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Friday, July 13, 2007

Further thoughts about Yahara and mastery from a non-master

Okay, I could not help but continue my thoughts about mastery from yesterday.

If Yahara Sensei, Thich Nhat Hanh, Dalai Lama, etc. are able to make people feel a specific way in their presence, I could not help asking myself “how could I use this?”

Well, the answer seems pretty clear. For many years, we have taught students kicks, punches, grappling, throws,and wrist locks, etc. but in my opinion, this only creates a small change in student.

What makes a huge impact?

Maybe, it’s more about how we make students feel about their training – generating that emotion, that deeply spiritual connection. Now, that’s the rub. You know what I am talking about – it’s that Tom Peter’s “Pursuit of the Wow” feeling. We’ve all had teachers, coaches, mentors provide us with this feeling.

In the movie Freedom Writers based on a true story, Erin Gruwell (Talking about living heroes, add her to your list) was an English teacher who helped inner-city students – kids who were who had been ignored or written off by the education system - achieve their dream of going to college. How did she do it? Not by teaching them Basic English. No! She required the students to journal their experiences and used it to transform the way they felt about their education.

This all has me thinking that my teaching should focus more developing the way my students feel about their training. Remember, perception is reality. If you perceive a flood of positive emotions, that’s your reality.

The question is how do you craft this reality for someone else (your students, wife, family, friends)? Isn’t that what a master does? Their vision is so strong that they manifest a perceived reality in thers.
Think of Martin Luther King – he had a dream and saw equality for all men so strongly that others saw it too.

How can we manifest these realities in students?

Here’s my new blocks, kicks and punches.
Empathy. I will start really “see the feeling with my eyes, not my ears” as Stephen Covey said.
This one I am going to begin at home first.

Active listening. I will cultivate the habit to shut up and listen. Learn that I have two ears and one mouth and to use them in that proportion. I’ll ask more open ended questions to really get to know people around me.

Enthusiasm and passion. When a student is feeling down about their training, I want to be the one that picks them up and dust them off – rejuvenating their spirits for their training and art. Too forsake all negative thoughts and ideas in favor of manifesting good in every situation by asking the right questions.

Ask yourself. What feelings are you manifesting?

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate

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