A journal of extraordinary moments: The Yaqui Indians considered the Nagual Time as an other-than-ordinary, mystical time. Zen Buddhism considers all moments as other-than-ordinary. This journal is a record of my mindful moments, philosophical thoughts, and martial arts experiences.
Monday, June 18, 2012
The Warrior's Way
Warriors Way, Sort of..
The name for this site, Nagual
Time, comes from the teachings of Don Juan Matus, via Carlos Castaneda. I chose the name because these teachings have
been influential to me for a long time. Castaneda was an apprentice to Don Juan in the
shamanic tradition of the Yaqui Indians that he referred to simply as the Warrior’s
Way. Many cultures throughout history
have utilized similar methods of self-cultivation. In China the Warrior’s Way is known as Kung
Fu, in Japan it is Budo.
thing about the Warrior’s Way is the depth and breadth of the path. It’s more than training to be a “warrior” in
the sense of one who fights to protect the tribe. It’s really more about intensive
self-cultivation. In Don Juan’s words,
it is living impeccably. The Warrior
doesn’t engage in foolishness; doesn’t make mistakes; is always at the top of
his/her game, so to speak. The Warrior
lives his life impeccably because death is always just over her left shoulder;
death is always at hand and the Warrior knows this and is motivated by this.
differentiate the specifics of my path. For me, Taiji and Qigong are the same as
meditation, which is the same as Hapkido training, which is the same as prayer,
which is the same as cardio and/or weight training, which is the same as getting
enough sleep, eating properly, and resting when I need to. It is all practice. I prefer Budo as the description of my path,
even though my primary practices are not Japanese in origin. But I also don’t like to focus much on country
of origin, family or style, denomination, school of thought, or any other
titles and names we use to define and separate ourselves. I look for practices that resonate with me and
adopt them if they work for me.
artists who inspire me the most are Bruce Lee, O’Sensei Ueshiba, and
Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang. These men all
fused different styles to create new practices.
I not only appreciate their arts, I appreciate their insights and the spirit
they brought to practice. More
importantly to me, they were not afraid to break the mold, to follow their
hearts. What they bring to the arts is
priceless. Lee gave us a focus on
finding the true path, taking what really works and discarding what doesn’t (and
yes, that is very subjective). O’Sensei
said he found the secret to Budo, which is ironically peace. And GM Feng emphasized Qigong and nurturing
above all else. The approach these men
founded is at once counterintuitive and innovative, each in its own way.
my own practice is reflective of these three approaches. I appreciate the ecumenical nature of Lee’s
Jeet Kune Do and utilize those principles in my practice. I have an eclectic approach to martial,
spiritual, and health practice. I am
constantly looking and adapting. My main
practice is the Hunyuan Taiji of GM Feng, and accordingly I place the highest
value on Qigong and meditation. Before
all else we must be healthy and awake—or at least working on waking up. And I approach it all as one practice, the
practice of peace. The goal is first
inner peace, then peace with the world; all the pieces of practice work
together to accomplish this. But, in keeping with Don Juan's Warrior's Path, he also described it as the path of knowledge, knowledge being the crucial thing here. And it's not just knowledge in the day-to-day sense of that term. For Don Juan, knowledge is much deeper and esoteric. It is mystical but includes all knowledge and all impeccable practices are approaches to knowledge.
about my religion or spiritual practices, or style of martial art, I always
hesitate to answer. I just don’t like
labels. Typically, I will come up with some answer, but it will rarely explain my practice
so much as satisfy the questioner and get me off the hook. But I really think that most of the time, most people hear what they want to hear rather than what we say anyway. And the more complicated or convoluted the answer, the less interested they are. It's not my intention to be complicated as much as it is to be true, true to myself and my practice, whatever that may be. It would be easier to pick one way, perhaps something popular that everyone is familiar with and leave it at that. But the easy path is rarely the most rewarding