Finding the Spirit within Martial Arts
By Thomas Leichardt, MTCM, DMQ (China) About Tom
How do we redirect, neutralize, or transform the energy that moves towards us on a daily basis? What if that energy triggers our non-thinking reflexive fight-or-flight reaction?
Sometimes, as we move through life, we are bent out of shape when we are challenged in one way or another. Martial arts, in the truest sense, teach us how to accept and work with the challenges of life with grace, ease, and lightness. Martial arts teach us to be present, calm, and alert, even in the face of direct challenges to our person. In training, we work through all the personal issues that are triggered, the heavy layers of unconscious programming and “knee jerk” reactions, until we become more and more clear to respond to each challenge with clarity, peace, and presence of mind. Each incoming fist, kick, or strike becomes a metaphor, representing any challenge or obstacle. In the microcosm of our sparring session, we can observe, study, and practice our response. Did we react out of fear? Out of anger? Did we tighten up, or did we remain relaxed? Were we overwhelmed with constriction, self preservation, or desire only to win and subdue the incoming force, or did we gracefully respond by gently redirecting or neutralizing it?
Martial arts training, in the controlled safe setting and right attitude of self exploration and transformation, will enable those latent memories of pain and fear, stored in our biological and energetic matrix, to surface and flood our present moment awareness. We are then given a golden opportunity to transform our blind reactions into conscious response. We learn to dissolve our association with past pain and fear as we move into the present moment during our sparring or push hands sessions. Push hands or sparring are the vehicles for our growth, helping trigger the latent pain and self preserving principle in us, to bring it all into the light of our presence.
In presence, that which is not presence becomes transformed and transmuted into presence. This is the true meaning of Inner Alchemy, of transforming base metal into gold. We transform our reactions, arising out of separateness, into conscious responses, arising out of presence and felt oneness with all that is. To abide in presence is indeed more precious than gold. We awaken into who we truly are. We awaken out of our bundle of preprogrammed reactions based in pain and separation. A whole new dimension of awareness opens up. A mirage is simply seen as a mirage, and the shadow as shadow, which quickly dissolves in the light of consciousness. There is no doubt as to what is real. This abiding state of presence, unspoiled by the conditioning of this world, is the golden elixir of life. And it is not something that is far away, but rather, it is who we truly are. It is what shines through naturally when we allow it to do so.
Thus one begins to dance through life, undisturbed by the trials and tribulations of life, intoxicated with the joy and ecstasy of existence.
About the author: Thomas Leichardt is available for consultations in all things energetic and spiritual. As a holistic medical practitioner, he applies various modalities to help restore his patients’ natural alignment with health, vitality, joy, and clarity. Thomas has an acupuncture and energy medicine clinic in San Jose, CA. He also teaches classes in energy medicine and is faculty at Five Branches University. Make an online appointment, or for more information, visit the author’s main site.