Monkey View

Ninja Steals the PeachMonkey sees the peach and up the tree he goes. He doesn't think about climbing the tree, he thinks about the peach.

If he wants the peach badly enough, he may completely bypass the difficulty of climbing, but he may also miss the subtlety of the bark or the softness of the leaves. The peach may even be part of a trap set to capture him.

If you want to make a movement you are doing more difficult-- think about it. If you think too much about running while you are running, you are likely to trip over your own feet.

Many martial artists are motivated by fear or insecurity. Of course, if those were your only motivations, you wouldn't be human, you'd be a ghost. But it is worth thinking about. If you're training for self-defense, it is likely that you are afraid of being attacked. If you are training to look attractive to potencial mates, it is likely that you feel insecure about your current appearance.

The fruition, the peach if you will, of pursuing training motivated by fear, is of course, more fear. Likewise, the peach of training to look more attractive is more insecurity. Fear and insecurity have no end.

A lot of people train because they believe they are likely to be the victims of violence and it often turns out to be a self fulfilling prophecy.

Your view, your default understanding of why you practice, is more important than any other factor in martial arts or qigong type training. If your view is narrow, like that of the monkey going after the peach, you may indeed have very clear fruition. You may get what you want, provided what you want is not a fantasy. A very narrow focus is useful for bypassing obstacles and difficulties, but you will also bypass all the other potencial types of fruition. The narrowness of your view may turn out to be its own trap.

I suggest students practice with the widest most open ended view possible. The term view as a metaphor for motivation, understanding, orientation, and purpose is particularly brilliant because it parallels how the eyes should be used in training. Don't lock your eyes on a point, take the widest possible view.

If you practice with a broad view, you will love forms.  Set routines, or forms, are great because they teach you to forget.  When you practice a form over and over and over, it becomes automatic.  You can completely forget the movement, in fact you should. Once a form becomes automatic you can do all sorts of experiments.  You can make an infinite number of subtle or dramatic changes to the quality of the form.  You can also do an infinite number of experiments with your mind.