Maturity, body,mind and wisdom: 지혜 (Wisdom) Jihye
Maturity, body,mind and wisdom:
지혜 (Wisdom) Jihye
By Steven Lemner
As we age we are faced with new challenges on both physical and mental levels. Understanding and acceptance is key to maintaining our well being. As martial artists we have devoted our life to its quest. We have learned to adapt, a key element in the arts foundation on many levels.
As one of founding members of the Silver Moo Do In program these questions, are what we approached senior members to better understand their needs.
Having discussions with senior aged practitioners, we gained much insight into their needs at this stage of their life. We also were able to understand the fears they faced. They were given a choice in their life, basically, to stop training all together, or to seek out a method to be able to continue what they love so much and devoted their life too.
I have been able to witness the results of this program by watching members that have stopped training years ago, restart their training based on this mental approach and adapting their physical needs. One of the main things that they have shared, was their mental attitude, totally changed.
They were happy, excited, and felt renewed because of the release of their doubts, fears, and ego. There are things they “don’t” have to do to prove anything to them selves or others. “I used to be able to….” Was common, but also was “I don’t have to prove it again” followed the statement.
Regained friendships and connections were recreated.
Being able to support these members, it opened the door to so many things. Seeing them doing what they love brought great joy to me. I was humbled and enlightened. Then my personal life changed with my new challenge, open heart surgery. Well long story short, I turned to my life’s training and it’s was there for me. It surged forward, and its effects were immediately seen by others. “What ever you are doing, keep doing it!”
The saying goes, “with age comes wisdom”, becomes a reality. I have faced this with each decade of my training. I had a choice, to stop or adapt. When it came down to it, I always adapt. I simply don’t surrender.
I have found great lessons in this challenge. These reflect both on the Dojang floor, home, work and relationships.
There are many people that have great challenges that are not martial artists that never had the “tools” we have.
But we choose to follow its path and infuse it into our being. The longer we follow the path the wiser we become hopefully.
Ego is the enemy. When we let go of that we gain humility and great wisdom, and a freedom. Adapting our techniques to meet our bodies needs we protect it from further harm and it helps us to increase our activity level and health.
The founder has talked about the primary objective of martisl arts thru the Ship Sam Seh: “increase life beyond its normal span”. But by doing nothing it lessons that span. Plus the enjoyment of what we have experienced in our journey is the real value! Friendships, experiences, goals obtained, fitness, travel and mental clarity.
These are the values that are seen because of our actions. They were grown from the inside through our dedication and determination. This also sends a message to those facing the same conflicts. We “teach” without teaching by our example.
We also learn to “work” smarter. Just as with any art form its beauty is found in not the addition of things but rather finding its very center of expression. As we age we carry that wisdom to seek the core of the best physical, mental and spiritual attributes.
The founder shares insights into this:
"We should not adopt an arrogant attitude.
Just as the grains bow their heads as they ripen, we should adopt a humble attitude as we mature".
"While practicing all aspects of the training, your skills will progress considerably, and naturally you will discover your own special skills according to your own unique physical abilities".
Chang Shi Ja
In the words of the Disney character Rafiki (one of my favorites):
“You can't change the past, but you can learn from it, and change your future”. Our past was surrounded by challenges of physical and mental. We can’t change them just learn from them.
If you cut to its center, even physical things were conquered, by a combination of mental and physical approaches. They came from within and grew to the outside.
For instructors , Dans and Ko Dan Ja we have an obligation to set the example of this exact process to Junior members that will eventually come to this point. Just as parents try to guide their children based on their life’s experience, we as martial artist must be aware and listen to the guidance of our seniors that came before us. They faced the same “enemy”, age. It’s natural in the evolution of human beings we all face it, we can’t avoid it, we can only adapt to it, for the best possible outcome for ourselves. This is where true discipline lives.
The Kwan Jang Nim just shared some insights into this topic in the 18th volume of the Moo Yie Shi Bo (newsletter).
“Knowledge through experience and repetition leads to understanding, understanding, which is accompanied with experience leads to wisdom”
Kwan Jang Nim
So simply said, with deep and lasting impact, if we let go of our ego and listen, absorb and accept we grow.
“Beginners are guided by oral teaching. Gradually one applies himself more and more. Skill will take care of itself. What is the main principle of the martial arts? The mind is the primary actor and the body the second one. What is the purpose and philosophy behind the martial arts? Rejuvenation and prolonging of life beyond the normal span. So an eternal spring.”
“Every word of this song has enormous value and importance. Failing to follow this song attentively, you will sigh away your time.
(Song of the Sip Sam Seh)
Key words:,”So an eternal spring”. This is where we stand. We just have drink from it.