Through the Center…

Most everyone who practices a traditional Asian martial art remembers learning his or her first form, Basic Form 1.  It usually has some variations between styles, but typically created a basic “I” pattern.  As simple as it may seem from afar, the transitional motions, combined with the stances, steps, and technique can be quite difficult to learn at first.  The coordination required for the simplest movements is often much more than one might initially think. 

While working with a new white belt this evening, I discovered a new way to better explain how to remember which way to pivot for the turns.  Before, we might say “left hand do this” or “right hand do this”, “look left” or “back hand do that”.  I found that having the student remember to focus on the area as a whole and go through the center, it became much more natural to remember in which direction the next turn would be. Being aware of the whole area while focusing on the center. 

This might be a good lesson for just about any other area of life, too.  Be aware of the whole and focus on going through the center. 

The first cut you learn in sword is the center cut.

The part of the road on which you need to focus to drive is the center.

In meditation and yoga, it’s always about finding your center.

In business, the peripheral activities are nice-to-haves, but you have to find the primary goal, manage the critical path, and go through the center. 

There are likely many other, even better, examples. What are some of yours? Especially in a world that moves so quickly and is full of distractions and zig-zags, do we make it a point to focus on the center of our wide circle? 

How are you mindful of the whole and make it through to your center?

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