What’s the point of mental training?
When I started the path of Zen when I was 20, I thought if I meditated and trained on the dojo floor for a couple hours a day, I would find that elusive sense of enlightenment in just a few short years.
Why not swing for the fence, right?
Then… reality set in. I was seeking the mastery of a Samurai and a Zen monk, but in a modern world with slightly more distractions. I would find no instantaneous enlightenment. That doesn’t mean I didn’t not experience radial change in my consciousness. In fact, I did, and as a result “woke up” to my real calling in life as a warrior-leader. So I shit-canned my budding career as a CPA and joined the U.S. Navy to be an elite commando.
The enlightenment part was, and still is, a daily journey of self-discovery.
The Zen and Yoga masters dedicated most of their waking hours — for their entire lives — to training their body, mind and spirits. In our modern world we have to find a way to integrate this training into our daily routines and especially our work.
I found that the committing to a minimum of 20 minutes every morning and evening, and then also building spot drills into my day, worked best. It is hard to find more time to train than that. I amp up my training with quarterly retreats where I can go deeper, alone or with a teacher.
Results are felt more than seen. It is hard to even know what to look for. I noticed myself making better decisions, being more positive and present — less reactionary. Pleasantly, I experience breakthrough insights when not even looking for them similar to the insight that realigned my purpose in life from CPA to warrior at 23. That is a story I tell in my book “The Way of the SEAL.”
Deliberately engaging in mental training was the most important decision I have ever made.
Sticking to it was the second.
If today was the most important day in your life, would you take the time to train your mind so you can win it?
Let’s do this work.