Ways of the Warrior

“is a school, Dan. Life is the only real teacher. It offers many experiences, and if experience alone brought wisdom and fulfillment, then elderly people would all be happy, ”

“‘Like most people, you’ve been
taught to gather information from outside yourself; from books, magazines,
experts.” He stuck the gas nozzle into the tank. “Like this car, you open up and
let the facts pour in. Sometimes the information is premium and sometimes it’s
low octane. You buy your knowledge at the current market rates, much like you
buy gasoline.”

“You saw that man and woman resist what to them represented an abnormal
situation. Conditioned by their values and fears, they haven’t learned to cope
with spontaneity. I could have been the highlight of their day

“Not in the way you mean–certainly not to the same degree you’ve been
hypnotized by your own confused mental processes.”….”What I did Was
draw you into one of many parallel realities—for your amusement and

“If you don’t get
what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when
you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold onto it
forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change, free of
pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is a law, and no
amount of pretending will alter that reality.”

“That’s one cure, but it has undesirable side effects. The
brain can be a tool. It can recall phone numbers, solve math puzzles, or create
poetry. In this way, it works for the rest of the body, like a tractor. But when
you can’t stop thinking of that math problem or phone number, or when troubling
thoughts and memories arise without your intent, it’s not your brain working,
but your mind wandering. Then the mind controls you; then the tractor has run

You don’t have to do anything except to stop seeing the world from the
viewpoint of your own personal cravings. Loosen up! When you lose your mind,
you’ll come to your senses. Until then, however, I want you to continue to
observe, as much as possible, the debris of your mind.

“Your anger,” he continued, “is proof of your stubborn illusions.
Why defend a self you don’t even believe in? When are you going to grow up?”

“Dan, when you get on a wild horse that you believe is tame, what happens?”
“It throws you—or kicks your teeth in.
“Life has, in its own amusing way, kicked your teeth in many times.”

“Well, I guess you’re just going to have
to develop a very good sense of humor.”

When the mind resists life, thoughts arise. When something happens to conflict
with a belief, turmoil is set up. Thought is an unconscious reaction to life.”

I’d seen the futility of trying to live up to the conditioned
expectations of others or of my own mind. I would, like the warrior, choose
when, where, and how I would think and act. With that firm decision, I felt I
had begun to understand the life of a warrior.

I am defined by the
universe, not by this station.

Moderation? It’s
mediocrity, fear, and confusion in disguise. It’s the devil’s reasonable
deception. It’s the wobbling compromise that makes no one happy. Moderation is
for the bland, the apologetic, for the fence sitters of the world afraid to take
a stand. It’s for those afraid to laugh or cry, for those afraid to live or die.
Moderation, he took a deep breath, getting ready for his final condemnation it
is lukewarm tea, the devil’s own brew!”

The word disillusion
is literally a ‘freeing from illusion’. But you cling to your illusions.”

“Understanding is one dimensional. It is the comprehension of the intellect. It
leads to knowledge, which you have. Realization, on the other hand, is three
dimensional. It is the simultaneous comprehension of the ‘whole-body’—the
head, heart, and physical instincts. It comes only from clear experience.”

The world was people with minds, whirling faster than any wind, in search of
distraction and escape from the predicament of change, the dilemma of life and
death–seeking purpose, security, enjoyment; trying to make sense of the
mystery. Everyone everywhere lived a confused, bitter search. Reality never
matched their dreams; happiness was just around the comer–a corner they never
And the source of it all was the human mind.

“Your best is not good enough! The intensity of your
attention must burn. Aimlessly rolling around a gym mat doesn’t develop a
champion; sitting with your eyes closed and letting your attention roam doesn’t
train your awareness. The intensity of your practice brings proportionate

“There are two simultaneous processes: One is insight the willing of attention,
the channeling of awareness to focus precisely on what you want to see. The
other process is surrender letting go of all arising thoughts. That is real
meditation; that is how you cut free of the mind.”

Suddenly, a huge rock crashed into the water’s surface. Shock waves slapped me
backwards. My fins whipped the water again and I took off, seeking shelter. I
hid until everything quieted down again. As time passed, I became accustomed to
the little stones that sometimes fell into the water, making ripples. The large
plunks, however, still startled me.

…….And the practice of insight into the source of your own ripples is meditation.”

Then I knew that
awareness is how the human being experiences the light of consciousness.
I learned the meaning of attention

“My ignorance, Dan, is based on this understanding. Your understanding is based
on ignorance. I am a humorous fool; you are a serious jackass.”

“Socrates, you’ve told me to listen to my own body intuition and not depend upon what I read or what people tell me. Why, then,
should I sit quietly and listen to what you tell me?”

For the first time, I realized why I loved gymnastics so. It gave me a blessed
respite from my noisy mind. When I was swinging and somersaulting, nothing else
mattered. When my body was active, my mind rested in the moments of silence