Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Newsletter - Systema Arizona 10-23-10 -Kwan Lee

I think this is an article that is thought provoking and goes deep into the foundations of Systema. It's something that must be read often. Enjoy!
Please go to Kwan Lee's website for more information:

                                           Finding Your Cave - by Kwan Lee

        "Find a cave, and you will learn" - Saint Anthony the Great

St. Anthony was one of the first Christian ascetics to attempt living in the desert, completely cut off from civilization. Leaving behind a very comfortable lifestyle, he chose to struggle against his own passions in solitude for most of his life, and for decades attempted to find God in the stillness of a cave.

He taught that spiritual enlightenment begins with simple awareness... that to find a connection with God, you first have to know yourself. In Systema, we know this advice well. There are many parallels of understanding between the wisdom of the Saints and the work done in Systema, which also begins with simple awareness. In training, it is the awareness of the breath that allows us to be aware of the whole self.

Through his own research and struggle, St. Anthony realized that a well-balanced psyche required that our internal work needed to be combined with the stimulation of physical labor. In this way, the psyche would be less prone to imbalance, boredom, and idleness. Indeed, we now know through science that brain function is optimal when we exercise on a daily basis. Exercise helps simulate the protein that keeps neurons connected. Brain scientists say that if you want to think better, MOVE.


A crucial aspect of Systema training is the development of relaxed and efficient movement, which is free and functional and always centered on the breath. Our movements are also 3-dimensional and curvilinear, which not only strengthen the body in all directions but also develop our capacity for lateral thinking.  However, relaxed movement cannot be achieved without first obtaining calmness, and we can only understand what it is to be calm when we posses a true comfort with silence.

Silence is not merely the absence of speech or noise. It is a condition that has persisted from the beginning of time, a state of which few of us in this chaotic world are aware. It is a baseline for diagnosing our own tensions for the purpose of healing and the beginning of the cultivation of our "inner state."

Silence, for many of us, has become a mystery, and many of us, knowingly or not, fear being alone in silence, with ourselves as sole company. This is the first of many fears we must overcome to see ourselves as we really are, build a foundation of confidence, and to interact with our surroundings without delusion. Luckily, Systema has a way of helping "clean the slate" through very personal and physical breathing exercises. There are countless empowering benefits attributable to Systema, but one of the most important is that it helps demystify and neutralize the fears that debilitate us.

The Cave

St. Anthony the Great spent his life in a cave and in isolation, fighting against his internal noise and darkness, climbing above the clutter of mankind, and becoming a true master of the desert.

Most of us may never have this calling, but the need to find our "cave" to do our internal work is ever before us. Fortunately, we still have some less-demanding options for improving ourselves. When it comes to training, the halls of Systema can present a similar opportunity to look deeply within us and deal with our weaknesses while forging our character in a positive and encouraging environment.

On November 12th, there will be another opportunity with the Desert Summit in Phoenix Arizona. It is a chance to spend 3 full days in an immersive training environment with two renowned Systema masters on the topics of fear elimination, breathwork, and combat readiness.

We humbly welcome Vladimir Vasiliev and Konstantin Komarov to the Desert Southwest for this momentous event.  A few spaces are still available, and we hope to see you there!

With Respect and Best Wishes,

Systema Arizona

No comments:

Post a Comment