I’m sitting on my couch, looking at the misty rain settling on the trees outside. My quiet alone time is always full of reflection and questions. I’m plodding through this book “Silence” by Robert Sardello. Plodding partially because I don’t get a ton of time to sit and read…..and because their is so much information in each sentence I want to devour each word with precision and understanding.
There’s this line in the book that won’t go away….it keeps popping up in my thoughts…….
The deeper we enter into Silence the more we become aware that this living presence is primary, and the contents of our perceiving are the secondary bursting forth of this original presence.
Our perception rules are actions and our perceptions are often very faulty yet we are completely married to them. We will go to our death defending them. Our perception overrides our living in the primary presence.
How do we get to living in our primary presence? In sports I think this place is called The Zone. But we act as if this Zone is outside of us to be grabbed and pulled into experience.
It’s actually inside of us, this Zone, this Silence, and our perceptions put up road blocks keeping us from this experience.
I stare through my window not registering that it is between me and the trees and look into the space in and around the trees. This soft focus, this seeing of space quiets all perception and I feel calm from the inside out. I feel quiet, almost becoming the shift of the clouds surrounding the trees. I am the space in the trees for a minute before perception kicks in again interrupting my moment.
This silent, spacious place is where I want my fighters to live…..for if they do, they will be like the wind. They will flow in and around their opponent knowing when to repel, and when to yield. Their perceptions will not interrupt reaction time if they live in this silence for they will sense the punch coming and move to the place they need to take advantage of the incoming force.
But how do I train this?
Meditation might help calm the mind when we are still, but does it transfer over in times of duress? Breathing drills might help get a bit better at maximizing oxygen intake, but will these drills also transfer over during times of flight, fight and freeze threatening to take over? I’m not so sure.
So far the thing I am seeing having the biggest impact on calmness in the ring is bodily connection. As my boxer’s bodies are changing their dysfunctional movements and getting cleaner and more efficient movement, their minds are quieting down and their bodies are taking over. The feeling they have from the inside is a calm certitude, a knowing of their capabilities. As their joints move the way they were mechanically designed, their perceptions of pain and difficulty slide out of the way and turn into gliding footwork, smooth slips and more leveraged punches.
I’ve much to learn to get their bodies further into this zone, but I am gaining more and more tools, because in the end, this silent confidence from within will enable them to sit people down in the ring and it will enable them to walk through their life knowing exactly who they are.