A mask

a-mask

What I look like isn’t a secret. You can see my face at the end of this book and other places online. So, if I’m not trying to keep my identity hidden, why did I wear a mask when I made those initial videos of myself practicing moving meditation?

We live in a world where doing your own thing really amounts to investing yourself in something someone else creates.

Every pursuit you choose has its own culture and ground rules already intact.

You do something you’re told you should want to do, and you do it just as you’re told it should be done.

To actually stand up and show publically that there’s something completely unique about you is totally unnatural in this world.

We’re taught to choose between existing options, or even to have them chosen for us—be it majors in college, careers, styles, lifestyles, etc.

We rely on such preformed molds to shape us from the outside, hopefully providing us with some sense of identity as we strain to embody whatever’s chosen.

Hey, that whole way of thinking actually worked incredibly well for a long time. It was particularly effective in an age of industry, when establishments with infrastructures provided a sense of purpose and a means for building wealth (on credit).

Some would say that those times have already ended. Maybe society’s point of view hasn’t quite caught up to itself yet.

Either way, I want to know who YOU really are.

How does your mind work?

I’m not talking about where you’ve found success at shuffling through others’ ideas, or at applying their systems, terms, mannerisms, or styles. What you’re skilled at doing in another’s world, I believe, should at best be a skipping stone to one day reach your own.

What’s your body like? How does it want to move?

Where does your passion come from? What’s it reaching for?

I don’t want any half-adopted identity from the outside to affect the person I really am. Not anymore. I don’t want that for you either . . . not if you decide to practice moving mediation, or to share your experience publically as a source for motivation.

Identities you take on from the outside are meant to help you fit somewhere in society. The mask I wore was simply to not let that “outside” person keep me from being who I was on the inside . . . from being free (while figuring out what this was for me “publically”).

And it worked. I don’t need the mask anymore.

Move completely your own way, and you’ll feel the tension between the outward adult—the one crafted by society, who measures time, and who values things like structure and certainty—and the inward child who longs to move without limits and be free.

Whenever I practice moving meditation, I’m brought face-to-face with years’ worth of an external martial arts identity. I feel my body falling to the techniques and forms I spent so many years training to internalize.

That might be why at times I move away from seeing my own reflection when I practice moving meditation, and why I stopped relying on the 15-minute cardio sets (where I spend time performing my own most common movements).

Part of the journey of moving meditation is allowing such external inclinations to surface whenever they do, while at the same time returning to that inward state of true, undirected freedom. As in all forms of meditation, it is learning to let thoughts simply pass—not fighting, but just returning your focus to whatever is.

I also wore a mask because this will never be about me.

Moving meditation isn’t something to identify with in society at all. It’s to help reveal more to you about your own true identity.

The masked person in the videos might simply be a human . . . and that’s all, like you, completely unique, who never needs to be seen or measured by anyone.

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