I used to do this thing in kung fu, inspired by various writings on Zen, Daoism and Confucianism in the martial arts.
It was a trick, or so I thought…
When sparring with an opponent, let go of any thoughts of winning or losing, any desire to beat them or fear of getting hit.
Be open, unperturbed like still water, and entirely present without motive or agenda.
Take your mind off any particular thing, be aware of your full surroundings, and see your body as just another object in physical space.
Then when your opponent moves you will know in full clarity and detail the angle and trajectory and strength of his attack, and without any reason thought or effort your body will move in perfect time and technique to neutralise the attack.
I worked on this trick for a while and explored its limits and conditions. The trick would fail if I tried too hard or if my mind got caught up in any particular thought.
I also noticed other people could have stronger intentions and expectations that sapped my confidence and made me lose this feeling of fine balance.
It’s not a trick
It’s finally dawned on me in my study and practice of the Abraham-Hicks material that this wasn’t a trick after all. Rather, it’s what they are referring to as alignment, freedom from resistance, and opening up to the broader perspective of my inner being.
I’d thought I was simply honing my reactions but it’s much more than that. Because my being in that state was also influencing the actions of my opponent.
I was, in Abe terms, attracting from them attacks that I could easily counter, attracting from the whole exchange a joyful feeling of being connected and balanced and aligned, best of all a feeling of relying on something within me that was more powerful than my conscious efforts.
The state of consciousness I put myself in is exactly what Abe advocates for everyday life. Learning to rely on the ease and power and leverage of my inner being, not just when I’m sparring with someone but for all kinds of interactions in all aspects of my experience.
There’s no context in which it is preferable to be tense and uptight and doing things the hard way. There’s no situation that benefits from being weighed down by thoughts of profit and loss.
Because in the context of a friendly fight I didn’t have to tell myself not to get hit. My desire to not be punched in the face was already firmly activated within me. Likewise I don’t have to keep telling myself not to cut myself while preparing food and not to burn the food when I cook it.
As Abe says, we’ve already launched enough desires to last us twenty lifetimes. We don’t need to keep reminding ourselves of the outcomes we desire.
Living in the flow
I’m so excited about this because I have such a strong and personal experience of success in finding alignment and trusting my inner being in the context of kung fu and now I’ve connected the dots between this personal touchstone and what Abe have been saying for years.
Everyday life can flow like that. Everyday life can be shaped by that unparalleled feeling of being switched on and allowing responses to come forth from within with precision and timing that just feel like perfection.
All it needs is for me to know that’s what I’m doing, and let go of the thoughts of winning and losing, the clinging to outcomes that throw me out of balance.