Sacrifice, Physical Training, and Forging The Alchemical Body

Amazing thoughts on training. I’ve always seen the body as an expression of the sacred — or the object of discipline — to be known/understood and treated compassionately as part of the natural world. I experience my body’s strength, grace, or flexibility the same way I experience a sunset or the shade of a tree.

The mind is the thing that needs to be forged so it can make the most of these experiences, embodied or otherwise.

As far as the article, here’s a snippet:
I look back on all the years of physical training — some within martial arts lineages, some alone on a mountain trail — and realized that my self-expression was incubated in the heat of the physical pursuit. A sword is formed by heat and adversity not comfort and safety; and my lifetime of physical pursuits became the crucible of my constant and never ending maturation. How could I NOT make time for this?

The more we dedicate to anything with focus and commitment, the more “secrets” are revealed; the silent voice of the respective pursuit starts to speak if we listen with the heat of our praxis. For many, the heat incubated within the pursuit of physical activity can be channeled into life at large, allowing one to hear inspiration calling within all activities mundane or “magical.”

Phalanx

martial-arts-alchemical-bodyI have always cherished and savored the endless hours of physical training in martial arts and long distance running. In many ways I view this time as alchemical in nature: heat, pain, sweat, blood, tears, joy and sadness all coalescing into physical expression. 

Ayurveda and Yoga refer to this as the transformative fire of tapas, a type of alchemical expression of heat manifested and stoked by the dedication and passionate commitment of our pursuits; a type of creative incubation that allows the individual to transform and manifest new expressions of the soul.  

This is how I view the pursuit of physical training: an incendiary pathway to personal growth and self-expression. 

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