Sound Mind and Body

He’s a self made man. Of course that doesn’t mean that he is the asexual offspring of himself. Nor does it mean that he owes no debts. Many people helped shape him. What it does mean is that in being shaped he learned not just how to be, but how to shape. He learned how to craft himself into what he wanted to be.

His desires are doubtless the result of the circumstances of his biology and his rearing; he can’t claim total responsibility for that. But it is his ability to choose which among them to realize that makes him self-made.

Perhaps counter intuitively, his ability to resist some desires in favor of others required accepting them all. Only by allowing himself to dispassionately experience a desire can he let it drift past without reaction. He learned to live in this gap between stimulus and response. The world flowed in and out of him and in the moment of recognition he built his bridge and found himself.

He honed this skill by practicing in the way of the hand and foot. He began as a child for fun but something more profound drew him further in. He had no idea that the physical practice would shape his mind as well. In the health of his body he found peace of mind. The practice gave him the tools to always make himself anew. It planted in him the seeds of meditative awareness necessary for self control. With a sound mind and body, he became himself.

This piece is dedicated to Master Wahlstrom. The man who taught me self-control. Kamsahamnida kwanjangnim.

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