|The Hidden Depths of Spiritual (Martial) Arts
6/4/2014 3:13:21 PM
By Hakim Abdul-Ali
Greetings to you on this extremely blessed occasion. I say that with the wisdom of knowing that if God Alone did allow you to wake up, you couldn’t possibly be able to read this column in the here and now. Peace be with you, and I’m feeling very spiritual now as I type this week’s article. For no other reason, that’s where my mind is at the present moment, and I hope that you’ll flow on with that groove as you read on.
I believe that if you do and can, you may be able to pick up some priceless insights about the spiritual inner workings of you and the nature of bringing serenity to your psyche. It’s not an exact science I know, but, hopefully, I’ll bring some clarity about some matters in the living process which cloud our thinking and living progressions from time-to time.
Please read carefully, knowing that today is a gargantuan experience for you to get closer to “The One” Who has allowed you to rise and shine and to be here functioning as you presently are, no matter where your head’s at or what you call yourself. Truly knowing and comprehending that is a good indication that the art of spirituality is within you, even to minute degree that it reaches some of your inactively perceptive mental, spiritual and physical senses.
I’m now thinking back to my old days of studying martial arts and how I as an angry young student in the game of life and I was brought “down” by learned master, sensei and teacher. My reason for being the way that I was is not important, because what needs to be said and known is that I didn’t possess the proper discipline to properly learn the real value and purpose of why one studies the martial arts.
Hidden behind the application of learning these principles and lifestyle is a must have respectful, perceptive of self-discipline that goes along with acquiring the spiritual wisdom of the martial arts. I, impolitely, didn’t get it then, even though I learned a lot about physical combat.
My sensei knew that I needed much more than physical training and mental toughness to be a “good” student of the arts. He knew that my spiritual understanding was lacking so he use to take me aside and tell me little Oriental jewels of mental and spiritual uplifts that would, optimistically, guide me along a more peaceful and tranquil path.
I am a Muslim of the orthodox leaning and my sensei was not. I never really quite figured out what name or religious identity he placed on his personal spiritual belief system(s), but I knew he had a spiritual link to “something” that made me think he believed in the Supreme Force Alone of creation.
As I learned a little about fighting, etc., from him, I, eventually, in time, I learned much more about the spiritual need to understand and apply those comprehensive teachings that shaped his life to my concept of everyday life itself. As best that I’m able to remember, I’ll share some of these charm meditations of spiritual insights with you, and I trust that spiritually you’ll be rewarded by learning and applying them to your life.
My sensei would say inspiring things in his Oriental accented voice and then leave you to think about them. That’s the way he taught me, so I’m going to do the same with you. Just read them if you will, then think about what they are telling you.
Here some of his meditations:
“Knowing others is wisdom.
Knowing the self is enlightenment.
He who overcomes others is strong.
He who overcomes himself is mighty.”
The sensei told me a story once and I hope I’m getting it right in telling you about it. He said, “If there is something you’ve studied, or, having studied it you are unable to do it, do not file it away; if there is a question that you have not asked or to which you have been unable to find the answer, do not consider the matter closed; if you have not thought of a problem, or, having thought of it, you have not resolved it, do not think the matter settled; if you have tried to make a distinction but have not made it clear, do not sink into contentment; if there is a principle which you have been unable to put into practice, do not let up. If one man gets there with one try, try (you) ten times. If another succeeds with a hundred tries, (you) make it a thousand.” My sensei then added, “When one of my student like you proceeds in this manner, even one who is a bit slow will find the light and even a weak man will find energy.”
“The greatest object of the superior soul is to preserve tranquility and peace.
This soul takes no pleasure in winning battles (of futilities), for if he did so, he would be finding gratification in the pain of others.
This soul believes that he who takes delight in the defeat of others does not follow the Way of inner peace and that which is not the Way of peace will not survive.”
“While some advance;
The rest retire.
While some inhale:
The rest respire.
While some are weak;
The rest are strong.
While some stand still;
The rest move on.”
My martial arts sensei would always challenge me to think about and before I did a thing. He taught me the reasons why I not need fight, unnecessarily, someone, mentally or physically, in order to successfully win a battle of any kind in life. THINK about that for a stone, cold moment in your daily trials and then describe the spiritual meanings behind what my sensei was teaching in ten volumes or less? Do you know what he taught and does it apply to you in any shape or form?While you’re deciphering the challenging wisdom behind my meditative requests of you, I’ll leave you for today with another meditation from my sensei and it goes something like this.
“The wise man seeks everything in himself; the ignorant man tries to get everything from somebody else.”
That was deep and I hope that you’ll pardon the offbeat slang, but that hits home. As you probably can tell, I’m still a student of my sensei’s teaching, and that’s why I say humbly that I’ll always be a student of the spiritual (martial) arts and that I’m a work in progress by God Alone’s permission. Life is what it is. Learn from it.
I owe much to the Most High Alone for so many things including learning about and comprehending “The Hidden Depths of the Spiritual (Martial) Arts.” Respectfully, I hope that you will, have and do also. For today, and always, that’s, “As I See It.”