WORLD CENTRIC LEADER/WARRIOR
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” – Eckhart Tolle
All of this inner work to develop personal Kokoro is of no use if we can’t bring the skills to bear in a positive manner when we face extreme challenges and also in our daily lives. Though we want to know that we can thrive in the most extreme and challenging circumstances, those events are rare. How can we find victory here and now in our daily lives?
This is of key importance to us in Unbeatable Mind. I want us to be raging bulls when confronted with hardship, challenge or a confrontation. Kokoro is our wellspring of personal power for these moments. The strategies discussed in this lesson, when practiced over time, will ensure that we can summon this extraordinary power in times of need, bringing explosive decisiveness to any moment. Let’s look first at the application of Kokoro in extreme circumstances, and then come back to the more mundane issue of finding Kokoro in daily life.
BINARY SWITCH – EXPLOSIVE DECISIVENESS
As a warrior we need to develop what I call the ‘binary switch.” This is the switch that turns on your explosive power, and then turns it off just as abruptly. In our offensive mind training during SEALFIT Academy we actively seek to build this muscle of turning the binary switch on and off at will. It takes extraordinary mental and physical control. In a confrontation, you will want to remain calm and in control until the point of decision.
If we are confronted with a situation that may require a physical response, however rare this may be, we must remain calm and in control. We must decide the outcome in our mind (first premise) and whether, how and when to act. When that moment comes, we switch the binary switch and unleash our Kokoro spirit onto the unprepared offender. This violence of action can surprise even us. Recall the discussion about the Ninjutsu bamboo party in lesson 8. The violence of action, driven by Kokoro spirit and the survival instinct, is enough to topple 6 black belts who were hell bent on holding us to the earth. In fight training this violence is controlled, precise and devastating. When we have done enough to subdue the threat, then we turn the binary switch “off” and meter down the energy level. We must maintain control at all times. In order to use this tactic effectively we must be trained in the tactics that will be used when we are “switched on.” Lack of training and preparation for this moment will lead to a messy situation. However, if you lack the training, this principle will still work when confronting an attacker, It just won’t be pretty.
Most of us won’t face an actual attack in our lives. This same principle applies to any extreme challenge such as Kokoro Camp, or a survival situation. You must “switch on” at the right moments to thrive in these situations, then “switch off” when in a safe zone to conserve energy and re-group. I am reminded of the situation that Louis Zamperini faced when he was lost at sea for 60 days during WWII. If you have not read the book, Unbroken, I highly recommend it. Louis and his pal flagged down a passing airplane after surviving for close to 60 days drifting in the Pacific only to find a Japanese Zero strafing them. They jumped under their dingy, not surprised to find some hungry sharks waiting for them, smacking their teeth. They “switched on” and when the sharks approached to feast they were met with a punch to the nose. The men fought off the sharks while the Zero pilot finished expending his ammo. That is Kokoro spirit!
BE THE SUBJECT AND NOT THE OBJECT!
We may not be faced with sharks attacking us, but it is clear that Louis was not going to be the object of the shark’s meal. He was intent on remaining the subject of his own life! This is a key point about our psychological Kokoro. We MUST remain the subject of whatever story we are in, and NEVER allow ourselves to become the object of someone (or something) else’s story. In an altercation this means that we capture and control the mind of our opponent through:
- Unflappable confidence
- Mental Control
- Visualizing our moves before they happen (recall the movie Sherlock Holmes)
- Mind games – sounds, feints, disguises, faked injury
- Defending the area not attacked
- Unbalancing his “circle” – stealing his center
- Controlling his head
- Using your Spirit eyes and Spirit breath (kiai)
- Becoming bigger or smaller through manipulating your physical structure and energy projection
There are many lessons to be learned in this discussion that can be applied in a non-violent confrontation as well. Study them well!
SLOW IS SMOOTH, SMOOTH IS FAST
Developing mastery and Kokoro has an uncanny way of cultivating greater presence along with our broader perspective. Eckhart Tolle speaks eloquently about presence in his book, The Power of Now. Maintaining our attention on the present moment, we are in touch with an infinite source of energy and intelligence, just waiting for us to reach out and refill our cup. Notice when your mind is in the future or past. This is draining energy, obsessing about things that have yet to happen or that are distant to the moment. Being in the moment does not mean we are comatose or personality-less zombies. Quite the opposite – it means that the fullest color of our unique personalities can show themselves in full bloom, unspoiled by the mirror of the mind.
10,000 cuts with a single technique will allow us to perform that cut with an unconscious competence, and effortless perfection. This is, of course, the same as “flowing” or being “in the zone” when we perform. The mind is completely present because it is separated from the action. It does not have to think about the action. Our training acts as a constant polishing the mirror of the mind – similar to the “wax on, wax off” concept that Sensei Myagi presented to the Karate Kid. 10,000 cuts is another way of saying “wax on, wax off.” The process cultivates presence just as surely as sitting in meditation for 10,000 hours.
When we perform an action for training, our “one cut,” we must not rush it. We perform it “slow is smooth, smooth is fast.” This term came from firearms training in the SEALs. We make the movements slow and deliberate until they are perfected. We visualize them this way, and actually move in a slow deliberate manner. If we try to move too fast before we have mastered a technique, we will fail. The irony is that when we train this way, the technique will look blindingly fast to a casual observer. Remember to move slow and smooth in everything we do in life, and seek effortless perfection, sacred silence, and the merging of our head and hearts in our actions.