Continuing Exploration


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One of the most difficult things in training is to follow instructions. Often we think we know things we don’t. We may have a cognitive understanding, or a rough idea. But this is a different type of information. It is not experience, skill or physical comprehension. Or we may have learned something “just like” what we are learning now, or have seen something like it before. But this is not experience. Nor is it skill. These things are all obstacles to learning. The root of the trouble is always the ego. We want to be good, to understand, to impress our teacher and the other students. These things are natural. But keep in mind that earthquakes, mudslides and plagues of insects are also natural. Natural things just happen. And often they are inconvenient, unwanted and destructive. They are not the naturalness we aspire to, nor should we. We need to follow the instructions we are given. And to do that we need to develop the skill of following instructions. We need to do what we are told to do not what we think we should do, or what we think we see. The quicker we can begin to do as we are told the easier it is to find the information. When we follow the instruction, we embody the information our teacher has given us to find the Kung Fu. Too often students respond to instruction with “yeah”, “I thought I was” or “I know”. The only response should be to incorporate the new information into the exercise. Anything else is only an obstacle; some resistance generated by the ego to reinforce the false belief that we already know, or weren’t wrong in the first place. The sooner we can rid ourselves of this reaction, the more success we will have in our training.