"Don't think. FEEEEEEEEL! It's like a finger pointing away to the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of the heavenly glory!"
In this scene from Enter the Dragon, Bruce is teaching his student about the importance of staying fully present in the moment. If you just concentrate on the finger, you’ll miss the glorious experience of the moon.
We often take ourselves out of a moment we are experiencing for many reasons—to analyze it, to think about it, or document it. Even when we pause to take a picture of a beautiful sunset, we have to leave the moment of experiencing that sunset to take the picture. When we do this, we lose the feeling of the moment. “There’s too much tendency to look inward at one’s moods and to try and evaluate them, to stand on the outside and try to look inside is futile. It’s like turning on a light to look at darkness. Analyze it and it’s gone.”
“Feeling exists here and now when not interrupted and dissected by ideas or concepts. The moment we stop analyzing and let go we can start really seeing, feeling as one whole."
An important part of the lesson Bruce is giving in this scene is about the process of relating, being in relationship with the whole thing, not isolated.
“To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person, relationship is a process of self-revelation, relationship is the mirror in which you discover yourself. To be is to be related.”
“To live is a constant process of relating, so come out of that shell of isolation and conclusion, and relate directly to what is being said."
So many of us are hungering for a connection, even if we don’t know to articulate it. What’s driving a lot of the pain in the world is viewing people or the planet as separate from us or as the “other.”
“The primary reality is not what I think, but what I live.”
“I do not experience, I am experience, I am awareness.” Bruce Lee was living in the present moment all the time.
Take notice of when you pull away from an experience to analyze it or attempt to hold onto it. When you feel the connectedness or excitement of the moment, instead of pulling away just be with it. And compare this feeling to when you pull away and document or think about the moment. Another practice is to have a moment of silence when you feel that connected experience to stay in the moment.
(Awesome Asians and Hapas)
This week our #AAHA shout-out goes to Sammy Lee, the first Asian American man to win Olympic gold. He was also the first American man to win two consecutive golds in platform diving. Sammy Lee was named to US Olympic Hall of Fame in 1990. Not only was he a gold-winning Olympic diver, he was a physician and served in the US Army Medical Corps in South Korea and coached several Olympian divers. He learned to dive at a public pool in Pasadena, but was only allowed to go on Wednesdays which was “international day,” the only day Latinos, Asians, and African Americans were allowed to use the pool. Then the pool was drained and refilled with clean water. Even after becoming an Olympian, Lee continued to face discrimination, including being told he could not buy a house in a certain neighborhood. Sammy Lee Square is named after him in Koreatown, he has a spot on the Anaheim Walk of Stars, and an elementary school named after him. Sammy Lee recently passed away at 96 in Dec. 2016. Sammy Lee, we honor you and think you’re awesome!
This week our #BruceLeeMoment comes from Kristy, on the topic of Willpower:
"Hi ladies, Firstly, I want to say a huge thank you for the energy and love you put in to creating the Bruce Lee podcasts. I have never before been a big Bruce Lee fan, always knowing of his work in movies, but now having a huge passion for his writings and philosophies. I listen to each podcast, and always find something that resonates with me, keenly anticipating when the next one will be released.
I'm happy to share that the past year has been a year of transformation for me. I qualified as a Speech & Language Therapist in 2009, and following this progressed to become a specialist in children with cleft lip and palate. However, over time I realised that my burdens with depression and anxiety were not resolving and I began to consider that life could be different for me. So, I took myself off on a yoga teacher training course, in my effort to make some positive changes. Only having found yoga 3 months previously, something clearly connected with me at that time.
A year later, I had set up my own yoga business and was running weekly classes alongside my day job as an SLT. However, something wasn't quite right, and it seemed that old patterns of striving too hard were replaying out, just in a different capacity. I felt overwhelmed, and time away from my Husband bothered me a great deal, so I decided to finish teaching yoga and focus on my day job. Work was always a focus for me, but not realising that it in fact kept me distracted from being with myself, truly spending time with the thoughts in my mind. Essentially, I spent a period of time finding self love, something I was incredibly skilled at avoiding with negative self talk, beating myself up, or glancing the other way by filling up on things, academic achievements, or being of service to others, rather than myself.
Anyway, I recently listened to your podcast on willpower. Being keen to journal, I previously wrote down my bigger 'why' or purpose and steps to achieving what I most desired. However, I noticed, there it was again (slippery sucker) that striver giving me plans, actions, strategies to be better - to become perfect! So, instead after your podcast I decided to revisit my why, and come up with my own affirmations and anchors back to stillness when my mind becomes noisy, not to become perfect, but instead to simply acknowledge and celebrate who I am.
Thank you again, Kristy"