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group study Martial Kick-Ass Wisdom: How to Apply Power and Intention Correctly

Group study openly invites people to exchange thoughts together based on premises that are always explicitly pointed out, however loose they might be, and when any fixed outcome isn't called for. It's good to keep mindful and respectful of both what is and what isn't relevant for discussion though.

Roots of Virtue

At Your Service
Staff member
We have this forum branch for discussing about timeless wisdom as you well know. Having the correct view about meditation and spontaneous presence is always pertinent, but many traditional pieces of advice often come with the emphasis on retreating and centering peacefully within, letting things be, and barely bringing up the upright roles of power and intention. It doesn't sound very energetic, now does it?

Here in this thread we reverse the situation and focus on wisdom from the perspective of disciplined power and intent. First, I will emphasize the fact that power is not to be identified with or sought directly because it only functions as the means to wisdom. As the thread title suggests, this is the proper place to gather sayings of universal wisdom from martial arts masters also.

The Buddhist community has known from the beginning how the Buddha taught about virya: The correct and persistent application of energy and effort is essential for yogis if they wish to extinguish the self-grasping that causes suffering. While calmness meditation or samatha can be used to generate internal energy, and this may not be an undisciplined affair by any means, the general view is that insight meditation or vipasyana doesn't generate much energy on its own and requires very skillful effort in order to produce good fruit. Furthermore, it's very important to understand all internally cultivated energy may become a burden and liability for the ego if there isn't right view and effort about how to spend it wisely and ethically.

Further resources to learn about virya and its perfection in Buddhism:

  • Equanimity

Roots of Virtue

At Your Service
Staff member

The Warrior’s Solution​

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Freedom is not a state; it is a process. It is something you are, not something you have. In freedom, there is a continual releasing of reactive material as it arises in each moment of experience.

The reactive process doesn’t stop by itself. As Gampopa wrote eight hundred years ago in The Jewel Ornament of Liberation: samsara is notorious for being without end. Hence Dr. King’s dictum: you have to demand freedom. It must be your intention.

What is The Warrior’s Solution? It’s a way to be — to be truly present in your daily life and not be run by the expectations of the world or the demands of reactive processes. It consists of a set of power-based methods for presence.

Presence, of course, is the aim of all spiritual practice. But two problems consistently show up:

  1. Passivity in developing the level of attention that makes insight, compassion, and intention possible.
  2. Passivity in cutting through internal and external patterns of conditioning as they arise, in daily life or in meditation.

Power hammers passivity. It has to. The effectiveness of a martial art depends on your ability to be present in intentional action. You can’t be passive when your life is on the line. In spiritual practice, your very being is on the line.

Buddhism has often drawn from this source. Arhat, for instance, is one of the earliest epithets for an awake person. Literally, it means “foe-destroyer,” one who has such a level of attention that reactions are released naturally, as soon as they arise. This is freedom.

Passivity, however, is insidious. It kills your mind (your attention, your intention, and your will) without you knowing it. Internal patterns of reaction (as well as families and institutions) use various mechanisms to keep you asleep. Here, for instance, are six:

  • Marginalization: the belief system makes ideas, perspectives, or insights that threaten it seem unimportant.
  • Framing: the belief system frames your thinking so that nothing that threatens the system can be thought.
  • Seduction: the belief system presents a picture of a world that seems to fulfill your dreams.
  • Alignment: the belief system tells you that, in order to exist, be happy, or have influence, you have to conform to the belief system.
  • Reduction: the belief system freezes you by reducing complex situations to a single emotionally charged issue.
  • Polarization: the belief system limits your ability to choose by presenting issues only in terms of right and wrong, this or that.

Freedom is being awake, and being awake means not being passive with the tendencies that kill attention, intention, or will. What you experience is your life. To be free, meet experience directly, know it completely, and act without hesitation.

Source: Ken McLeod on Unfettered Mind website

  • Loving-kindness