February 11th, 2009
Just received the following reply to my email about Life is Like a Rasslin’ Match:
I’ve been engoying your emails for a while now and they have been inspiritional as well as comforting at times, that I’m not alone in how I’m feeling and how I feel about the world.
The reason I’m emailing is just maybe to add to your current thread about breathing and life being like Martial Arts. While I’m not a martial artist, I am a choir member, of two choirs in fact because of the benefits of singing.
Like martial arts, singing is also about breathing and controlled breathing, and also very good for grounding as you need to have a solid or firm stance to support the body as some of the peices can be quite vigorous. And again like martial arts, singing is a very physical activity depending (obviously) on the effort one wishes to put into it. It can also be very emotional, again, depending on what you’re singing, and then there’s the tea-break, which provides a vital social connection need.
So I guess what I’m trying to get at here is that anyone who “can’t see” the connection with martial arts and life, should, if they open themselves to their own activities, be able to equate your lessons and words into their own experiences. One’s quality of Life is equal to the emotion and effort one is will to put into it. No more and no less.
Keep up the great work. Many thanks
MJF: Thank YOU, Elaine. And to add to what you wrote, let me agree further by saying the words “kung fu” – which are “gong fu” in China – don’t mean fighting. They mean “discipline of” or “practice of” something. So if you sing very well, people might say that you have very good singing gong fu. Same goes for writing, speaking, cooking, even making love.
So once again, it boils down to practice, practice, practice. But not does ‘going through the motions’ practice. No. It means practice with awareness, with consciousness, with intent – and YES, with your breath.
Are you even aware of your breathing right now? Or did you need a reminder?
Is your breathing deep and full? Are you sitting up straight or slouched? Are your shoulders hunched or relaxed?
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