"Before I had studied Zen, I saw mountains as mountains, and waters as waters. When I arrived at a more intimate Knowledge, I came to the point where i saw that mountains are not mountains, and waters are not waters. But now that I have got it's very substance I am at rest. For it's just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and waters once again as waters".
“The deeper goes the roots into the earth, the higher the branches grow towards the heavens”
For the martial artist, foundation is the root of everything. Like a tree’s trunk, the foundation must not be shallow but solid and rooted into the depth of the earth.
Commitment is the first step for the student after he decides to take the life’s call and find a school or a teacher. It’s the student and only him who can take this important step as it will be the invisible thread linking the whole structure together.
To achieve this phase the student will need to find Courage to follow his guts and face the multiple obstacles and challenges he will find on his path when facing himself physically and mentally. Also to channel his energy in the right direction he will need 2 major qualities, the first one is Focus, allowing him to be precise, and not waste his effort and energy turning around his goals or missing the targets.
The second one is Intention which makes the student reach his goal in his mind before taking any action, this will allow him to go deep into every step leading him to have a better understanding and feeling during practice.
Intention is also the major step to Self recognition where the student accepts who he is ,and make the first connection to his true identity, beyond any false masks.
This whole first step guides the student from the first “external” commitment (to the teacher, or school) to what we will call “internal” commitment (himself) he doesn’t need someone to push him anymore, he knows why he is in this Martial arts school, and is ready to put the time and effort to start his journey without doubt or hesitation.
Transformation / Transmutation :
Having this glance to his true identity, the student takes it to the next level, where his “internal” commitment will manifest into Discipline. He recognized this special part of his true self, and is now intensifying the connection with it. Practically, it is shown through regularity of training in school, and in his daily life.
The internal journey starts, and the transformation process has began in the world of the “unseen” (internally).
While diving in the depth of self transmutation the student will need on one hand Endurance to keep him going on his Gongfu practice journey and on the other hand Perseverance to reach the desired destination. It will take several arrows before reaching the centre of the target: Drawing the bow with enough strength, focusing on the target, unleashing the intention to the centre of the target then releasing… Again…
After a while the training gets trapped into a “routine”, the martial artist has already noticed many changes and experimented some of them but now the results are almost invisible. It’s an other empty door for fears, doubts, and confusion. The arrow is released, but the targets are multiple.
He might think he is alone, but his partners are around him to support him, it is beyond friendship: “Gong fu brothers and sisters” we say in the martial arts society, they have a sense of deep Respect, Humility and Loyalty to each other, to the teacher, and to their school.
At this stage the student is ready to apply everything above without eagerness for results in each step, he is Patient which allows him to stay calm and present during the training.
Step by step the targets combines into one big target, the student's awareness is rising and he is comfortable enough to close his eyes and let go. His sensitivity is much higher and is connected to nature, he can see the bigger picture but this time with his heart. He is closer to unity …
Till now, the student was in the “doing” and is shifting his training to the “Being” He’s consciousness is filling his body from head to toes, he feels the Intention flowing section by section. He can decide to stop nourishing any “mental knots” and cut off destructive thoughts. He is about to awaken and let Nature flow through him. There is no more right place, or right time, he freed himself from the influence of his conscious mind. The target is disappearing, it was just an illusion… there is only Being and “acting of no acting”/”doing without doing”.
From "The Book of Meshkah"