Uncategorized

Three-for-Three: Practicing Gratitude Through Facebook

The world is in a tumultuous time and many of us bear that weight, often using the only mouthpiece we have, social media, to voice our pain. Since the election, several of my friends have taken a “break” from Facebook, as they recognize they feel worse for having scrolled their News Feed. Even if we post […]

Read more...

When the Music Stops

One of my favorite joys is to read with classical music on in the background. I find the music instrumental to my extended concentration. I have a cheap phone with just enough storage to run basic functions. With no room for apps, I play music through YouTube. The problem is, while the music is playing, […]

Read more...

The Battle, The War, And Something More

Humility is the cornerstone virtue of our fight team. Frankie and the crew arrive each day to improve their Jiu Jitsu by putting themselves in the worst positions with the best training partners. Where so many of us possess an ego, they house a burning desire to learn and grow. It is their strong vision […]

Read more...

We are Part of a Larger Whole

I believe the best use of one’s finite life is to cultivate our unique strengths so that others may benefit. “How can I contribute?” is a noble question. How can I best contribute?,  is nobler still. My relationship to Jiu Jitsu is no different. The sum total of all practitioners comprise the Jiu Jitsu community, and […]

Read more...

After Competition, Cooperation

The Jiu Jitsu community is divided. This makes us less effective in sharing the immense value we have found in this art. Jiu Jitsu teams span the globe. We come from different geographies, practice different philosophies, and each add our unique twist to the art, but we do so with one major flaw in our […]

Read more...

On the Fortune of Being My Teacher’s Student

A great teacher shares a wisdom and perspective that comes from looking back down the path on which we trudge ahead. I am haunted by the nature of myopic thinking: one simply cannot know what one doesn’t know. Without a teacher, we become overly concerned with trivialities while missing the fundamentals which familiarity makes invisible. […]

Read more...

Jiu Jitsu and Pride

I am currently reading C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity in which he describes Pride as the worst sin, as there is no greater impediment between ourselves and others. It got me thinking: What would Jiu Jitsu be like if I were free of Pride? What would it be like to enjoy the practice of this art […]

Read more...

Guard Passing: The Trojan Horse of Personal Development

The mindset of disciplined guard passing has allowed me to be more productive in every area of my life. Guard passing is simple and the lack of options is beautiful: If you find yourself in a guard, any guard, the only available action to is pass that guard. This singularity of focus allows us to […]

Read more...

My Favorite Passage from Seneca

In closing our study of Seneca, I had originally written a lengthy text about the importance of Stoicism. I reread the below passage and promptly deleted all I had written. Below are the words of a man who understood what we all feel and so often lack the dexterity to say. This is why we […]

Read more...

Seneca on Continued Education

The Stoics believed that our true education is a lifelong pursuit. “You should keep learning as long as you are ignorant, – even to the end of your life, if there is anything in the proverb. And the proverb suits the present case as well as any: “As long as you live, keep learning how […]

Read more...

Seneca on Virtue

Stoicism is a doctrine of equanimity. We are in control of our own happiness, and in his 74th letter to Lucilius, Seneca shows how the cultivation of virtue makes this possible. There are two types of experiences: those which we cannot control and those which we can. Virtue allows us to distinguish between the two, […]

Read more...

Seneca on Philosophy For Everyone

The quality of our thoughts determines the quality of our lives. Our thoughts shape our philosophy; our philosophy shapes our world. To the uninitiated, philosophy can seem daunting. Many hold the belief that philosophy is reserved for the intellectual elite or college classrooms. Often written with a complete lack of prose, and a fumbling and […]

Read more...

Seneca on Living Simply

Seneca’s philosophy has survived nearly two thousand years and continues to be a source of wisdom for all those willing to heed his words. Like the great thinkers we have studied so far, Seneca shares the conviction that philosophy is demonstrated through acts, not beliefs. “Prove your words by your deeds.” The highest good of […]

Read more...

Seneca on Fear

A common theme recurring in the works of Stoicism is navigating one’s fears. The purpose of philosophy is to learn to live well, and Stoicism teaches that this is found through the cultivation of our virtue on the way to self-mastery. In pursuit of our highest self, we traverse countless fears as we consistently exceed […]

Read more...

Seneca on Saving Time

With our study of Seneca having commenced, we examine his very first letter written to Lucilius, On Saving Time. Without a clear purpose for the use of our time, we easily squander our days. Now more than ever, we have with increasing efficiency surrounded ourselves with means to occupy our attention. Candy Crush, Clash of […]

Read more...
1 2