Monday, June 9, 2008

Mental Obstacles

Someone is having trouble getting past some mental stumbling blocks to get to the dojo. I paraphrase the person's posting with a twist, hoping to make a point and to elicit a response:
I look at myself sitting in my easy chair and yell out loud, "Get off your ass!" but look: I'm still in my chair. I yell louder; still there. I can reason with and plead with my ass, but it ignores me, just sitting there. How do I get up? I'm concerned that my ass is fat, having sat here for so long, and I have fallen on it once or twice over the years when not in my easy chair. What should I do? And please, no one tell me to just get up!

Following up later:
Still, I think the example is apt. The way to get out of a chair is to stand up. The way to get out of bed in the morning is to get out of bed. When you're pouring a cup of tea and it's about to overflow, you don't question how to stop pouring; you stop pouring. The way to get to go to practice is to go to practice.

Mental obstacles are very real, of course---they're what are keeping you from getting to practice. However, mental obstacles are also very much not real. There is no thought that is going to leap out of the ceiling panels and attack you like Kato after Inspector Clouseau in a Pink Panther movie! No thought is going to grab your jo staff and crack your kneecaps as you reach for the dojo door.

Maybe the advice is easier to give than to follow, but it does ring true. I suspect that most barriers in life are of the type we create between our ears.

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