Warrior’s Path facing Ginnungagap

We don’t want to underestimate the utility of establishing a bounded relationship with the warrior’s ethos; attempting to live with at least some nobility in relation to the virtues while aiming at the highest ideal.

There is nothing about it that is trivial or weak. It orients us towards some aim. It takes courage and discipline, which strengthens us and its exactly what we need when facing Ginnungagap: the chaos, darkness, uncertainty, frontier of the utangard in life.

It is this acceptance of facing the unknown and challenges -learning and thus bringing innangard (order) – that defines our warrior’s path.

What is the Warrior’s Path?

I’ve asked my self this question many times throughout my life. It’s quite complicated. I think first you have to divorce it from any specific manifestation. In animals the manifestation is in other animals of your species, not some abstraction. But it’s that ability to abstract it that separates us from the animals. It’s those abstraction which becomes principles or virtues.

Through out the centuries we have tried to abstract out the core of the guiding principles of any given path and put them into a pattern of being.

That’s ok because we are trying to figure out the essence of what it means to pull out those core principles of what the path means to be a functional being within that role.

But in order to figure it out we first need an embodiment that encompasses those ideas of what they mean that is separate from us. This is where the great hero’s of myth come from and it allows us to act out that embodiment.

Any philosophical or principle abstraction must first manifest itself as a concert pattern of behavior that is characteristic of a single individual. Then that becomes a set of individuals. It’s then it can be abstracted from the individual or individuals leaving us with the abstractions that becomes principles and/or virtues.

However never confuse the specific manifestation with the principles/virtues of the path. In this way we always remain subordinate to the path itself.

Life’s going to kill you

Sitting here thinking..

In Zen aspects of martial arts we learn life is suffering. Period. This is reality.

The question is what do you do about it?

Strive to overcome it in a way that benefits you and those around you.

Destiny is the discovery process in which we find out how well what we are doing overcomes that suffering.

But you have to commit to the journey. This requires faith. The faith that I can follow a path that leads to enlightenment, which means simply to reduce suffering.

There are reason, real reasons, to follow this path and reasons not to follow this path. But you can’t know the reasons, truly know, why to unless you do it.

It’s like marriage. If you get married but somewhere in your mind you think you might leave then you aren’t truly married. In marriage one of the rules is you don’t get to leave. Of course there are exceptions that comes up but that’s not the point. The point is there are some things you don’t get to do unless you are all in.

Which brings me to my next point. In life you are all in. Whatever you decide to do with your time, fact is life will kill you in the end.

So the question is what are you going to do with life? As the sand of your time runs out what do you want to do with it? Might as well spend each grain of sand on something worth wild. Why not go all in and reach your potential in something?

When you get married and have a child, for example, the meaning of life is revealed. It so obvious because it’s right in front of you. You can try and over analyze it. That’s your choice. But that’s putting the cart before the horse.

The simple answer is to live properly. If you had your crap together it would be better for you. But as a consequence it would also be better for your family. Then as the ripples expand it is better for your local community. And even further as the ripple crosses the pond it benefits humanity as a whole.

It’s your choice.

Doing Insight Based Work

There are three basic ways to perform insight based work.

  1. Inspired conversations with people a little further down the path then you.
  2. Mindfulness Meditations, observation without judgement
  3. Writing

I find those are the three ways to gain insight. But no matter which way you go you have to do the hard yards. You have to put the work in that ‘can’ eventually lead to insight. You can’t read and get it. You can’t hack it. There’s no follow these 7 steps. And it isn’t knowledge. In this instant gratification world we find ourselves in people are exposed to all sort of quick tricks or that one knowledge nugget. But the truth is there is no such thing. I’m more on par with anti-life hacking, otherwise we are butchering the fundamentals and the process.

The ways I’ve always done things

Thinking on the ways I’ve always done things. I notice when I slip from it things always go down hill. When it slips you have to fix the culture.

My philosophy:

“Be a magnet for responsible and disciplined people not a net for the undisciplined and uncommitted.”

It comes down to filtering people out. You have to make sure they are willing to put in the work and time.

Cut off times – give people ‘X’ amount of time to get it together or they should move on.

Homework assignments. This tells you who wants it and who doesn’t and who will go that extra mile. I’ve always found it interesting that the people who ‘won’t’ do homework assignments always ask for workout programs, nutrition programs etc.. aka they want others to put in work on their behalf but won’t put it in themselves.

My time is valuable to me, in fact it’s the most valuable thing I have.

This has nothing to do with whether someone is ‘bad’ or not just whether they are a fit for what we do or not, want to invest our time into or not, surround ourselves with or not.

There is only so much time to give.

The old cliche is true.

“You either find a way or find an excuse.”

Most will find or justify an excuse but at the end of the day they didn’t put the work in, they didn’t improve.

It’s really rather simple.

The Rare Gem

Many people come and go in martial arts. Some stick around yet never truly commit or they only half heartly put forth effort, while others move on. The reasons are many – ego, to many things going on in life, to many side interest.


Occasionally you find that rare gem. The student that quietly shows up and focuses for hours to master that one technique, that one skill.  They listen intently and work hard to apply. They stay late, shows up early while everyone else is busy doing other things. They are there alone working; spending hours drilling over and over; paying attention to the smallest detail. They are there not to show off or stroke their ego, rather mastering.

1000 reps, 5000 reps, 10,000 reps – over and over.

You sit and observe as they are busy self talking themselves through what they need to work on; never quite satisfied- highly coachable.

This is GRIT in action, this is focus manifesting and gratitude realized.

They are truly a rare gem.

Progress or Perfection

“Focus on progress not perfection.”

Statement makes you sound like a whiny turd trying to justify half ass efforts. If you focused on perfecting something then progress will come.

Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice does.

Get in the dog fight of – Focusing on results, focusing on perfecting, focusing on perusing excellence.

After all laziness is a habit and so is excellence, choose which one you develop carefully.

The work comes before the belief and belief builds confidence.

Desire vs Active Will

There’s a difference between desire & actively willing something into existence.
If you say you want ‘X’ yet you spend your time doing ‘Y’, then what you are saying through action is exactly opposite of what your words are saying. The same existence you are currently living is what you ‘actual’ desire because you are putting in no actions to change it.
Big difference between desire & actualizing your vision.
What do you spend your time on? What kind of information do you consume? What action do you take with what you have consumed?

A Disconnect of Bravery

“People glorify all sorts of bravery except the bravery they might show on behalf of their nearest neighbors.” ~ George Eliot

We are way to concerned with what is happening at a national or international level. Right living starts at home and with our own innangarths.

Courage & Bravery is something we should push for in ourselves. And we should pretty much leave everyone else alone. The world needs more people ‘doing’ the little things..

“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

The Phoenix

The Phoenix (Ancient Greek: φοῖνιξ phoinix)

The power of creation comes in birth and growth. But at times in order to create something must be destroyed to make room. In this way we create the space needed.

Looking truthfully at the life we are living we can see if it is working or not. It’s easy to be critical of others but it takes the focus off our own lives and what may not be working.

The power found in destroying comes when it’s focused on burning away what isn’t working in our own lives – habits, mindsets, lack of clarity. From this new space we have created in our minds and life we can breath new life.

The phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its former self.  Life after all is about progress and we will redefine ourselves many times throughout our lives.

Boy becomes a man, a man becomes a husband, a husband becomes a father, a father becomes a grandfather. One generation gives way to the next, passing on lessons and skills – legacy.

Despite what’s happening around us as society seems to limp along, we can create our own world. The world we build can be built on the foundation of traditions, rituals, real meaningful relationships -innangraths with a focus on brotherhood and sisterhood.

Through this we find Frith – peace of mind, purpose, interdependence, shared struggle and order within our kindreds.