What makes the difference is the practitioner; it’s the intention that HE put in it. He already has everything inside himself and he makes what he does useful.
I’ve been wondering it for a while now.
Everything I teach doesn’t make sense without an intention, and I can’t teach the intention, I can just teach the technique, and the technique doesn’t make sense if the intention is the wrong one.
When I teach how to punch, if your intention is to give someone a black eye in the first round of sparring, you’ve got it all wrong.
When you train with pads or when you workout, if the intention is to show off or to show me that you are strong and you are the best, you’ve got it all wrong.
When you are holding an asana, if the intention is to show how flexible you are or your mind is somewhere else waiting, suffering, for the teacher to change position, you’ve got it all wrong.
I’ve been practicing martial arts for 5 years and just now I’ve started to understand the sense, the purpose; which is definitely not to learn self defense skills, (just last year a famous UFC fighter was put in a coma at a gas station because of his arrogance), but rather the capacity to deal with the situation in which you are plunged into practicing them. “Martial arts” means fighting, discipline, effort, sweat, pain, competition, discomfort, sometimes unsavoury, evil and fake people, and you have to deal with everything in the right manner, balanced and with strong inner peace. If you give up, you’ve failed. If you freak out, you’ve failed. If you complain, you’ve failed. If you blame others, you’ve failed. I gave the example with martial arts because this is my experience but it’s the same for every discipline, that it is yoga, swimming, rugby or cricket if this is your sport.
What makes the difference is the practitioner; it’s the intention that HE put in it. He already has everything inside himself and he makes what he does useful; he would get the same results in any other discipline because his attention is what brings out the benefits. On the other hand, whoever has the wrong intentions and wrong attentions will make whatever is taught to him useless.
At the end, I’m not the one who makes the difference, it’s not what I teach or how I teach it that gives value, but only the practitioner with his intention. Why do I keep teaching then?
Am I, perhaps, a “facilitator” of the path? I don’t know. Personally I realised my intentions just when, instead, I was alone and without support. Can I call myself a “facilitator” then? Am I, perhaps, making everything more difficult? I don’t know, but for now it makes me feel good. In the variety of people this job sent on my way there are individuals that are really worth meeting, that are really worth listening to. More than teaching, I am the one who is learning from the different students so here I twist the question and I wonder: Why should I stop?
In the confusion that all of this creates in me, I laugh with the lightness of someone who didn’t understand anything but, smiling, keeps nodding.