Empty your mind…

i-heart-water“Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” ~Bruce Lee

This is one of my favorite quotes by Bruce Lee. It is based on a basic Zen philosophy but it could be applied to any belief system. I guess that is the primes of the message. You can apply the above philosophy to anything you wish, religion, politics, people or of course martial arts.

I could shape the message of the quote to many things but my thoughts today have me thinking about people and our wonderful differences. These days it seems there is so much negativity around us it is often difficult to stay positive. An open mind is one way to change this. I believe it is also a healthy approach to life.  It starts by first recognizing and accepting the differences in others. Most of us believe what we believe because of the path we have walked. Everything we have experienced makes us who we are today. That said, the same with the people around you. We have not walked in their shoes and therefor, how can we completely understand why they believe the things they believe. First we must empty our minds allowing us to listen and look at them with an open mind free from judgment.  Now that is the empty your mind part.

The second part is the adaptive part. Let’s call this compassion. Everyone has had their own struggles in life, pains and hardships and lessons learned. These things make us who we are. If we look at others in this adaptive way we start to see they are more like us than we may initially thought. We are all going through life trying to find peace and happiness. We are all basically walking the same path. The path is life.

The last line of the quote is where we become powerful. Looking at others in this way will free you of hate, prejudice, greed and arrogance. I believe these flaws have the potential to destroy humanity and most of all keep you from becoming a better you!

Peace and love,

~jeff