At the Shaolin Temple of Zen, the Kung Fu and Qigong movements are designed to shift our mind as much as our body. Because it’s a Zen Temple, the focus is on just do it and not just think about it! But every now and again, it’s good to take a moment and think about what stories we unconsiously tell about ourselves everyday. Are those stories helping us or holding us back?
A student recently told me about Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer and Alia J. Crum. They told 44 hotel maids that what they did each day involved some serious exercise. When they came back to check up on them, they found that the women’s blood pressure was lower and they’d lost weight.
What they were doing wasn’t any different, it was just a switch in mind set.
Our spiritual ancestors knew about the power of the mind.
Those who lack belief will not in turn be believed is a famous ancient Taoist quote.
When the mind is free of doubt, whatever you wish can be achieved. is a quote from the eight century Buddhist master, Padmasambhava.
And this poem from an ancient Buddhist text is what I go back to when I’m having a bad day:
In those who lack faith
Nothing positive will grow
Just as from a burnt seed
No green shoot will ever sprout.
For the fighters amongst you! If we have no fear and attachment, a hundred thousand enemies will disappear before one's eyes, and a ten foot tiger will seem like a baby kitten.
So, take a moment to check in and see what stories your mind is telling you. And if they’re not aligned with where you’d like to be then see if you can change the story.
Often if we’re putting off doing something, it’s because we lack faith. Faith is a necessary ingredient in everything we do. Whether that’s in our family life, business, workout or meditation.
And remember, if you put a lot of effort into your Shaolin Martial Arts and don't become very skillful at it, you’ve still excelled yourself. Because whether you're good or bad at your training, the result is the same: it's one of the most positive things you can do for your mind and body.
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