Watch over ourselves: the self-commands

It seems that the ancient shinobi (ninja) were driven to create inside their minds a kind of “demon”, a judge to condition (ethically, etc.) any aspect of their life, almost like a separate entity, a keeper always vigilant.

This kind of practice is a bit ‘extreme and can give rise to many questions, but it helps us to understand that we are the (firsts and only) ones that have to watch over our discipline, concentration and preparation:

  • We know if we did our best
  • We know if our behavior was indeed correct
  • We know if we have wronged someone

On ourselves and on our work, We are the only ones not to be deceived or deluded, therefore, We are the ones that have to watch incessantly over our actions. To do this (we never stop repeating it) we need:

  • Preparation (design and decide how to act rationally)
  • Discipline (ethical rigor to what we promise to ourselves in preparation)
  • Concentration (keep our mind active on the idea of discipline)

A good way to connect these 3 elements to concrete results (in life and in martial arts) is to use the self-commands.

Without going into too advanced psychological practices we can use for example an electronic calendar (eg. Google Calendar combined with Thunderbird) in such a way that requires us to remember what we have to do and how to behave.

Here in practice there is how we can create our own “virtual demon” (or “virtual conscience”) outside of our mind:

  • Let’s think and start from simple things (eg. “DRINK 2 LITRE OF WATER EVERY DAY”)
  • For each “self-command” let’s create a recurring event
  • Let’s set the recurrence on twice weekly (not more frequently otherwise our mind will ignore them)
  • Every time we realize that we have complied the task let’s set it as performed (for 2 weeks it will not be repeated)
  • Let’s strive to do at least 2 self-commands per day
  • Let’s avoid creating 1000 self-commands, we do not need to go beyond 20-25
  • If after some times a command seems poorly formulated let’s modify it
  • Let’s eliminate a command only if we find it incorrect or harmful (never for lack of will)

Let’s take our cue from what it seems fair, intelligent, healthy and above all positive, we have to establish progressive objectives for our existence and, at the same time, to maintain the old ones.

These are Active self-commands (it’s our intellect to ensure their execution) but there are other types that involve deception of our mind but more about this later.

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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