Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 06/04/2021

Train Like Your Life Depends on It

…because it does.

One of the things I appreciate most about training for the martial arts is the fact that it gives you endless opportunities to explore dukkha. While you think you’re simply learning how to deal with posting and exhaustion you realize, at some point, that these qualities of determination, energy, effort and sacrifice are needed to follow the path.

But, hasn’t this been said a hundred times before? Sure, and I’m certain I’ve been responsible for pairing this sentiment a dozen or so times myself. What is novel to my ears, however, is that all of these little battles we fight against our unwilling flesh, sinew and bone give us the opportunity to build up confidence in our ability to overcome adversity. This training can make the real task of defeating our kilesas and overcoming Mara seem more achievable.

So, as I push myself to log that extra mile despite a bruised rib and burning leg muscles, let me remember that my true enemies are infinitely more determined and clever.

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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.