The day began with meditation. Oddly enough, despite the academy being centred on physical training, accounting for around 7 hours of the day, much of Andrew’s thoughts seemed to circulate around other matters. Perhaps this was a consequence of him digesting the experience, with martial arts being an unknown entity to him.
The seasoned Shifu began to discuss the key points of meditation from correct posture to what you should and should not do during the practice. Some obscure principles were brought to the student’s attention, not being able to swallow for instance. This had Andrew thinking of the importance of understanding the ‘why’ behind anything.
With a concrete understanding of the rationale behind why you’re doing something, application becomes easy and fluid, Andrew ascertained. Without an appropriate explanation, however, the principles simply confuse and distract from the practice itself.
This is what Andrew found himself grappling with during meditation. Despite a student asking about the importance of keeping the tongue pressed to the roof of the mouth, the group was none the wiser regarding this nuance of meditation. Perhaps the ‘why’ was simply lost in translation? This would be the best-case scenario as a teacher should always know the ‘why’ of what they are teaching.
Whether training, nutrition or topics outside the realm of health, this concept has vast implications, Andrew thought. By establishing a ‘why’, adherence improves drastically, rather than relying on dogmatic reasoning.