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Below are the 3 most recent journal entries recorded in Together on The Road Less Traveled's LiveJournal:

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007
11:20 pm
TRLT and martial arts
Hi all, I'd gotten a chance to sit down today and read a few dozen pages further, and wanted to share a thought or two. One of the goals I'd written before reading was that I wanted to explore the relationship to the ideas espoused in this book with what I understand in my practice of the martial arts. I've been taking classes in kung fu for several years now, and for the last 3 years martial arts have been taking root in my heart.

Love through Practice

Many of the things that Dr. Peck discusses have direct links to my practice. One translation of the Chinese phrase "kung fu" is skill through effort. This is precisely Dr. Peck's point when discussing love, especially the discipline of love. Martial arts is not an inborn talent, and neither (it seems) is love. In kung fu, we learn our practice through a skilled teacher, but the student must diligently study. Similarly, the burden is on us to practice love and compassion while taking advantage of good teachers that we have available to us.

I can certainly say that there have been plenty of times I didn't want to practice. There's been times i've been too tired, too busy, too distracted, too anything to go to class. In class I've had to face frustration, exhaustion and fear, along with a lot of laziness. As a result, I've had to face those same problems at work and in my relationships. By practicing, I've learned to find the energy to respond well to the changes in my daily life, including being friendly, helpful, and loving despite negative situations and people.

Loving Practice

Another section I read today also provided me insight into my practice. In section two (Love), the chapter "More About Ego Boundaries" discusses the process of cathexis. In becoming attracted to something, invest our energies in it, and come to love it, we are also bringing parts of that thing into ourselves. In the case of loving a person we learn their histories, their likes and dislikes, their hopes and dreams, etc.

One of the tenets of my school is that to truly practice martial arts, you must love it. While I had a basic understanding of this principle, I think this section of TRLT has helped me grasp it more fully. The more I learn about kung fu, meditation, and internal work, the more I bring my practice into myself. I can certainly say that by studying martial arts I have bolstered my sense of self and have become a better person as a result. Dr. Peck certainly feels this applies to other pursuits, such as his example of gardening.

I will continue taking notes, but I wanted to share that briefly with y'all.
Friday, November 2nd, 2007
7:18 am
Thoughts:  should we indicate what we're reflecting on in our subject?  And should we have guidelines/ground rules for posting?  (Like, no advice unless asked for, etc?)

Current Mood: waking up
Thursday, November 1st, 2007
10:33 pm
Hello, friends!  I hope we can all find a place here to post our thoughts and reflections.  I'm new at this whole online community management thing, so any and all help is appreciated (threads? what?).  If I louse things up, please let me know. :) 

This is for you, so use it!

UPDATE:  there's a general goal to read through page 46 by Tuesday, November 13th.  Let's talk about whether that's too fast, too slow...

I think we should just write as we see fit, reflecting along the way to our page goals (which you can use or ignore).  So you don't need to wait until you've read everything to write.  Just write about anything you think is important to you or important to share.

Yay!  Keep me updated as to how this is working for you.

Mary (sparkle_muse)

Current Mood: hopeful
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