A Samurai’s Mushin One-Hour Golf experiment : How I figured out to focus, relax and seize the momentPosted: August 5, 2012
Teresa Lisbon :
Golf, I don’t get it.
Patrick Jane :
Pointless , absurd, repetitive activity.
Very good for clearing the mind.
All these stalls here, mental washing machines.
Mentalist – Season 3 – Ep 17.
A great deal has been said and written about focus as a way to live a better and easier life.
Leo Babauta is a modern zen master and blogger who writes amazing posts around the idea of simplifying our lives through our ability to focus.
His blog, http://zenhabits.net is read by more than 200.000 fans and is definitely a must-read source for those who want to slow down, get rid of disruption and procrastination. Through this blog, you could learn to find The Way of the Peaceful Parent or grow to apply Three Little Habits to Find Focus or learn How to Go From Fear to Freedom, One Step at a Time.
Leo also wrote several inspirational books.
One of them, (Leo Babauta’s Focus manifesto) is one of his state of mind pillar and is dedicated to this simple action : focus.
A lot of tools and good thoughts that could help me to find a peaceful and relaxed mind.
So, as easily as it seems, why am i not able to make any of his advice any efficient at all ?
Probably because I’m a left-side brain freak and, although I learnt how to use my right-side brain and develop my understanding of intuition and emotions, I can’t help to let my mind process ideas whenever a single moment of emptyness pops into my cerebral organ.
As an entrepreneur and author, having a good brain is a gift.
As a simple human being, it can be a curse.
Sometimes, I’m exhausted just because I can’t stop my brain to go from an idea to a new concept.
More often it occurs like this :
- When I try to focus, I start a cerebral process.
- I think about how to focus
- As I fail, I try to find solutions to focus
- As a consequence, I don’t focus : I think.
All of this leads to more cerebral activity. Not to an empty mind.
In the samurai’s code of ethics, the ‘no mind’ state is called mushin.
This state, regarding to an action to take means that thinking about the action and doing it are nothing but the same thing.
For samurais, it used to mean that giving a blow whith their sword would come out naturally both at the same time from their body and their mind.
Mushin implies that there is no more “I think about cutting my opponents down – Now I actually cut them down”
It means : you do, you think and you are the action.
Montegenèvre is a small mountain town in the French Alps wherein you can ski in winter and practice many other sports (tennis, golf, mountain bike, rafting, hydro speed …) in any other season.
This year I subscribed to a golf introduction course as I wanted to know more about this acttivity.
As a consequence, this sport has been a great revelation as it lead me to reach a perfect mushin state of mind for one complete hour.
Friends of mine used to tell me that golf could instantly wash your brain from any thoughts you could have.
Even if you’re a beginner.
To be honnest, I didn’t believe them and I never wanted to because I had always been thinking that this sport was a snobbish one and that it was an alibi for wealthy people to brag about the kind of life they could afford to live.
I had nothing but contempt for this sport.
Truth is : I was completely wrong.
First of all, you don’t need have a lot of money to act like a jerk.
Moreover it only costs me 2 Euros to be allowed to hit a full bucket of balls during one hour.
So, past the wrong ideas I used to build up about this sport, I had an amazing experience.
Whitout being conscious of it, I deeply plunged into a full and relaxing mushin state of mind since I hit the first ball.
It was delightful as much as it was simple.
I just had to put the ball, hit the ball, watch the ball. Put the ball, hit the ball, watch the ball.
And so on and so forth for an hour.
I can’t even explain what happened. It just happened.
I didn’t have to think about focusing. I didn’t have to think about being cool and relaxed.
I just had to put the ball, hit the ball, watch the ball.
When I came back from this course, it seemed that all the tensions in my body had disappeared.
I was in a complete contemplation state : no thinking at all.
Just senses, well being feelings and strong emotions that where running all though my entire being.
A true, genuine and delighting mushin state of mind.
A few hours later it occurred to me that if we want to focus, we don’t have to think about it.
We just have to do things and let it happen.
“If you want to make your wishes come true, you have to take full responsabilty for everything that will happen to you”
As wise as it is, this self-improvement rule has been spreaded all over the world, through thousands of blogs, books and websites and seems a bit of tired and outdated.
However, it always remains deeply true.
But what if a friend of us gives us a good advice ?
“We can’t take responsability for something that would have been told and given to us for free.” may we think.
That’s deeply wrong.
When given a good advice, the only person we should be grateful with is ourself.
Just because we make the decision to accept the advice, we consciously decide to take the risk of a prospective failure.
That makes us responsible.
So, don’t have a wrong perception of yourself.
You’re a samurai facing your destiny and you owe nothing to good-advice-givers.
Don’t let anyone live on your own choices, even if this choices were to listen to them.
Good souls won’t never take any responsability for the choices you made.
Great life-parasite will always do.
So be proud of your choices.
Be grateful to yourself and say yourself a big ‘THANKS‘.
It’s a part of what will make your wishes come true.
If this advice seems good for you, it’s because of you.
Not because of me.
You owe me nothing.
You owe yourself everything.
THANK YOURSELF everytime you can.
And thank you for the time you spent with me reading this post.