One of the best things we can do is start to recognize that everything human is natural
By James Eke
From Warrior’s Way Podcast episode #123
You might think you train for a whole lot of reasons.
Maybe you think you want to get into shape.
Maybe you think you want to learn to defend yourself.
Maybe you want to find an outlet from the stress of daily life.
Maybe you want something more.
But maybe you have a feeling that something is missing. Missing from your life and missing from all of our lives.
Here is the thing, there is something missing and it is long overdue that we as a society start to recognize that it is missing.
Whatever it is that drew you to training – and likely to this podcast for that matter – is the simple fact that you feel that loss that lingers on the fringe of your awareness. That missing thing.
Some people choose to look the other way when it comes to this feeling. Some people fill their life with the need to entertain themselves so that they won’t have to think about any of it – and likely none of the things that we talk about here.
That’s ok. Just like your dog doesn’t care about the bills being paid, there are some people who don’t quite see what the priorities are, or should be, in living a life.
Most people never quite grasp even the smallest glimpse of what their lives really are, what truly it is all about or what they can do to actually see their lives for the first time. They think they are normal. That life is mundane. They don’t stop to think about the simple fact that they shouldn’t even exist and that by existing they have tremendous potential to change, well, everything – and already do so in their own blind following the blind way, changing everything without any concept of what they are doing or if it was for good or not.
Humans have been on a trajectory away from their true nature for a while now.
There is a disconnect between who we are and what we are as human beings.
This disconnect separates us from our potential. It separates us from our nature. It separates us from our past and all the things that our ancestors – who were all very smart and capable – knew to be true. The stories they told, the beliefs they had, they all told of something more.
This more is a vast ocean. Most of us at best conceive of a bucket or two of water, some lucky ones who do the work, maybe a few more. But what is there waiting is much more expansive, its depths and the realizations to be drawn from them far beyond the understanding of most.
It isn’t that people don’t want to see what is actually there. It is more like they have been living life believing they are using their eyes but only one day realize they have never opened them and even then can only see a small portion of what is around them.
You can only blame society, cultural concepts, technology or the rise of social media so much. When it comes down to it, most people are content with the life they believe themselves to be living. Content to just stumble around. Content to not see. Content to not understand. Content to live in the dark.
This path isn’t for everyone. It is hard to come to terms with seeing how much delusion and illusion we both live in and create.
It is equally difficult for people to see how much potential they have to be the animal, the demon, the thief, the murderer – just as it is their potential to be far more and far greater than any of that.
Most of the time we aren’t even aware of what our place is in this world. We aren’t aware of who we are. We aren’t aware of why we do what we do. We aren’t even aware of what we are actually aware of and what we have completely lost touch with.
There are moments though. Maybe you are outside on a summer’s night and look up and realize that you haven’t ever seen a sunset as beautiful as what is above you and you feel something inside of you like a whisper. Or maybe you watch a hummingbird hovering in front of you and can’t believe how you have never noticed the beauty that is all around you all the time.
When we are training properly, when we actually learn how to meditate and find stillness, when we are able to turn off the chattering monkey that holds sway between our ears and causes us to be impulsive, to lash out, to be reactive and judgemental – in those moments we find a feeling of unity, calm and interconnection.
This interconnection is actually what training should be all about. A lack of training is chaos and disharmony. Train in whatever you want; be it meditation or jiu-jitsu or anything else physical or metaphysical and your prime focus needs to be in seeking union, harmony, instead of isolation.
We’ve all been there feeling alone. Feeling isolated. This actually has its basis in our deluded view of our lives. The reality of our lives is the opposite.
So how do we start to see this connection or better yet, truly understand it and make it integral to your life and your training?
Stillness. That simple.
Now stillness – and I mean true cultivation and acceptance of actual stillness without any judgement, interior monologue, fantasy or monkey mind swaying from the trees of the mind is a tough thing to do. You’ll think you have it, you will be sure of it, only months or years later will look back from more time practicing and realize that you didn’t have it at all.
Stillness means starting to see the perceptions as perceptions, not necessarily what is there. It means opening yourself up to sensory input in a non-judgemental and non-thinking standpoint.
It means simply being there. In the moment. Feeling it fully. No critical thought, no judgemental thought, no grasping. Just stillness.
When we begin to touch this place we find there is no room for judgement, no room for living in the past, no room for dreaming of the future, no home for an inflated self-image.
There have been times in my life where I thought it would be easier to train and live in the woods or in some remote place where life was somehow easier and more natural. Of course you could do this, lots of people now and in history have retreated from society but it is unnecessary when you start to train yourself to tap into the fact that everything human is natural. What we need to learn to do is to figure out how to live in this world in a more sane way. Our training needs to be about living in this universe but through the filter of what is real, not bound to all the fake and false views; being part of society but not necessarily buying into the aspects that would take your true humanity from you.
Each of us already has everything we need, we just have to find it.
When we start to do that we realize that the training is in everything we do. It is not just done on the mats or on a zafu. It is in how we brush our teeth, walk down the street, water the garden, feed the chickens, file that report or help a customer. The training is the way and the way is the training – it is our lives.
It is an ongoing process. One that will show you just how perfectly imperfect we all are and why our core of training needs to be in cultivation of compassion for ourselves and for all things which in the end are all part of us as well.
So right now, slow down, breathe, feel the energy within you and around you. Start to see what is there. Start to actually see who and what you are.
Listen to the full podcast episode at Warrior’s Way Podcast
In this podcast episode we talk about Alan Watts’ book The Meaning Of Happiness: The Quest For Freedom Of Spirit In Modern Psychology And The Wisdom Of The East. Get a copy here