Friday, August 02, 2019

What has judo got to do with spiritual discipline?

Sometimes you hear martial arts referred to as spiritual disciplines, and sometimes you hear of parents who put their kids into a martial arts class to "get discipline," But all the classes I've ever seen seem to deal a lot more with sweat and pain (or the avoidance thereof) than they do spiritual things or even with training mental discipline.
So, what do martial arts actually have to do with honing the mind or spirit?
Here's how I look at it.
My spirit leads my mind
My mind uses my brain to operate my body.
My body creates results or actions in the physical world.
But it is not a one-way relationship.
My actions in the physical world influence or change my body.
The operation of my body influences the operation of my brain.
The functioning of my brain influences my mind.
My mind over time forges my spirit.
So, if I want to influence any one of these aspects of my being, then I can choose whichever other aspect I feel like I have the most leverage with right now, and by exercising that aspect, all other aspects of my being are influenced.
So, If I want to develop spiritual or mental discipline, then I can use a martial art as a physical, active lever with which to influence or reform my actions, my body, my brain, and in turn, my mind and spirit.
Or I could play hockey or read self-help books or any other activity that activates or exercises my actions, body, or brain.

Want to discuss this blog post?
Come find me on Facebook at my Mokuren Dojo FB group

Patrick Parker
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