Finding solutions for mindfulness without practicing it will only leave you back where you started. One of the best things about learning a martial art is how it can teach you to be more mindful. Through practice, it hones your ability to stay focused in the moment and keeping your mind free from mental clutter. Mindfulness is deeply-embedded in most, if not all, martial art disciplines and here are just some of the best quotes that show it.
1. “In sports, time exists. In the martial arts there is only the present. In baseball for instance, the man at the bat has to wait for the pitch, he has time; his action is not instantaneous. The same is true of rugby or football or any other sport. Time passes and there is time, if only a fraction of a second, to think about something, while waiting. In the martial arts there is no time to wait. Victory or nonvictory, life or not-life, are decided in no time. You have to live now, it is now that life and death are determined, wholly” – Taisen Deshimaru, The Zen Way to Martial Arts
2. “Flow with whatever may happen, and let your mind be free: Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.” – Zhuangzi, Nan-Hua-Ch’en-Ching, or, the Treatise of the transcendent master from Nan-Hua
3. “Awareness has no frontier.” – Bruce Lee
4. “Any self-defense situation has the potential to quickly become A ‘life and death’ situation, therefore your practice of martial arts should be undertaken, as if your very life depends on it . . .” – Soke Behzad Ahmadi, Legacy of A Sensei
5. “When an untoward event occurs in your life, react to it without haste or passion.” – Joe Hyams, Zen in the Martial Arts
6. “The undisturbed mind is like the calm body water reflecting the brilliance of the moon. Empty the mind and you will realize the undisturbed mind.” – Yagyu Jubei
7. “To think, ‘I will not think’ – this, too, is something in one’s thoughts. Simply do not think about not thinking at all.” -Takuan