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One swings. One observes.

One attacks. One dissolves.

One chases. One sits.

  • Who are you?
  • The boxer or the meditator?
  • Are you neither? Or are you both?

The boxer steps into the ring. He faces a clear opponent. He protects and attacks. He dodges and jabs. All his powers are focused on self-preservation. He fights to win.

The meditator sits on his cushion. He has no clear opponent. His thoughts come and go. He is open to all things. He meditates to diminish the suffering that comes from tanha, self-concern.

The skillful boxer is free of self-concern. Fearless, he fights adeptly. He takes blows and lands them. Getting hit energizes him. Beating his opponent is his only concern.

The skilled meditator feels the expansion of the cessation of suffering. He glows in the plain of emptiness. Thinking still comes and goes but little adheres to him. His mind is trained.

I’ve seen many unskilled versions of the boxer and the meditator in male clients over the last decade.

Sometimes it’s the loving meditator who fears going out into the ring. He struggles to advocate for himself at work or show up powerfully for his woman. He fears he might hurt someone along the way.

And then there’s the all too familiar hyper-aggressive boxer who sees every moment as a battle. He struggles to take off his gloves. They are on so tight that he can’t even hold his woman, no less caress her cheek.

Maybe you are neither man. Maybe you are both. How does each man come to be?

Both the unskilled fighter and meditator marinate in a story from their boyhood past that defines them long into their future.

A father who did not love sufficiently. A mother who terrorized. A teacher who castigated. Both men have yet to move to the next phase of their development.

So what’s a guy to do?

Meditate for clarity in the fight. Know what’s worth punching for and what must be let go. Enter the juice of wise battle and walk away from useless war. And at all times, stay in the ring – face your monkey mind, your untamed feelings, and inner demons.

With an adept approach, the balanced man brings a bigger game into the ring; in which he sees his own moves clearly; in which less effort is required beyond pure force; in which a punch in the face knocks him out or wakes him up.

Whether you’re down for the count or arms raised in victory, you always brings home a great teaching.

Do you punch? Or do you sit?

All that matters is that you step in. Step in. Keep stepping.

 

A version of this post was previously published on StuartMotola and is republished here with permission from author.

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The post Boxer or Meditator: Who Are You? appeared first on The Good Men Project.

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