#134 Don't Think, Feel
“Don’t think, FEEL.”
This line comes from a scene in Enter the Dragon where Bruce Lee is instructing a student. He tells the student to throw a kick, the student kicks, and Bruce says, “What was that? What is this an Exhibition? You need emotional content.”
The student kicks again and Bruce says, “I said emotional content not anger! Try again, but this time with me. Don’t think FEEL.”
When Bruce Lee says, “Don’t think,” he means, “Get out of your head.” When he says, “FEEL,” he means really feel into the situation and sense what is happening here. When you are kicking you are kicking a person who is present, you are not trying to perform the perfect kick. That is what Bruce was saying when instructing the student to, “Don’t think, FEEL.”
Often we are not fully present because we are instead trying to categorize, calculate, and think of the next five steps, or the situation is uncomfortable so we mentally checkout.
When you “Don’t think, FEEL,” you are turning your body into a sensing organism. What you are feeling in that moment becomes useful information about yourself. When you are not focused just on your emotions, but are sensing with your whole body, you are more open to the use of your intuition.
“Don’t think – FEEL. Feeling exists here and now when not interrupted and dissected by ideas and concepts. The moment we stop analyzing and let go, we can start really seeing, feeling – as one whole. There is no actor or the one being acted upon but the action itself. I stayed with my feeling then – and I felt it to the full without naming it that. At last, the I and the feeling merged to become one. The I no longer feels the self to be separated from the you, and the whole idea of taking advantage of getting something out of something becomes absurd. To me, I have no other self (not to mention thought) that the oneness of things of which I was aware at the moment.”
Bruce Lee is saying in this quote that if we feel what is happening in the now, and we do not over analyze it and we stay present, then we can truly feel the whole of the experience. Then, we feel the whole experience instead of segmenting the parts of the experience we want to analyze. If we can do this without judgment, then what we are feeling and experiencing becomes one thing. We are no longer separate from what is happening around us because we are fully present in the experience.
“Freedom requires great sensitivity.”
To actualize yourself, to truly know yourself, you have to feel yourself.
“It is futility the maintaining of a façade to act in one way on the surface when actually experiencing something quite different inside. Being one’s self leads to real relationships and acceptance of self leads to change.”
In our current culture, we often have an automated response when someone asks us how we are or how we are feeling. We will say that we are “fine,” “okay,” or “good”, even when we are not any of those things. We hide our true feelings behind a façade of niceties because it is easier. It is harder to fake it when we are asked if we are truly “fine,” and by diving deeper we can have a more meaningful exchange and conversation, which can be very nourishing.
“We do not analyze, we integrate.”
In order to integrate, we have to let in the information and experience. If we analyze, then we are keeping the experience at a distance. Thinking is linear and feeling is expansive.
A whole universe opens up when you feel into experiences. Feeling into something does not mean that you are hanging out in an exposed, vulnerable space, but instead it can help you decide how to navigate different situations.
Emotions are clues to things we need to examine more closely.
“To express oneself honestly, not lying to oneself, is very hard to do.”
Have a question you’d like answered with Bruce Lee’s Philosophy?
Or do you have a story you’d like to share with us about how Bruce Lee’s Philosophy has changed your life?
We would love to hear from you! Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support the Bruce Lee Podcast
Help support the Bruce Lee Podcast and check out our Podcast Bundle on the Bruce Lee Store! Any item is 15% off and if you buy the entire bundle it is 20% off. A portion of all proceeds go to support the Bruce Lee Foundation and the Podcast Bundle helps support the Bruce Lee Podcast!