Too often I fall into the trap of living in the Past. Analyzing whether this or that choice or decision could have changed where I find myself today. When I open the memories and doorways to the past I run the risk of flooding myself with regret for what might-have-been. (Those saddest words of tongue or pen...)
When I spend my energy worrying about Tomorrow and regretful for Yesterday, I do nothing but destroy my Today.
Do not pursue the past.The illusion is that our Today – our Now – is a tiny hairline separating Yesterday from Tomorrow. The truth of the matter is that there is no future and there is no past but only an eternally endless Now.
Do not lose yourself in the future.
The past no longer is. The future
has not yet come. Looking deeply at life
as it is in the very here and now,
the practitioner dwells in
stability and freedom.
“Alan Watts likened the practice of living from our center to marital arts, where we are encouraged to “stay always in the center position, and stay always here”. He says, “If you expect something to come in a certain way, you position yourself to get ready for it. If it comes another way, by the time you reposition your energy, it is too late. So stay in the center, and you will be ready to move in any direction.” When living from your center, in the now, he adds, “you stand a much better chance of being able to deal with the unforeseen than if you keep worrying about it” Candance B. Pert, The Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine (New York: Touchstone, 1997), 27
I have found practicing the Tuls (patterns) in Taekwon-do extremely “centering” and nearly a form of Meditation. The concentration and focus clears the mind, forcing one to 'forget' everything but the Now, returning the balance.
I do not miss the point of every pattern (at least to my limited knowledge) begins in one position and returns to this same position. A centering. A balance point. A Zen of Now.
I can't help but wonder if General Choi (the founder of ITF) deliberately encouraged this “symbolism” of centering; reining in our runaway imaginations – not dwelling on the past and not worrying about the future, but always returning to this state of centeredness.
I believe the trick is to borrow this learned wisdom as we practice it in our patterns and apply it to our lives on a daily, on an hourly level. It can only make us better and stronger.