It's funny to think that before I started ILC I actually thought that my ego did not play much of a role in how I live my life. Only now, as I find myself changing each day and as I begin to become more aware of how I approach various situations in my life, do I really see just how much my ego has swayed many of the choices I've made in the past and even continue to make.
This mental and physical art really has forced me to come face to face with just how far I am willing to go in my journey to (hopefully someday) attain some sort of undifferentiated state. Honestly, I am still skeptical as to whether I will have the endurance and discipline to actually make it that far. I can say that this is the first time in my life that I have actually felt this dedicated to something. Sure, I've experienced passion for a variety of hobbies over the years, but the way I approach my I Liq Chuan practice is really on a whole different level that I still find myself trying to puzzle through. I cannot describe what keeps me coming to class; and I definitely cannot begin to explain why the "dumb-dumb" feeling hasn't scared me away. Our culture is one in which everything we do is measured by our success and failure, how good or bad we are at something...maybe I take solace in the fact that this is one of few places where those things don't matter. I find myself failing or feeling super "dumb-dumb" most of the time...however, "failure" and "dumb-dumb" don't really mean anything, do they? I can choose to place importance on them or I can choose to recognize that I feel this way and move on, keep training. There have been many moments in which I have thought that maybe I won't be able to stick with this because one day the dumb-dumb will just get to me. I'm still relatively new to the practice and more often than not I can recognize (sometimes way after the fact) myself feeding into the frustration of not being able to be as strong as I think I should be, not being able to "hang out" with what Kelley is feeding me, not being able to wrap my head around the mind-body disconnect that I've never really noticed until now, not being able to maintain the 13-points, etc. It takes a lot of will power to not let my ego take over and fall victim to just giving up.
There is not just one thing that keeps me coming back to class, that keeps me from quitting...I recognize that in the short amount of time that I have been doing this, I have changed immensely. I hear it from the people around me, but I don't know that I can clearly see it or fully understand what they see. The changes that I am aware of are how I approach difficult situations (whether it be with friends, family, work, school, etc), my emotional state overall, and a minute shift in my awareness of the world around me. In a short while, I really find that my sensitivity (emotional, mental, physical...) has sharpened. It may not be a huge shift, but I definitely notice something new about myself. Trying to balance this shift and liking it, while often disliking the dumb-dumb feeling I get from training, and also just not knowing how I feel about what we're training and learning is a funny mixture of emotions, especially since I'm trying to ditch (or maybe a better word is transcend?) the cycle of emotion that I attach to pretty much everything in my life.
What I'm beginning to really see more clearly is that there really is no room for duality in this life. We can't sit around categorizing things one way or another because life just doesn't fit into neat little boxes like that. And, if we force our lives to fit into these categories, we really do throw away a beautiful and ugly world of awareness.