accidents from ignorance and Resist them which will waste energy and create turmoil.
  • Or you can use them and blend with nature. Like birds that fly the wind or fish that swim with the current. We can make use of these natural forces, and this is the real meaning of nonresistance. .
  • Nonresistance is not passive inaction as any rock can do that. Rather it is a great sensitivity and intelligence to flow with the natural laws.
  • There is no resistance in nature only in the mind of men. The natural warrior athlete has dissolved all resistance.
  • The natural warrior athlete will see an opponent in competition as a teacher who will show them their weaknesses and help them improve, and they intend to do the same for the opponent.
  • Through nonresistance, an opponent’s movement can be used to your advantage.A well known martial arts principle is softness in the face of hardness, absorbing neutralising and redirecting force.
  • Problems of daily life should be handled in the same way.

Nonresistance: psychophysical applications

  • “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction,”  – Most actions of socialized man are attempts to either push or slow down the river of life rather than flow with things as they are.
  • This resistance causes turbulence that is physical, mental and emotional tension. When you fall out of the natural pattern, you will feel the tension. Tension is a subtle pain and a signal that something is wrong. You have to listen to this message and take responsibility for your actions rather than blame life or circumstance.
  • The most common way warrior athletes resist by “trying”. The moment you  “try” you are already tense and assume a weakness in the face of challenge. Trying is the primary cause of the error. When you feel under pressure, you begin to “try”.
  • This pressure is not a physical object that you could show someone. It is entirely your mental creation as a result of “trying” too hard.
  • To see this consider walking a small plank between two chairs on the ground and now place the plank on two skyscraper buildings. It may be the same physical task, but you will have a different mental state.
  • The law of action-reaction causes this mental effect as it will set up mental opposition when you “Try”. Warrior Athletes, who try too hard to stretch, will only feel the muscles tensing in resistance.
  • The natural warrior athlete never “tries”. They are smooth, relaxed and have a naturally progressive approach. They avoid internal resistance by carefully sneaking up on things, being very subtle and gentle and smoothly flow along with no sudden or jerky movements.
  • If you play golf don’t swing the club , instead let it swing. In life let things happen naturally based on fortune and the complexities of circumstance. Trying to make things happen only sets up turbulence. This is not just semantics but harnessing the force of nature.
  • By no longer trying you are free of tension and by no longer resisting you can train in full natural ease.

 

Principle 2: Accommodation

  • Athletics and life develops what it demands, No demand, no development, small demand, small development.
  • Demand requires motive. Without motivation to energise a demand it will not be persistent.
  • Motivation requires meaning. The motivating factor must correspond to your values in life.
  • Demand must take the form of progressive overload. You must repeatedly and consistently ask a little more of yourself than you are comfortable or capable of dealing with easily.
  • Development through overload requires a tolerance for failure as it will entail lots of little failures on the way to your ultimate goal .
  • Tolerance for failure comes from an intuitive grasp of reality and of the natural laws of learning. Unreal expectations produces frustration but realism produces patience.
  • Training therefore is a process of development through a gradual increase of demand. If realistic, gradual and sensible demands are made on the body, mind and emotions development will take place in these centers.
  • The human organism will adapt to demands made upon it. This is accommodation which reflects a law that has seen humans evolve and survive through time.
  • Learning knowledge and building muscles are two kinds of accommodation.
  • You can grind a rock into a shape but if your grind too quick it will break. The demand for change must be gradual and within our capacity, one step at a time.

 

Accommodation: Psychophysical application.

  • Accommodation is a law but we have learned to not trust it by asking ourselves questions like “Can i become good at this?”. These questions and doubts only create tension and weaken motivation. Trust in the natural law at least as much as you trust your own mental noise.
  • Once you recognise the inevitability of the principle of accommodation you become responsible. You know that your success depends on the demands you are willing to make on yourself. You will get clarity and psychic security because you will know that if you decide to do something it is without doubt within your capacity.

 

Principle 3: Balance

  • Balance is a great principle informing every aspect of your body, mind, daily life and training. Simply stated it is “Neither too much nor too little.”
  • An athlete who is balanced moves neither too fast nor too slow, too aggressively nor too passively, too high nor too low, too far right nor too far left.
  • Balance determines the correct pace, timing and accuracy that any warrior athlete depends upon.
  • Applying this to training you become immune to impatience and frustration.You accept that you will naturally have an “up” and  “down” cycle because that is balanced and it would be unrealistic to expect a constant “up” state.
  • This means you are not enslaved by the mental highs and lows of training. Your realism makes you mature, stable and free. Once you learn to accept, ride and enjoy the these cycles they balance themselves.
  • The natural warrior athlete knows to balance development of mind, body and emotions. You can focus on physical training for periods but never to the exclusion and detriment of developing emotional stability and mental clarity. Slow and sluggish days are used to pay more attention to mental and emotional weaknesses.

 

Balance: Psychophysical applications

  • When your training is a psychophysical process, balance is even more profound.
  • You discover that physical imbalances are only symptoms of mental and emotional divergence from the natural pattern of living.
  • A natural warrior athlete is centered and in balance with the physical , mental and emotional all simultaneously. These are so interconnected that they affect each other.
  • The martial artist knows that if an opponent is mentally distracted or emotionally upset they will be much easier to defeat.
  • Physical balance and emotional upset are like fire and water as they do not mix. If you meditate on your upset you will lose balance easily. But if you meditate on your balance you will lose your upset.
  • When you play with both sides you can find your middle again and regain your balance.

 

Principle 4: Natural order.

  • Natural order accounts for progressive development through time. In nature the seasons always occur in the proper sequence and a tree grows from a seedling. The process never goes backwards and it can’t be rushed. It is the natural order of things.
  • Only the human being is in a hurry caused when our minds race faster that life and ignore the natural order.
  • We know that progress is function of both time and intensity. You can spend less time and more intensity but this must be balanced .
  • Training too long and intense will lead to overtraining but too short and little intensity will lead to not achieving your goals. Instead you must keep these in the natural order.
  • Humour is a great sign that you have a balanced perspective that reflects your alignment with the natural order of lifes flow. After all not matter how grand your achievements in the scheme of the entire universe it will be tiny and hardly shock the cosmos.

 

Natural order: Psychophysical applications.

  • You have probably previously thought “I should be doing better, i should be achieving faster”. This is an indicator that you not thinking in the natural order. Just life the word “try” the word “should” has little place in the mind of a natural warrior athlete.
  • “Should” implies a dissatisfaction with the current state of things. The ultimate contradiction and the trembling foundation of neurosis.
  • Your time is too valuable to spend stewing over things that are not.
  • A good measure of your alignment with the law of natural order is how much you enjoy training> Certainly you can have a good or bad period but in general if you push too hard you will lose the original sense of joy you had as a beginner. The natural warrior athlete is always like a beginner, full of inspiration.
  • Following the natural laws is essential for full enjoyment and natural growth in daily life. The consequence of breaking these laws is you are trapped in a prison of ignorance.
  • Balance between pleasure and pain and become sensitive to the natural order of things. Practice nonresistance with whatever fortune brings to experience personal success.
  • You will use all these principles to transcend illusionary self concepts, break down emotional blocks and develop whole body talent.

 

The power of awareness

 

Hearing lifes lessons.

  • Life is a school and nature is a teacher. But without awareness you can’t hear the teacher. Awareness translates lifes lessons into wisdom. Awareness is the beginning of all learning.
  • Learning is a response of a demand to grow. This will naturally involve errors because you do things you couldn’t do before.
  • Errors are not the problem only ignoring them or misunderstanding them is. In order to correct an error you must be fully aware of it.
  • True awareness is a sensitivity of the entire organism as a whole derived through sensory feedback , mental clarity and emotional intuition.
  • In life and training errors are always with us. You could even say that learning a skill is a process of refining errors to the point they no longer hinder a desired goal.
  • You should also be aware of strengths as well as this will give you confidence , inspiration and motivation but it is only awareness of weaknesses that will allow you to strengthen your foundation and consistently improve.

 

Awareness, disillusion, and success.

  • Growing awareness is not a pleasant process. t is in fact a disillusioning process and requires the spirit of a warrior.
  • The more aware you become the more you will realise your tension. A sure sign of growing awareness is to “feel” as if you are getting worse.
  • Awareness is literally a process of disillusionment. As it cuts through delusion it will cause a momentary drop in our self esteem, a dent in our self image. No one really likes to look at their weaknesses and therefore tend to resist awareness.
  • It is important to understand the phenomenon as people can become discouraged when they become aware, imagining that they are “getting worse.”

 

Whole body awareness

  • Most warrior athletes have the courage to see and overcome physical errors but the way of the natural warrior athlete is to see and overcome errors in all three centers. The physical , mental and emotional.
  • When becoming aware and disillusioned of mental and emotional weaknesses you must be willing to lose face as you will momentarily see yourself in a less flattering light than you would normally wish.
  • Everyone has mental and emotional traits from childhood that are maladaptive, immature and downright silly. In most cases. But in most people these are hidden from their own awareness only to surface in times of upset, pressure or crisis.
  • If resist physical weaknesses a little we resist  mental or emotional weaknesses a lot. Physical errors are much easier to see. whereas mental and emotional errors are more subtle and we identify more with our mind and emotions than we do with our bodies.
  • What we identify with we tend to defend. We defend our self image more than something we perceive as separate from us. People are much more comfortable talking about a physical problem rather than a mental or emotional problem .
  • If you are to become a natural warrior athlete aligned with the natural laws you must bring nonresistance to awareness. You must open your eyes, cut through illusion and achieve whole body and mind awareness.

 

The growth of awareness.

  • Awareness itself will develop in accordance to the natural laws. Think of your own growth as a self sculpture. First you determine the shape you want to bring out of the stone. You then begin hacking away and these rough cuts are your general awareness. Later when you are ready for the detail work and polishing is the most subtle awareness.
  • The beginner is someone who has not refined his awareness of errors relative to a particular skill.We are therefore all beginners because no matter what their will always be new refinements for which we are yet to develop a subtle awareness.

 

An old samurai warrior knew his time on earth was near an end, and wished to bequeath his sword to the brightest of his three sons. He designed a test.

He had a friend hide just inside a barn, above the doorway, and gave him three bags of rice. He then invited each son inside, one at a time.

The first son, after feeling the rice bag fall on his head, drew his sword and cut the bag in half before it hit the ground.

The second son halved the bag before it hit his head.

The third son, sensing something amiss, declined to enter the bard – and so earned his fathers sword.

 

Teaching awareness

  • At first you will have no awareness of what you have done wrong and will rely on outside feedback. As you then become more aware you will be able to say what was done incorrectly after the errors have been made. You will then be aware of the errors as they are happening. Finally once your awareness is integrated with body, mind and emotions you will correct errors before they are made and perform beautifully.
  • A habitual error must be felt, not merely acknowledged verbally, before anyone will generate the motivational impulse to change.
  • Teachers who understand the progressive growth of awareness are never impatient with their students. They realise that telling a student of his errors is addressing only his mind. These teachers know it takes longer for full awareness to pervade all three centers and give the emotional impulse and motivation to change.
  • Realizing the natural growth of awareness allows you to be your own gentle teacher and then you give yourself sufficient time in which to learn.

 

Feedback aids to awareness

  • Sometimes you will know that you are making an error but not know what it is and in this situation an aid to awareness can be helpful.
  • The errors and successes of other students and warrior athletes can serve as lessons and as inspiration.
  • Nothing serves the growth of awareness so instantly as seeing a film or videotape of your own movements. Even a mirror can help.
  • A teacher can pinpoint the specific errors in order of priority. The teacher is an intelligent feedback aid who can analyze errors and effectively communicate ways to correct them.
  • If you do not have access to videotapes or teachers and want a shortcut to awareness then you can deliberately exaggerate your errors. This will make the errors very obvious and your awareness will grow instantly and you will also make your errors conscious and deliberate which is under your control instead of making them unconsciously. Deliberate error is no longer an error.

 

PREPARATION

 

A key to success

  • Preparation is the foundation for success but most warrior athletes however do not prepare for their journeys. But most athletes do not prepare and instead learn by Darwinian survival , pure trial and error
  • All things in nature have a gestation period they must go through with proper stages until they are formed and the natural warrior athlete makes use of this natural way by beginning with thorough preparation.
  • Complete preparation is the most difficult but most important part of the learning process. What would a cars paint job look like if you don’t sand and fix any dents in it first ? It would look like the usual athlete uneven and quick to show wear and tear.
  • Any obstructions you have encountered or may someday encounter are a direct result of insufficient or improper preparation. Think of an athlete who has developed strength but ignored suppleness and compensates for the lack of flexibility with with more strength. This will work for a while but eventually be a roadblock.
  • The part of an iceberg above the water can represent your visible skills while the larger part below the surface is your preparation. Like a house you have to spend time laying down quality foundations. It is not flashy but vitally important.
  • For any movement activity you must align with the proper laws of nature and first understand the qualities of suppleness , strength, speed, relaxation and the learning of proper fundamentals.
  • If you have been stuck on a plateau you can work through it and get on the path of the natural warrior athlete by going back for a time to do intense work on your talent foundation and fundamentals.Allow yourself to progress slowly at first but then your progress will accelerate passing your old level.

 

Step by step preparation.

  • All problems including physical, mental and emotional problems can be solved with a step by step plan.  Each broken down into a series of small steps, gradually and methodically till you achieve the final goal.
  • Focus your energy on the smaller steps and the process will be manageable and enjoyable and without noticing you will be moving closer to your goal. Without breaking things down to step by step you may just look at the large goal and procrastinate on where to start.

 

The illusion of difficulty.

  • Difficulty has no objective meaning as it is only relative to your preparation. With proper preparation nothing is difficult.
  • A common experience for athletes is they will initially find learning easy but that it gets harder over time. This is not natural and is just the result of improper preparation and planning.
  • Athletes may fall into that trap if they don’t appreciate the importance of thorough preparation, do not know what preparation consists of , may be in a hurry and seeking shortcuts, lacking confidence or have a teacher that has any of these tendencies.
  • Many teachers allow shortcuts in order to keep the students interested or because its more practical for them is they have competitive pressure or deadlines.
  • An intelligent and patient teacher is worth there weight in gold and one of the most important aspects of your training.

 

Choosing a teacher

  • The teacher is your guide along the mountain path to your goals. You want a guide who knows the path very well, is aware of all his own weaknesses so he can show insight into yours, can show you obstacles, can point out interesting sideroads and beautiful scenery along the way and asses you and find the best path for you.
  • You do not want a teacher who will make you travel the exact same path they did without taking into account any of your unique qualities.
  • A movement teacher can have a profound impact on a students self concept and outlook on life. They are able to impart lessons on life through teaching movement. An average teacher just teaches skills only.
  • Note that a knowledgeable, skillful teacher can develop a winning team but at the same time smother the fundamental enjoyment and freedom of athletics. Think of Drill sergeants, you want to avoid them.
  • You want to pick a teacher with the same care you would pick a surgeon. You would not pick a surgeon just because they were a  nice person, the operated close to your house, or charge a few dollars less. You would want to pick the best.
  • Teaching is the art of communication.All the knowledge in the world means nothing if they can’t effectively communicate it to their students.
  • While a great competition record or lots of degrees can be a great positive and inspiration to the students what matters more is what the students know. Not what the teacher can do but what the students can do is more important.
  • A great teacher can speak the language of intellect and can clearly communicate with words. They can speak the language of the body and show the physical movement of muscle and bone properly.They can also speak the language of emotions and can inspire and motivate and make you love the activity.
  • The master teacher does all three of these at the same time. Master teachers are out there and may be found in unexpected places. Remember that the not only teach a subject they convey principles of life through a subject.

 

The preparation of children: a note to loving parents.

  • … and a time to every purpose under the heaven – Ecclesiastes 3:1
  • In the modern time sensitive world everything tends to be in a rush or a hurry and this can lapse over to your children as well.
  • For young children and even infants you want to introduce them to movement play. It will stimulate them, exercise  them and open their vital bodies to enjoy and discover the natural laws.
  • Skills are not the most important aspect for children to learn.
  • It is more important that they learn to feel good about their bodies, to feel success in these early stages, to learn the enjoyment of active movement and accomplishment and to develop core confidence in completing tasks.
  • Success for a child is measured by their smiles and happiness not by the parents goals or aspirations.
  • Children need to be allowed to be children and play with others on child equipment of size, softness and safety. As one early injury,fear or failure can have a lasting impact on your child.
  • Private lessons may not be the best way to teach your child e, especially if mum or dad is the teacher. And even a well intentioned , patient and skilled will be perceived by your childas larger and infinitely more capable than what they are which gives them no hope that they can emulate their success.
  • The best learning environment for children is within a small group of other children which will inevitably have some more and less skilled than your own.
  • Early play prepares a child for development later on, but the focus should still remain on play which feels good and not intense training. You also want to avoid an emphasis on competition too early and keep the value of this for later on in their development.
  • The main determining factor to what movement training and what age your child should start is their development of bones and joints, attention span and natural interest.
  • If your child is interested in anything then let them try it and see if they remain interested for at least three months. Do not force your child to do something only you are interested in as this will not work out in the long run.
  • Overinvolved parents who are pushy and want to help their child a little too much end up doing more harm than good.
  • You do not want weaken their core confidence. being unsure if they are living their own native interests or a parents fantasy.They are very sensitive, can see through social lies and will feel emotionally contradicted no matter what is said to assure them.
  • You are best to offer your child financial support, transportation to classes, mild interest and emotional support.
  • It is great to go watch them play every now and again but if you go over the top when they win they will think that you are equally disappointed in them when they lose.
  • A child’s athletic training has enormous benefits but it must follow the natural principles to get them. Preparation is key.

 

 

The Groundwork

 

Developing talent.

  • A common belief is that talent is inborn and therefore the foundation of potential is too often overlooked as people make do with what they have.
  • Physical traits cannot be changed but other key qualities can be developed. These develops can just be left to develop overtime but it is much better to do the proper preparation and develop a well rounded talent base rather than just emphasizing your strong points and allowing weak areas to develop.

 

Mental Talent

  • You may remember  times that you have been absent minded, not paying attention and missing out on things, your eyes and ears may be open but your attention was captured by thought.
  • Your attention can fundamentally go in two directions, outwards towards to the world of energy and inwards to the world of thought.
  • A psychotic would be an individual who gets lost in inner thought. Most people are able to bounce between the two at a healthy rate, but even a normal person can sometimes get caught in episodes of obsessive thought.
  • The natural warrior athlete has learned to focus his attention on the matter at hand and be in the present moment. Their thoughts may come and go but they do not get caught up by inward distractions of any kind.
  • Most people are subject to the pattern of random attention with thoughts floating back and forth between the inner stream of consciousness and the outer world. Problematic thinking takes the form of worry , fear and anger and will cause tension in the body.
  • In athletics and life the source of our discontent is this primitive habit of allowing our attention to be reactive to thoughts instead of being mindful.
  • You may try to convince yourself that it is external factors that cause lifes discomfort but on closer inspection you will always find that it is actually your mental resistance to the present moment.
  • Mental talent emerges as you gain facility in dissolving archaic habit patterns so that you no longer feel compelled to pay attention to the obstructions and limitations which are primitive creations of your own mind.
  • All rigid mental patterns will end up manifesting themselves as tension in your body. Whilst the usual reaction to this tension would be to work on the physical symptoms by stretching but you should really deal with the mental source of this stress.
  • An effective way to see your mental state more clearly is by comparing it to the state of mind of a baby. A baby will process tons of new information but because the have no complex beliefs , opinions or associations they will accept the information without judgment.
  • A baby will not ruminate, stress and philosophise over new information as their attention is entirely in the present moment. Because of this they manage to stay away from complex fears, plans, expectations and self criticism that can get caught up in an adults mind.
  • Consider a baby’s mind state as that of a natural warrior athlete in its clarity, relaxation , sensitivity and openness to the environment. They are free of mental reaction or resistance and have a direct approach to life by being in the present moment.
  • The mental state is responsible for a babys amazing learning abilities and it is only when their mind becomes immersed in preconceptions and judgments that the natural learning is inhibited.

 

Illusory Self Concept.

  • The self fulfilling prophecy describes how our results in life tend to follow our expectations. If you expect or believe in something which can be either a positive or negative trait you will set in motion many psychological processes that make your expectations come true.
  • Self concept is a fundamental self fulfilling prophecy. If you expect to do poorly you will be less interested, less motivated, have lower energy levels and therefore end up performing poorly and making you self concept accurate.
  • You have a different self concept for all different areas of life which will generally dictate how you behave and perform in these different areas.
  • But self concept is an illusion , manufactured in your own mind and is no more real than a ghost. Yet you have imposed it upon yourself a long time ago and you would have let it overshadow every athletic endeavors you have undertaken.
  • You need to see your self concept for the illusion it is and cut through and destroy it.
  • Once you gain insight into the illusory nature of your own self concept you can then transcend your self imposed limitations and give your training and techniques real momentum.
  • In order to gain insight into the illusion remember your own childhood when you were completely free of self concept and had the belief that you could learn anything within the grasp of human knowledge because you were pure potential.
  • It is obvious that having a low self concept would be undesirable but having an unrealistically high self concept  causes its own unique set of problems. Setting your self concept to high can puts immense amounts of unnecessary pressure on yourself to perform.
  • The best self concept is none at all. Like a baby or childs mind you want to be free from exaggerations of praise or blame and simply take a direct , realistic, experimental and persevering approach to your endeavours.
  • If you are ever feeling pressure to do well you can be sure that an arbitrary self concept is imposing itself upon you. When this happens you can surrender to it, you can try to resist it or you can use it.
  • If you try to resist or ignore it you will find it will still have a subtle effect and influence on your performance. Instead you are best to use it and experience its psychic force and then cut through it by changing your act.
  • You want to learn to do what you thought you could not. To have control over your self concept so you can benefit and try new possibilities in your life.
  • Positive statements and affirmations can be used to have a positive effect on your mental state and create a beneficial mindset.
  • Continue to persist in this and all your illusory limitations will dissolve and you will transcend them .Remember that the law of accommodation is stronger than your illusory self concept

 

Fear of failure.

  • Failure will always be part of the learning process. In order to learn you  must see where you fail and take it into account. But most people learn to fear failure and avoid it at all costs.
  • Some people will even develop defense mechanisms against having to experience failure. A common form of this is to “not really try”. To deliberately be unmotivated so that your ego can protect itself if you don’t succeed by thinking “Had i really tried i would have done well”. By not believing you are giving your best effort the fear of failure is relieved but you will never reach your potential.
  • Fear of failure is a vicious cycle and like the self fulfilling prophecy it will often result in the occurrence of what you most feared. Fear produces tensions which obstructs blood flow, reflexes, breathing, muscles and eyesight which will all stifle your effective movement and increase your chances of failure.
  • To break the fear of failure cycle and rise above it you need to make peace with failure. Know that failure is not your enemy , that you can actually appreciate it for the lessons it can teach you and once you appreciate it you will find it stops distracting you.
  • The natural warrior athlete laughs at failure. Balancing success with failure is nature’s way. The greats have all failed many times.
  • An exercise to learn this is to fail on purpose and have fun doing it . Make mistakes and do not stress over it but rather just enjoy the process.

 

Destructive self-criticism

  • If babies had the same self criticism as adults they would never learn to walk. But rather babies are free of self criticism and treat failure the same as success and just continue to persevere. Self criticism is a habit pattern that you learn while growing up
  • There are only 3 causes of error in the world: negative or unconscious habit patterns, lack of information or experience or the fact that no one is perfect all the time.
  • There are only two kinds of criticism: constructive and destructive.
  • We use destructive self criticism on ourselves as a form of punishment with the inaccurate belief that if you punish yourself you will improve.
  • Rather than punish yourself if you make an error you must take responsibility for it and not criticise yourself.
  • Give yourself the same constructive advice that you would give your best friend.

 

One pointed attention

  • You have tremendous power if you are in the present moment and place all your attention to the matter at hand. But unfortunately this can be a relatively rare occurrence.
  • This experience can be when you feel “in the zone” and are able to flow effortlessly. You cannot reach this state if your thoughts are diffused and you are mentally distracted or daydreaming.
  • Focus on being in the present moment and keeping your total attention on the task at hand.

 

Hypermotivation

  • Hypermotivation is when you can manifest extended physical and mental capacity and comes from one pointed attention and being in the moment.
  • Placing your attention in the present frees you from all self concept, criticism, fear and inhibitions. Conversely any subtle distraction can have a negative effect on the body.
  • Athletic training is the best way to develop this one pointed attention as it does demand your full attention be placed in the present moment.
  • You may discover that your attention follows your eyes. What “Keep your eye on the ball” really means is “Keep your mind on the ball”.
  • Being in the present moment and free from internal distractions and problems will help you to master any game you choose including the game of life.
  • You want to make your mental training conscious and systematic otherwise your mental qualities will only be developed at random.
  • When you have no mind or no thought you can naturally harmonise with the body and with a clear mind you have your body at its peak efficiency and awareness.
  • Using your brain for internal thinking can still be useful for gaining a conceptual understanding of your sport and in analyzing the fundamentals of movement. But during the moments of action you should not be thinking but keep your mind in the present moment.

 

Emotional Talent

 

Fueling the fires.

  • Even if your body is ill , with muscles drained and lacking vital energy you can still have another source of energy that is burning strong. This is emotional energy.
  • Emotional energy we call motivation. Emotion is what moves us and when your emotions are open and free of obstructions then motivational energy will be natural and remain strong even when the body is drained.
  • An abundance of emotional energy can help an athlete push through seemingly insurmountable obstacles but a lack of emotional energy can see a physically gifted athlete routinely underperform.
  • Motivation is emotional talent and is the key to training as without it you would never even turn up to train. Motivation smothers fear and overcomes obstacles.
  • Becoming a natural whole body athlete will demand and require tremendous motivational energy.
  • Most people relate to motivation passively as if were something we have no control over and that may by chance be with us one day and gone the next.
  • But all the motivational energy you will ever need is within you and emotional talent is your capacity to stimulate and draw upon your natural fountain of energy.
  • Through mastering your emotions you have the capability to produce your own motivational energy.
  • Anger,fear and sorrow are not true emotions , they are actually obstructions to the natural flow of motivational energy.
  • Again when we were babies motivation was completely natural to us and constant. Everything was interesting and our body and mind were in their natural relationship with our mind free of thought and our body free of tension. This was the state of pure energy when we produced our own motivation that gave us the energy to move, explore and learn.
  • But as we grow older and become aware of rules, meanings, psychic turbulence, social turmoil and human frustration. As our minds build up these traumatic memories our bodies begin to store tension. This tension is a blockage of the natural flow of energy.
  • Only with a mind free of judgement and expectation can allow the free flow of emotional energies.
  • Emotional blocks are normal but they are not natural.Fear, sorrow and anger are reactive patterns of subconscious learned behaviour.
  • To become a natural warrior athlete you must gain insight into the minds influence on emotional tension so that you can be free of involuntary reactions which block the natural flow of emotional motivational energy.

 

Breaking the circuit of tension

  • If you have to worry you must apply nonresistance and mindfulness so that your thoughts will not impose tension on your body. Let your river of thoughts float by and do not let them get stuck. Be mindful and practice mindfulness.
  • Whatever arises in the present moment just let it be interesting and do not judge it as either good or bad. This will awaken your true emotional energy which will allow your life to begin to flow.
  • If you don’t use a muscle is atrophies and becomes weak. The same is true for reactive emotional habit patterns, if you stop using them you will eventually make them obsolete.
  • Mastery of athletics will require transcendence of all you unconscious reactions that may interfere with the smoothest and most harmonious functioning of the body and mind.
  • It is very important and useful to practice mindfulness and non dramatize situations that would otherwise have you tied up in knots.
  • Non Dramatisation is the immediate recognition of your psychophysical reality, accepting any physical or emotional tension you may feel and then consciously letting it go.
  • Negative thoughts do not have to mean negative feelings or tension.You need to become proficient in letting go of thoughts so that you can transcend the usual reflex of unconscious tension in the face of difficulty.
  • You do not have to bring a thought or its corresponding tension to life, you do not have to give it power. You may notice a fearful thought but you dont have to act afraid.  You are able to short circuit what would be the regular habit pattern.
  • Until you have mastered all emotional obstructions you will still encounter situations that stimulate negative emotions but what you do in response to them is always under your control.
  • It is not easy but you do not need to surrender to the reactive pattern. It is not helpful to pretend you don’t feel it but rather learn to translate your responses into positive energy and action. ‘This will develop true emotional energy in the form of relaxed motivation.

 

Breath and feeling

  • Breath is the key to your emotional state because it both reflects and controls your level of tension. The natural warrior athlete breathes naturally from deep in the body and produces his own inspiration with balanced and relaxed inhalations and exhalations.
  • To gain mastery of your emotional state it is essential that you gain conscious control over your breathing. This is a central teaching of many ancient spiritual traditions.
  • Breath unifies the mind and body.They are intimately related through the feeling of breath.
  • Eventually you will feel your breath move your body and it will naturally become a part of your athletic movement. Control of the breath will give you command over your otherwise random emotional reactions.

 

PHYSICAL TALENT

 

Building the foundation

  • There is no greater miracle of nature than your own body and with mental clarity and emotional energy you give your body the power to take action.
  • The mind and emotion can be difficult to observe and change but the body is more easily adaptable to change. So developing and changing your body can also help develop mental clarity and emotional energy.
  • Conscious physical training is using the visible to mold the invisible.
  • Consider your body’s relationship with gravity when it is straight and naturally aligned. If the body is out of line it will need extra energy to keep it stable.
  • Misalignment of the body can be from incorrect movement patterns but also from emotional trauma which has caused stored tension.
  • You want to first work on your body posture so that you are naturally aligned and not using any excess energy to support your body against gravity.

 

Resistance to change

  • The body can still be resistant to change as it settles into certain movement patterns that can only be changed with conscious effort.
  • A body that begins in balance tends to stay in balance and a body out of balance tends to stay out of balance unless acted upon by an outside force. The outside force you can generate are your motivations.
  • Your body was born in balance, but psychological and physical forces over the years would have generated imbalances in mind , emotion and body.
  • Any change requires an initiatory period of discomfort until the body adjusts to the new demand. There is no way of getting around it .
  • It may take three to four weeks to change a habit but 6 months to stabilize it and keep it. Be patient and persistent as it will take time for old patterns to be made obsolete.
  • When mind and motivation work in harmony what is created is real will.

Feeding the body

  • Your body is fed through food primarily but also sunlight, air, peaceful environments and interactions with friends and family.
  • How you eat is just as important as what you eat. You want to eat with emotional calm.
  • It is best to stay away from process and preserved foods and stick to fresh produce.
  • Eat food full of nutritional value and free of man made additives.
  • Eating patterns should reflect your body’s needs and not your minds cravings.
  • Fill your body with vitality and this will in turn give you power to develop your physical talent.
  • The natural warrior athlete is free from all tension and learns to recognise any tension and release it in the moment. Many people carry subtle tension for so long they forget what real relaxation is.
  • Genuine relaxation is not temporary but a continual enjoyment of muscular release and high energy at the same time.
  • The more you become familiar with deep relaxation the more you will notice tension in your body that you have carried unconsciously and you will be able to relax that tension.
  • Consummate athletes and artists in every field have ease of movement through efficient use of muscles with no wasted effort and energy.

 

Strength

  • Muscular strength increases in proportion to the effort of training.But to use strength properly it must be in balance and with relaxation. Strength is the overall ability to control movement.
  • Effective strength is the ability to relax the proper muscle groups while consciously tensing others.  This is something that babies do naturally.
  • Strength cannot be free to work unless balanced with relaxation. Too much muscle can mean too much tension so you can reach a point of diminishing returns with developing just muscle mass.
  • Balance the demand on your muscles between sheer power and the ability to be loose and relaxed.
  • Develop the capacity for relaxed power so your movements are effortless.

 

Suppleness

  • A baby needs no stretching exercises because it carries no tension.But as you grew you activated habitual tensing of muscles in response to physical and psychological factors which have made your body less naturally suttle.
  • You need to notice your stored tension and use appropriate measures to dissolve it.
  • The naturally supple body is the reflection of a relaxed mind.
  • stretching should be relaxed and intelligent not enthusiastic. You do not want to inflict more pain on your body by stretching. Consider that when you are relaxed you become more supple without doing any stretching.
  • Simply relax into slightly more extended positions than you are used to and make sure that stretching always feels good.
  • Suppleness means a state of full articulation of all movable joints including wrists, shoulders neck, the entire spine pelvis , hips , thighs, hamstrings and ankles.
  • Suppleness should be given priority over strength since the more supple you are the less energy you need to expend in order to move the body.
  • Suppleness is the embodiment of non resistance. Suppleness, strength and relaxation are intimately related.
  • Suppleness developed through awareness of tension, conscious relaxation and proper stretching will improve your game and decrease injuries.
  • You will feel more awake and alive in daily life.

 

Sensitivity

  • Sensitivity just means an enhancement of senses and can refer to sight, hearing, taste etc. But for the athlete the most important are the kinesthetic senses that enable effective movement. This includes balance, coordination, vertical reflex,timing and rhythm.
  • All these areas are interrelated so if you concentrate on one they will all develop.
  • Sensitivity enables you to learn more rapidly as your body picks up cues faster. You can feel errors easier and correct them consistently.
  • You can cut through old compensations as you won’t be deeply locked in patterns of reaction.
  • Tension interferes with your sense of balance, timing, coordination and reflex.
  • The natural warrior athlete is capable of unleashing awesome power yet is so soft , smooth and sensitive that they pick up on subtle cues.

 

Stamina

  • No athlete ever becomes an expert without investing time and energy therefore stamina is a vital aspect of physical talent.
  • It takes stamina to perform any action over an extended period of time and can be both mental and physical .
  • Stamina is a natural response to training and is best developed by training in your chosen sport. It is also a function of relaxation , strength and suppleness.
  • The natural warrior athlete who  is free from tension requires less effort to build stamina.
  • You do not have to hurt yourself in order to feel good and should be kept in mind when developing stamina. Learn to develop it gradually

 

Athletic injuries and how to avoid them

  • A single injury can be devastating to an athlete and undo a lot of good work.
  • Injury is always the result of  fundamental weakness in a mental, emotional or physical area of talent.
  • Accidents aren’t really accidents. You were not paying attention, were upset or were not prepared.
  • Therefore mental clarity, attention, emotional stability and physical preparation are the best insurance policies against injuries.
  • The natural warrior athlete acts on clear intuitions and therefore injuries are rare in the natural process of training

 

The three centers of whole body talent

  • Natural training cannot be approached by attention to the physical body alone your must take notice of subtle realms that make up the foundation of our lives.
  • Absolute stability can only be achieved through combined focus of mind, emotions and physical practice.
  • The state of being centered with a quiet mind, open emotions and a relaxed / energized body will literally give you a better connection to the earth and your environment.
  • All forces you exert come from the earth, you are only the transmitter.
  • The natural warrior athlete knows that physical ability alone without development of mental clarity and emotional energy is a hollow accomplishment.

  

On The Road

 

Moving with spirit

  • Once you trust in the natural laws you will experience an internal guide that will show you the way to your aspirations. You just have to be patient and wise.
  • The natural way is ordinary, easeful and gradual with no need for heroic struggle but rather to just flow with the natural laws.
  • At the very least you are potential energy and you will need to apply the principles through perseverance, grit and hard work.

 

TECHNIQUES OF TRAINING

 

Smart, fast and fun

  • All training techniques are just shadows of the natural laws. With natural alignment gained through conscious practice you can become the master of all techniques.
  • Techniques of training are fundamentals of learning every form of movement.

 

Warm-up

  • Life will be filled with cycles and periods of transition. Life is a series of changes that can be smooth or chaotic, minute to minute , day to day and year to year.
  • You life will be enhanced as you recognises these periods of transition otherwise they will be scattered and unconscious.
  • Transitions can be in between major life events or transitioning from work to home while driving. You need to learn to enjoy these transitional periods and keep a flow running between them.
  • Create conscious transition rituals for the hours, days, months and years of your life.
  • Warming up in athletics is a transition ritual that is crucial. A proper warm up prepares you for the demands of your sport and is important for the body, mind and emotions.
  • The mental warm up consists setting goals for your training session and placing your attention on your training area and cultivating gratitude and respect for your practice.
  • Emotional warm up might begin with some deep calming breaths and remembering the initial excitement you felt for the sport and generate the emotion that gets you excited to train and imagine yourself succeeding at your goals.
  • Mental and emotional warm up can take place simultaneously at the speed to thought. You could complete this warm up in five deep breaths.
  • The physical warm up will have to take longer to get your body fully awake and relaxed.
  • Always make time to warm up and never rush.

 

Learning how to learn

  • Learning a skill requires creating a neurological pathway and motor response to the movement pattern of the skill and then stabilizing the pathway for consistency.
  • This applies to any movement pattern if it is simple or complex.
  • Your first attempt at a new skill is the most important because you have no previous pathway formed and are likely to somewhat follow the new pathway you create.
  • Every Time you take the same neural pathway you will stabilize and reinforce the motor response whether it is correct or not.
  • Every Time you practice a movement incorrectly  you increase your ability to do it wrong. Therefore you want to repeat the correct movement pattern as much as possible and avoid repeating incorrect patterns at all costs.
  • A fundamental rule is : Never repeat the same error twice. Errors are of course a part of learning but in order to not make them a habit you must consciously make different errors each time and move them towards the correct pattern.
  • Do not habituate yourself to one incorrect movement pattern. This is very important as you do not want to get accustomed to incorrect movement as it will greatly slow your learning process.
  • Consciously make each attempt different so you explore the many possibilities for error on your way to the correct, straight path without forming bad habits.

 

Awareness and practice

  • The times you practice only really count when you are paying attention to them.
  • Remember only perfect practice makes perfect.
  • You have to pay attention so you attempt the correct pattern and avoid the incorrect one.
  • Be fully aware in your mind and body during every attempt at practice. If you make an error never just repeat it again without thinking, take a moment to be aware of what went wrong and then consciously do something different.

 

The stages of practice

  • To learn a skill you don’t need to repeat it countless times but rather to repeat it just enough times with intense concentration and real interest. If this fails then stop practicing as you do not want incorrect patterns to develop.
  • Practice is like gambling in that you need to know when to quit. This way of learning is aligned with the natural order. If you try to speed it up it is too easy to pick up compensations for bad technique.
  • When you practice stop for a moment between each to attempts, breath deep and relax and feel fully aware. Feel your connection to the earth and its power.
  • Therefore learning should not just become a process of endless repetition but rather a strategy of training should be employed that contains insight and concentration.
  • If you learn to perform an incorrect pattern over a long period of time then when you attempt to correct it the correct way will feel strange. When you are wrong , what is right feels wrong. Making it much harder to fix an old habit than to form a new one correctly.
  • When correcting an old habit you may need to overcompensate as your steps towards correction will feel weird you are unlikely to go as far as required. Recognise the law of balance, and find the middle where you can effectively learn.
  • If you are making an error you can deliberately over compensate and make the same error but on the opposite side or direction. This will allow you to find the middle faster.
  • If you wish to learn successfully and rapidly you must be more interested in learning a movement than you are afraid of crashing.

 

Ideomotor action and mental practice

  • Clear mental imagery , even without actual movement can develop correct muscular responses.
  • The ideomotor response proves that when you visualise a movement you will have a corresponding muscular impulse.
  • Mental practice is a very useful supplement to physical practice and can give you the natural edge to learn techniques seemingly effortlessly.
  • You can dream about moves and perform them in your head all day so that even if you try something for the first time it will feel as if you have done it before.
  • Mental practice is safe, you can do it anywhere, there is no fear of failure, it costs nothing and it means that you are automatically concentrating. You have to develop your capacity for visualization and imagery but once you do you will reap the rewards.
  • Mental practice can be used if you are ill or injured or at odd moments when you have not much else to do . It is far better than worrying about your problems.
  • It can be a great tool to troubleshoot techniques that you may be having problems with, take a break and mentally visualise the correct movement without any errors.
  • Mental practice is more efficient than physical practice but it is also more difficult.

 

Slow Motion Practice

  • Slow motion practice gives you time to be aware of every part of a movement..You can sense the complex parts such as weight shift, coordination of the body and small muscle movements.
  • Most unconscious errors will occur in the middle of a movement sequence, therefore slowing the movement down can make unconscious movements painfully obvious.
  • In moving slowly you can become aware of tension and are able to let it go and then once you begin to move without tension you will be able to move faster than ever.
  • Slow motion practice is like studying slow motion replays except you are feeling it not just looking at it.
  • Slowing down practice expands your awareness and eliminates blind spots you encounter in rapid movement. Slow motion practice can be a form of moving meditation.
  • Also focus on a perfect beginning and ending of your technique with perfect follow through When you start and end in the proper position the middle will begin to flow.

 

Part-whole practice

  • Any skill is made of component parts. A good way to learn or teach a skill is to break it down into its parts from beginning , middle and end and then you can put the whole thing together.
  • Analysis can be applied to specific drills and make learning an entire movement much easier.

 

The programming principle

  • Programmed learning books are available to allow you to learn many subjects through programmed texts.
  • They follow the natural principles that we learn in small steps, we take an active part filling in the blanks, we get immediate reinforcement and feedback and we feel successful because of the small simple progressions.
  • Good programmed learning texts are designed around common sense principles. and make learning easy and fun.
  • Programmed progressions allow a constant feeling of success in which the process of learning becomes the goal.
  • You can also make up your own programmed progressions.

 

Imitation: The ultimate technique

  • At the end of the day we return to the way children learn, by imitation and copying.
  • Copying is the most instinctive, simple and natural way to learn. You may have learned that it is bad to be a copycat but really it is fine to copy people as long as they have qualities worth copying.
  • Look for the good in everyone and that person can become a teacher. That way everyone you meet can become a teacher to you without knowing it.
  • To do this you have to push envy aside as you have to admire the qualities that someone else possesses. Envy will only isolate you.
  • Learn by observation, appreciation and imitation. To learn a skill, find someone who is skillful and watch them carefully. As you watch, feel yourself moving the same way then practice your ability to imitate.
  • Imitation is the master technique of learning as it bypasses intellectualization by creating learning in action. Find qualities you admire in others and imitate them until they become your own.
  • You do have to be sufficiently prepared to copy well, you could experience unconscious resistance to copying someone because of a belief that you have to be original, you can also copy the wrong people or the wrong qualities. If any of these are true you are not making the most of imitation.
  • Using awareness as a lever you can use all these principles and strategies to learn how to learn.

 

COMPETITION

 

Success in the moment of truth

  • Three primary attitudes seem to exist towards competition, people admire the competitive ethic for making it on your own and taking credit for your own successes and failures. Some people who are inclined to peaceful coexistence avoid competition as dehumanizing and want to avoid an “us” vs “them” mentality. The third group cares little either way.
  • Positives of competition are that it is the ultimate test of reality, it demands full involvement and energy and can be a source of self reflection that you cannot find in other areas of society.
  • Strengths can emerge and be reinforced and weaknesses can be eliminated. It is one of the last ways we can face a moment of truth in society.
  • It can also be a form of movement meditation in which all your attention is forced to be focused on the present moment and in a flow state.
  • The negatives of competition is that there are always few winners and many losers and competition will reinforce this polarisation.This can breed negative opposition where you can be encouraged to hate your opponents. It can reinforce simplistic black and white thinking.
  • But competition does not always have to be a negative it can also be viewed as a cooperative mutual teaching session where your opponents are helping you to learn.
  • If your opponent is your teacher and you are there teacher then you are both doing each other a service by trying to win and once you view competition in this way you will always try to win but without hostility and negativity.
  • Winning and losing can also be a completely arbitrary experience and only able to judge who was better on the day.
  • The moment of truth in competition itself is a stimulus to excellence. But once it is over it has little meaning left. The natural warrior athlete will forget the games outcome the moment it is over but remembers its lessons.
  • A natural warrior athlete cannot afford to dwell on the past, the only lasting value of competition is the experience and the lessons learned from it that can be kept alive.
  • In the competitive arena there will always be people above or below you just make sure that you use competition to stimulate your own efforts and not become preoccupied with the other athletes. Keep to your natural pace and all that matters is if you have done your best.

 

Physical preparation for competition: overload and cutback

  • In the moment of truth you are forced to focus all of your capacities of mind, emotion and body on the present moment.
  • The natural warrior athlete The natural warrior athlete can play as if their life depends on it yet also laugh at the outcome. With humour and intensity you can harness your fullest energies.
  • Under the pressure of competition you can see your body exceed its everyday capabilities and you must be prepared for that.
  • The way to prepare for this is to overload the demand before competition during the leadup and then cutback just before it arrives.
  • This will not only help you prepare your body but your mind will gain confidence.

 

Emotional preparation

  • It is entirely normal to be anxious before a competition. Everyone will feel some level of anxiety you just need to learn to understand it and overcome it.
  • Remember that competition is a ceremony where you will be tested and have every right to be nervous. Your body will release adrenaline and your heart will beat faster.
  • You should not fight this, these symptoms will help you during competition so you have to learn how to use them. If you feel them coming before the time you need them you can control the flow of adrenaline by doing some basic movements.
  • All of these nervous responses are designed to make you forever faster and stronger.
  • If your mind is filled with negative emotion then you will experience these symptoms as fear but if you work on positive motivation you will experience the nerves as excitement and anticipation.
  • If you are relaxed you can learn to channel this extra energy. You will gain a perspective that the results you get depends upon preparation so you will gain more respect for your training.
  • An experienced athlete treats training and competition with the same respect and intensity. They train with the same mental focus and determination as if they were in competition and when they compete they are as relaxed as if they were training.

 

Psyching up and psyching out: the mental game

  • Physical skill is only part of what is tested in competition , mental skill also plays a big role. A physical expert can be weakened and distracted is they have not mastered the mental game.
  • Ancient samurai warriors recognised that a razor sharp mind and emotional calm must precede physical skill.
  • It is a psychological duel where you test your calm as much as your reflexes.
  • It is perfectly fine to psych out your opponent as it is part of the psychological nature of sport. You can teach them about the inner game.
  • Sport is psychological in nature so if you are going to play you may as well play in the psychological realm.
  • But never get so involved in psychological strategy that you lose your own center. The best strategy is to have unshakeable confidence and calm and be a tower of strength. this in itself can distract opponents.

 

THE EVOLUTION OF SPORT

 

New games for new athletes

  • Sport can reinforce ways of acting and have a carry over into daily life. An influence that is so central to our life should therefore be approached with sever respect.  The benefits of sport can outweigh the negatives but you should look at ways to enhance these benefits.
  • You should ask if your sport contributes to your own physical and psychological well being ? And if it helps you develop a better capacity for daily life ?

 

Symmetrical training

  • Many sports make primary use of one side of the body and can debilitate the symmetry of the body which is vital to have natural alignment with the earth gravity.
  • The rule of symmetry if applied to one sided sports would have a lot of health benefits and would be aligned with natural laws.
  • Some research shows that learning a skill on one side increases learning facility on the other and can eliminate old bad habits.

 

Rethinking sports

  • You can evolve your thinking of sports if you begin to view your movements as energy awareness. That you are sculpting energy at you move. As you learn to to shape the direction of energy flow you begin to play on natures team with the air, water and earth as teammates.
  • In order to benefit daily life the world of sport must be a way of life. Certain key elements should be incorporated into total athletic training as they will be of great overall benefit.
  • Mental training encourages the attitude of blending and harmonising rather than collision. Enhances ability to see the flow of energy. Develops sensitivity and demands full attention. Contains pressures that must be transcended and creates growth.
  • Emotional training encourages cooperative interaction rather than self preoccupation. Is a laboratory to understand yourself and others.
  • Physical training balances development of the body, demands suppleness, develops cardiovascular fitness and stamina. Aids muscular symmetry and postural alignment. Enhances the bodies connection to the earth.
  • The natural warrior athlete is no longer anxious , struggling or eager for victory at all costs.

 

At Journeys End

 

Achieving Unity

  • All the teachers of mankind have acknowledged the same thing. That to truly grow we must reintegrate the wisdom of life experience with the open eyed innocence of childhood.
  • To Achieve unity with the universe you must first achieve unity within yourself by harmonizing body, mind and emotions.
  • Esoteric practices such as Sufism, Qabala, Taoism and Zen are major spiritual traditions that represent whole body teachings.
  • Athletics is the yoga of the west you just need the right perspective of using training as a means rather than an end.
  • To become a natural warrior athlete you have to become a natural human being. You must build a life of positive energy and discipline without extremes. Love in principle and action.
  • your training can literally change the quality of daily life as you abandon old habits and self preoccupation to become free.

 

PSYCHO-FITNESS

 

Rebirth of the master athlete

  • It is still possible for an athlete to have expert skills in their sport but be undisciplined and unstable in mental and emotional affairs of daily life.
  • But the master is the product of psychophysical training. A whole body natural warrior athlete how has a well rounded capacity for life in any environment.
  • An expert may shine light in the arena but a masters light shines everywhere.
  • A master of one art can master any art because they have mastered themselves. The masters physical skill is a byproduct of internal development.

 

The movement master in daily life

  • The movement master does everything naturally and has no desire to standout. They would always seem relaxed, calm alert and open to circumstance.
  • Every movement they make receives their undivided attention with a presence and certainty which radiates security.
  • The master creates a ceremony out of every moment.
  • The master has the warrior spirit, bathed in humour.

 

The lessons of sport

  • WE tend to play at sports the same way we play at life. Our training offers many lessons about life.
  • You must relax and blend with the little problems of daily life ,slow down take it easy and make sure to enjoy life.
  • HIdden within every experience is a lesson. in learning to move you are also moving to learn.

 

Create your own inner warrior athlete

  • It is difficult for anyone to see their own imbalances clearly as we normally use ourselves as a measure of what is appropriate and therefore see our own actions as justifiable.
  • The natural warrior athlete needs a more comprehensive perspective to be able to grow. You must learn to observe yourself realistically in your functioning. You have to first notice and understand that where you do not have the perfect balance of qualities so that you may transform those areas.
  • A way to give yourself a comparable model that you create from your own natural intuition is to imagine the perfect athlete. This ideal then becomes your inner teacher and guide. A source of constant inspiration.
  • You need to sculpt with you mind what the ideal natural warrior athlete looks like, how they stand and move, how relaxed they are and what their mental traits and emotional calm is like. Give them a personality and create an ideal balance using any models you know.
  • Once you have created your inner warrior athlete you then have a teacher for life that you can take with you anywhere. As you develop your qualities in comparison to your ideal natural warrior athlete you will gradually move yourself closer to this ideal.

 

The art of living ,,,, with good form.

  • Your life is something you create moment by moment. You are ultimately responsible for what you are, who you are and what you are doing. You can create something fine and useful with your life or you can throw it away.
  • You can make your life as you choose but to many people get fearful and surrender too soon to a second rate way of life.
  • Good physical form is the most efficient way of blending with the natural laws. It involves proper alignment with gravity,No unnecessary tension, unified musculature, Awareness, Coordinated response and timing.
  • Good mental form is the releasing of thoughts as they arise and directing your attention to your movements.Good emotional form is breathing consciously with feeling.
  • The natural warrior athlete strives to apply good form in both sport and within daily life. If you maintain whole body good form in daily life your discipline will transform you.

 

THE WARRIOR ATHLETES MEDITATION

The nature of spiritual training

  • Spiritual training is whole body training. When your mind , body and emotions are in complete harmony the world will literally change for you becoming less complicated and more interesting.
  • Unified states frees your attention so that you can become aware of subtle mechanisms and intuitions you had rarely seen before. While immersed in the moment of truth an athlete will experience extraordinary effects.
  • These experiance point to the meditative demand of sport. Athletes must meditate on every move and give totaal attention to everything in the environment and silence any internal noise.In the moment of truth the athlete is like and indian yogi.

 

The warrior athletes satori

  • Satori is a japanese zen word that describes the natural harmony of mind , body and emotions. When the mind is completely in the present moment.
  • When you emotions a free of obstruction and manifest as pure motivational energy and when the body is fully relaxed and open to life..
  • When all three centers are in harmony you will feel a click that is satori, it is a state of being in the moment, of pure flow, and every artist drops in and out of it on many occasions.
  • Satori will feel great, it is the natural state of natural warrior athletes and a state of dynamic meditation. Being completely in the present moment and free of problems and complications by immersing ourselves in the flow state.
  • Satori is the hidden goal of all our aspirations Its a preview of spiritual life. You were born a natural warrior athlete and you can be again. Approach your journey with all your mind and feeling and spirit. Approach training and daily life in the same way.
  • Dedicate your training towards the development of the spiritual experience. This will be the culmination of your journey.
  • As you align yourself with the rhythms of nature you will bathe in satori. You are the master.

 

Epilogue

  • You have the university , the gymnasium and the temple all inside of you. You just need to reconnect all centers so they operate in harmony as one whole.
  • The last frontier is the inward journey and the total athlete can discover the laws of the universe within their own body.

 

Peace, love and raging waters,

Sonny Brown

The Warrior Athlete – Body, Mind & Spirit by Dan Millman