I was in a training last week with Richard Strozzi-Heckler. The first exercise he led the group in was a centering practice I also teach. You can listen to the podcast here: Find Your Center Before You Act. The next day, Richard told us a story in which his centering practice saved a presentation–and his lungs.
While studying ai-ki-do in Japan, Richard was asked by his instructor to come with him to help with a demonstration for a group of teenagers. At the school, Richard donned a heavy leather shirt. His master handed him a sword and told him, “When I fire this arrow at you strike it with your sword.” Strozzi had never seen, much less been instructed in or practiced, this procedure but one does not quibble with one’s Japanese ai-ki-do master.
As he stood on stage while the master spoke to the teenagers, Strozzi’s head was filled with fear, dread, and confusion. He had no idea how to hit an arrow in flight. He did not want to get hurt, he did not want to walk out, and he did not want to let his master down. The master stopped speaking, turned to him, drew his bow, and fired. Strozzi flailed at the arrow and missed. The force of the arrow hitting his chest took the breath out of him and he staggered. The deep bruise hurt for weeks.
The master nocked another arrow. Strozzi used the only technique he was sure of: he found his center. The arrow flew, the sword swung, and Strozzi stood. He cut the arrow and the pieces fell to the floor. Centering had made his conditioning and skills available for the novel task.
As it would for you and your novel challenges.
See free, easy Meditation Instructions on this blog.