Monday, February 9, 2009

Be water my friend

Here is one of Bruce Lee's videos. This does not concern the martial arts legend kicking ass and taking names but reflecting on what should be the mentality of a martial artist (at least that's what it says in his book The Tao of Gung Fu).

Again we see the beauty of the frame of mind Bruce Lee had at that time. To be like water, water is the softest substance yet it can penetrate stone. Water is soft and gives but cannot be hurt. Being like water entails absolute freedom from attachment of the mind. As he discusses in his book, the mind should not be focused on any plan of attack, or on any limb, or point of the body. The mind should flow freely, like water. :) 

That's totally unrelated to the rest of this post just trying out my HTML editing skills.

Anyway, building on Bruce Lee's ideas of being like water (which I believe he took from another Chinese philosopher) and of not being focused, I think that we should at the very least attempt to center the mind and the spirit or person or chi or whatever you wish to call the essence of your existence. There is a marked difference between being focused and being centered. To focus is to divert one's attention to a certain point or activity, as Bruce Lee would have it it's like keeping the mind in just one limb trapping it there. Being centered is allowing the entirety of existence to move about you and still controlling it and (all at the same time) being calm. The eye of a storm is its center. When the eye passes over you the wind dies down etc etc. The center is still, while the surrounding activities wreak havoc all over. This I believe is another way of thinking about the example of water. I'll try to reflect on it (water and reflect haha) more in the coming days.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, my brother loves Bruce Lee so much! Now I'm beginning to understand why! He wasn't just a muscle-bound brute but a thinking muscle-bound brute! :) Great post!