A lot of hobbies are just mental
and you have to get exercise by some other means. But if you study a martial
art, not only is it mental, it's physical as well, which keeps it interesting.
People also like the whole idea that it was invented by ancient civilisations,
that there's a history to it, and there's a whole culture involved. The idea
that some old Chinese guy up in the mountains made something up, or used this on
a battlefield in ancient China, is appealing.
People do it even if they don't really care whether they ever get good at
it, or if they are ever going to be able to fight. A lot of people just enjoy
the art of it. The Chinese martial arts have a lot of nice forms, they are good
exercise, and they're more interesting than calisthenics. You could just do
jumping jacks and toe touches, but there's a whole artistry to the form, like a
dance. So, there's a lot of different reasons why people practice.
Rather than train for a lengthy period of time, aim to practice little & often. 20-30 minute increments, with rest breaks in-between is ideal.Instead of pushing your body hard and putting it under duress, just do a little exercise.Resting will keep your concentration sharp and offset fatigue.
If you are not, why let marketing and commerce bully you into feeling guilty for not buying presents? People are just trying to make money out of you. They want you in debt. They want you spending more than you can afford. Your greed finances their greed.
If you recall the Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol you may remember that celebrating Christmas traditionally entailed giving gifts to the poor. This is seldom the case these days...
There is nothing miserly about rejecting consumerism.
One day Banzan was walking through a market. He overheard a customer say to the butcher, "Give me the best piece of meat you have." "Everything in my shop is the best," replied the butcher. "You can not find any piece of meat that is not the best." At these words, Banzan was enlightened.
What does this mean? Sifu Waller will help you here. The butcher maintains that all the meat he sells is his best. This cannot be true because by definition, best requires worst as contrast; a duality. One defines the other.
It is akin to having 'priorities'. You cannot have multiple priorities since the word priority literally means that which comes first. Everything that comes next is therefore of secondary concern?
Similarly, the phrase 'multitasking' is an IT term adopted by mainstream companies to suggest that a person juggle several priorities simultaneously. As the koan indicates, this is impossible.
In IT, multitasking is the illusion of simultaneity, not the practice of it. Now, that is ZEN.
Physical Education at school should
actually educate people on physical matters:
How to use your body in a healthy manner • Sport is relegated to an after school club for those who are 'sporty' •
Kids who have postural/gait/movement issues should be given
specialist rehabilitation in order to restore healthy body use •
Personal hygiene and cleanliness should be taught •
Ergonomics - sitting, lifting, good usage •
Anatomical knowledge; leverage, balance, strength, stance,
poise etc •
How to avoid strain, discomfort, injury •
Everyday body use
If you are not a Christian, what exactly are you celebrating over Christmas? Why are you wrapping up all those presents, sitting through family meals and over-indulging? For what? In aid of what? Tradition? For the sake of it? Why? It is far less expensive not to bother.
If you are having Christmas in order to over-eat, get drunk and indulge yourself, what does that say about your character?
Margot & I decided no presents for each other this year. Well that is not strictly correct. I give Margot $210, she gives me $210. We then pool the $420 & send it to India where a Tibetan Buddhist Monk's father will have an operation and regain his sight.
I think I am starting to get that Christmas feeling again. (Ron)