Alignment and timing are powerful fundamental principles. These elements influence your life in ways that may not be immediately apparent. So, learning how to improve them can be very helpful. Read more to find out how.
Let’s see if we can find out the hierarchy of these principles. We’ll look at two examples to find the answer. We’ll use the subjects of Martial Arts and Spiritual Exploration.
Timing is Everything in Martial Arts
Guru Tua Means “great teacher”. This is what we call our Dutch-Indonesian teacher. He came to the USA after World War ll. And, he is a painter, philosopher, healer, and teacher of many varieties of Chinese and Indonesian martial arts.
Martial artists spend a lot of time training their bodies and their minds. It some ways of training the body is easier than training the mind. Here’s the problem. If you train and ingrain unpleasant habits with your body, they become reactions that become difficult to change. On the positive side, this means most commercialized martial arts training is largely ineffective. After all, you really don’t want a lot of people learning how to be warriors.
To be sure, practicing kicking and punching makes you better at these physical movements. Boxers training to be proficient at boxing. People who practice karate are more proficient at this sport. However, it important to point to remember that these are “sports” with specific rules of engagement. This is true even of mixed martial arts.
Once you train with these guidelines, you ingrain the habits in your mind and muscle memory. I learned the hard way that these are not effective outside the dojo. Rather these are martial-art like processes. True martial arts have no rules of engagement. It means training the mind differently. People think that timing is everything because they only see the result.
Alignment is Everything
Real martial arts are beyond any single style or form. There are specific types of traditions that studied how to use the mind and body in efficient and effective ways for individual combat. They understood that a warrior is facing many opponents and situations. Some larger, or faster. Some had weapons and some had armor. You needed to train the mind and body to be fluid and adaptable to the rapidly changing theater of combat.
So, training the mind and body to move only within a style or form creates boundaries and obstacles to your ability to be fluid and highly adaptable. For that reason moving at the right time, to the right place, in the right way are the keys to success. This requires an understanding of how mind and body align. It is what enables one to enter the conflict as a dancer able to move fluidly and defeat your opponents.
Speed is bull___. Alignment is everything. ― Guru Tu
Guru Tua is fond of saying and showing how we align the mind and body is more important than speed or strength in martial arts. Timing depends upon proper alignments. This is what enables one to move on time when in the dance of combat. Perfect timing results from aligning the mind and body.
The mind is the real tool of martial arts. It is the supercomputer enabling one to assess the people and ever-changing environment. One of these important keys is learning to control the nervous system.
Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems
Our natural reaction to a threatening situation is to engage the Sympathetic Nervous (SN) system. This activates the “fight, flight or freeze” response. The SN increases blood flow to muscles by shutting down blood flow to the skin and intestines.
When SN is engaged, the brain responds to the increased adrenalin and a host of other powerful enzymes. To protect the higher thinking centers from these enzymes, it shuts off the higher thinking centers of the brain. That’s the problem. With the SN in control, you can move quickly, but it’s reactionary. You are using the primitive mind centers controlled by the emotions of fear and anger.
To move with proper timing, you need the higher-level thinking and computing functions of the mind to be online. This is why the secret to martial arts is in learning to overrides the primitive instincts. When we act out of powerful emotions like anger or fear, we are more apt to error.
So, in a combat situation, you want the “thinking” center of the mind needs to be in control. The parasympathetic nervous system controls high-level think processes. This may seem counterintuitive. However, it is the parasympathetic nervous system enables proper alignment and timing. We need to be able to engage our higher thinking centers to assess the ever-changing combat situation. It requires a Nano-second assessment and adjustments. So, a warrior trains to activate the parasympathetic system to counterbalance automatic sympathetic. Proper timing is everything and the parasympathetic abilities of the mind make this possible.
Here is the key. The parasympathetic system has control over the oculomotor of the eyes. The eyes are the key. If you learn to control your scope of vision, you can lock in the parasympathetic.
Alignment is Everything in Spiritual Practice
Aligning our mind and body is also critical in the practice of spiritual exploration. Everyone has their own path, their own unique way of awakening. And, everyone has their own unique set of alignments. When mind and body align, we are more in touch with our spiritual essence. So, we encourage learning as many of these consciousness development tools as possible. Every tool we use helps to facilitate the aligning of all three aspects, mind, body, and spirit.
Consciousness Development Tools
Everyone awakens differently. We have unique gifts and we are on different timetables. Awakening is a process. We of accessing the spiritual gifts are sleeping in our DNA. When we open them, it sets our spiritual walk into motion. It opens our minds to new potentials.
Accessing these gifts was the central goal of many ancient cultures. And so, we benefit from generations of research. The results are a set of powerful tools anyone can use. We call these tools spiritual technologies. These are sound methods for expanding awareness and exploring consciousness.
These tools stand up to the test of science. They are repeatable experiential phenomena. And, higher states of awareness also have unique measurable physiological signatures. They differ from the basic states of consciousness (waking, sleeping, and dreaming). These processes do not require belief in a religion. All you need to do is follow the process. For the most part, these tools come from Eastern traditions. This probably because their focus is on developing human potential.
You will find this eclectic in other systems. For example, Gurdjieff’s approach was to adopt what is already proven to be effective. After all, human physiology hasn’t changed in thousands of years. So, the work of the ancient pioneers stands the test of time.
Timing and aligning are not opposites. They are elements of change in a chain reaction. To have proper timing, you must first be aligned. So, alignment is everything because it creates a framework for proper timing.
We can see how timing is everything. Timing is a major factor in how and when we find opportunities and meet people. But, it is being in proper alignment that makes these events possible. When we align our mind, body, and spirit we experience life on a different level. We recognize synchronicities; we hear the voice of our intuition.
Interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their own path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia