Monday, February 3, 2014

Warriors-in-Training: Study This

Warriors need to be unflappable. If they do demonstrate anger, it's their choice. They are never triggered by events (including aggressive interviewers) outside themselves.

I am 72 years old and retired. I have studied the Warrior's Path of mindfulness and presence for more than 20 years. In many respects, I have achieved a certain mastery. But watching the President stay inside his center of silence and peace, I know I still have a long way to go. This is Mastery. Not a type of personality given at birth. Self awareness. Non attachment. Beginner's mind. Holding the paradox that there is no enemy and I am facing a dedicated adversary. Remembering Jesus; "Be gentle as a dove and shrewd as a serpent." Both - at the same time. 

Staying fully present within the embrace of your larger commitment, your North Star. Can you feel the internal power of the President's words, saying (more or less), when stuff happens, I/we stay focused on doing what I/we can to help the average person do a little better? His mantra. It's what he would say under truth serum. It's the central beat of his mental and spiritual heart. This North Star of his organizes even his internal spaces, and provides an energy shield or buffer when missiles are incoming. Yet "shield" is the wrong image. Nothing is defended. What happens is you become transparent, frictionless, and the arrows pass right through you. You don't contract around the arrow, so it doesn't dig in and impale you. You are fearless. Fully and always present. You see the arrow coming. And you relax, open yourself even further up. No tightening. No contraction. And the bad stuff passes right through you.

Mastery, as the President demonstrates it, is what poet Jack Gilbert called "...the edited conclusion of being, the normal excellence of long accomplishment."

Mastery is earned, not given. Ever.

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