Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Shi Yan Lei's Dharma of Fighting

A recent article in Kung Fu Magazine on the Dharma of Fighting gets right to one of the main tenets of this blog: the use of various martial art practices as tools of mindfulness. In the article Shi Yan Lei explains how he found his Kung Fu practices as better tools for focusing than the meditation techniques commonly practiced in his Chan Monastery. To quote the Push Hands Master, Herman Kauz, "It's not about fighting." It's about self actualization through the practice of being in the moment. So often we forget how fast and fleeting a moment is, and how quickly it is replaced by yet another moment, and then another again... The mantras and breathing exercises of meditation disciplines are aimed at giving us a focus to keep monkey mind at bay. The forms, katas, and qigongs of the martial arts can serve the same purpose. The resulting mindfulness, combined with the release of endorphins and the freeing of Qi flow, results in definite steps towards transformation and personal growth. And like all things in life, these are but steps on an infinite pathway. This pathway takes us where we want to be, but at the same time there is no final destination. Striving is arriving.

3 comments:

Ikigai said...

Very interesting! You can tell from the pictures that his training has certainly payed dividends.

Rodney said...

You have to imagine it would be nice to devote that much time to practice

Paul Read said...

Nicely said Rodney. A well captured train of thought and one little focused on in the rush to acquire a belt, a form or a series of exercises....