It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the "F Word" here - Freedom. We'll share, straight from the trenches, what we have learned from leaving our own addictions behind, and coaching hundreds of others to do the same, and since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it.
Bob: Back in old Japan, when Samurai used to run around and you had these traveling ronin and other people that were just busy - some of them, not all of them, were these enlightened individuals, obviously. Some of them were out picking fights and trying to prove their ego and their skills and what not. Others were seeking deeper pursuits. It just sort of depended on the person. Well, there was this great famous tea master, and if you understand Japanese arts, Zen is sort of inside of a lot of them. [0:01:01.8]
Zen is a practice of direct pointing to the true self and understanding your true nature. This came out of India eventually, through a man by the name of Bodhidharma, who we have already talked about, whose teachings when they got to Japan, he became known as Daruma and it went from Dhyana in Sanskrit to Chan in Chinese to Zen in Japanese. And this is a deep, self-reflection. Self-reflection, not on like thinking about yourself, but actually seeing and perceiving the truth about your original nature. So many, many of the arts and skills and practices in old Japan have been touched by this. Some of the major ones are things like flower arranging, archery, swordsmanship, tea, calligraphy - these are some of the major, major ones. There was a man by the … I forget his name…but he was a famous tea master, chanoyu…cha is the Japanese for tea and I probably said it wrong because I don’t speak Japanese so I just have read these stories many, many times. [0:02:04.6]
And he was a famous tea master to the shogun and he was wandering through town one day and absent-mindedly or whatever, just was paying attention to something and bumped a group of traveling ronin, right, these masterless samurai that are running around. And he bumped into one of them, and he was a young buck, the ronin was and he got all up in this tea master's face and he was like, "How dare you insult someone like me! You're just wandering through town, not paying attention. You should show me more respect. I'm a samurai!" And again, there's a little bit of a class system going on here in Japan, like there have been in many Eastern countries. And so he believes that he's better than anything and the tea master is really trying not to pick a fight here because he doesn’t know anything about swordsmanship. Then he says, "No. I didn't mean to. My apologies. I was just walking," and the ronin just wouldn’t have it. Obviously, he wanted to pick a fight. And he's like, "No. You don’t get any excuses. There's no excuse for you. Let's prove this here and now." [0:03:00.0]
And the sword master is like, "Wait. I don’t know anything about this." He's like, fine, I'll give you until such and such a time - I don’t remember if it was noon the next day or something. "You meet me at the bridge outside of town and we will have it out." And there have been a number of…actually, like I've seen a really beautiful take on this done on, I think it was a YouTube video or something, like kind of a short film made off of this story. There have been a number of different variations of this. So this is basically what happens - this tea master then is freaking out because he doesn’t know anything about swordsmanship at all. He's a tea master. And he's one of the most renowned in the entire area, in the entire region. I mean, he's the tea master to the Shogun to give them an experience of taking tea that brings them into deeper and deeper meditative states and the capacity to really perhaps feel something deeper about life and their true nature. So he doesn’t know what to do. He has his duties, but this is a life and death situation. So he runs to find the nearest samurai school, where there's a good teacher that he knows that's in the area and he runs up and he begs the teacher, "Please, please, please. You have to teach me how to do something. I don’t want to die, but this samurai has come and he's challenged me to a duel. I'm just a lowly tea master." [0:04:10.9]
And the samurai teacher, he looks at the tea master. He says, "Okay, so you're a tea master?" "Yes, yes." "Alright. I will teach you on one condition." The tea master says, "Okay, what's the condition?" "I will teach you if you will first do a tea ceremony for me tonight, this afternoon." And the tea master's a little bit like frantic and frazzled by this. He's like, "Well, you don’t understand. I don’t have a lot of time. I only have until tomorrow at noon to meet this samurai out there by the bridge and you're telling me that you need me to spend several hours giving you a tea ceremony," because the tea ceremony does take several hours to do. In fact, when I was at the University of Washington, one of the classes you could in artistry was the tea ceremony. It was a class where you would learn all about all of the background behind it and then go experience a tea ceremony, kneeling for that long, taking tea with them. [0:05:01.1]
So it was tea ceremony and he's a little bit frantic about this and samurai teacher won't budge. He says, nope - unless you do this for me, I won't teach you anything. So finally, the tea master submits and he says look, I just…this is your art. I want you to do the tea ceremony for me as if it was the last time you were ever going to be able to do it, the best that you've ever done, just do the tea ceremony the way that you would do it normally. The tea master's like, fine. So they set everything up and he goes through the tea ceremony with such presence, such focus, such precision that the samurai is blown away by just how good a master. I mean, he'd heard stories about this tea master in the past, but he had never seen such art within in as he was experiencing at this point in time. So he goes through the entire ceremony and it's such a sublime experience and when they finish, the samurai looks at the tea master and says, "You already are a master and you just don’t know it." And the only thing that will make you win tomorrow isn't sword techniques, but if you can display the same level of concentration that you displayed to me just now, there will be nothing that your opponent will be able to do to defeat you. [0:06:15.2]
So here's what I want you to do. I want you to go to the bridge early tomorrow and when your opponent comes and he's ready, what you need to do is remove your outer cloak and fold it just the way you did here. Then I want you to do a little bit of a tiny ceremony in this manner," and he showed him a couple of things, "And then get yourself into the same place that you would be as if you were about to serve tea to the Shogun. As you're doing that, I want you to raise your sword over your head and wait in total concentration to the point where when you hear him yell as he comes across the bridge to cut you down, at that very moment, slice in this manner with your sword *whoosh* and that assuredly will win you the match." [0:07:01.9]
The tea master is a little bit confused about this, but whatever, the samurai won't give him anymore explanations about it. So he goes on and he practices all of these different little tiny things that the samurai master had taught him - how to slice with the sword, how to hold it in concentration and all of these different things. The concentration piece was not difficult. He had spent his entire life cultivating the capacity of total focus, poised, relaxed, ready, but focused, not too lax. Right? He goes the next day to the bridge and there at the bridge on one side stands the ronin. The tea master had shown up early and was prepared. As the ronin came, he said, look - hold on a second - let me just prepare myself." The ronin is laughing, "Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! You already know you're going to die, old man. Sure, do your last rites. Do whatever you need to." So the tea master then pulls himself aside. The ronin thinks this is going to be an easy kill. Obviously, he's picking on people who don’t have any skill whatsoever at the sword. [0:08:00.9]
But see, the reason he had picked on him in the first place is because as part of the tea ceremony, you have to wear a sword. So he had kind of picked on him in an intelligent way at first - it was reactive. He saw the swords and thought, okay, here's a samurai, we can go this way. It's a tea master. Obviously, he's picking for easy wins. So, the tea master goes and he sets aside his robe. He sets aside his swords. He gets everything prepared in the way that he had practiced and the way that he had done. Prepares himself as if he's going to give a tea ceremony to the Shogun. At that moment, he pulls the sword up over his head and stands in total preparation, total waiting, just poised and ready. And he stands there for what seems like hours to him, even though it's not that long, but it seems like a long time, until finally, when he can't bear it anymore because he's not sure what's going to happen, he opens his eyes and he sees that the ronin has fled because you see, there was a chink in the ronin's armor. The ronin hadn’t cultivated his own inner awareness and confidence, so as he raised his sword to come at this tea master, who had no sword skill whatsoever, as he came, he could feel the fierce concentration and readied poise of the man. [0:09:13.9]
He could feel it emanating from his body and he couldn’t find a chink in that armor. He couldn’t find a way where he felt comfortable enough to go and win. And so, recognizing that he had come up against a much more formidable opponent than he had even thought, he went his own way and left the tea master alive, to where the tea master won without a fight.
If you, or someone you know, is looking to drop the F Bomb of Freedom in your life, whether that's from addiction or depression and anxiety or just anything that's making you feel flat out stuck, but you have no clue how to shake it and just want help doing it, head on over to LiberateaMan.com and book a call, where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you've been missing.
Bob: Now, why do I tell you this story? This is a story about a man who had mastered something that he didn't even realize he had known. You know, there are a great many gifts that come in a life and a lot of times, we look at ourselves and we look at our situations and we think, "I am helpless against this. I don’t have the skills that it takes to win. I don’t have what it takes to make a better situation out of this one. I'm a victim of this. Like everything goes wrong; nothing goes my way. Nothing ever works out for me. I'm helpless here," and we have these stories show up anytime we run into new situations sometimes. Especially if you're a person who's been dealing with depression or addiction or anxiety, the same rehearsed feeling that you have mastered inside of yourself of helplessness shows up. See, most of us, throughout our lives, have rehearsed and developed the habit of creating situations in our mind and experiences - okay? [0:11:06.3]
So we have rehearsed, for instance, as someone who's been through my life, I have mastered the ability of suffering in many, many ways. I have mastered the capacity to have something happen in my life, to look at it and choose to make that a reason to make myself suffer and to have an emotional response to it, and then choose from that emotional response to behave in certain ways or allow that emotional response to control my behavior in certain ways that I don’t control anymore. I have created and mastered the ability to suffer, and this has become abundantly clearer for me over the last week, as I've been really paying attention to it, over and over and over again because what I tell people often, especially the clients that we're working with is, if you're having an emotion, it's an indication you're body's telling you what happened in your mind without you being aware of it, without your control. And you want to get to the point where it doesn’t matter where you are, what's going on, your happiness is not dependent on that situation. [0:12:03.1]
We teach them skills like emotional Ninjitsu and the delete button and the hips and some of the other skill sets that we have developed to help them and give them the capacity that they can practice to develop the ability to not be controlled by their emotional state, but it goes even deeper. You see, if you get into a situation where in that situation you feel like this is something you need to deal with and use skills to get happy again, that means that that situation has already controlled you. The fact that you believe a situation needs to be dealt with is already an indication that some part of your own happiness is caught up in it. And I don’t mean like a situation needs to be dealt with as in like, ok, yeah, my finger is cut and yes, that … I definitely don’t want to bleed out, so let me go fix that. I mean like an emotional situation needs to be dealt with. So this is a really powerful thing to be aware of. For instance, sometimes I go to church meetings for some reason. I mean, we go every Sunday, but like sometimes when I go to church meetings, I feel stuffed in there. Other times, you know, I have powerful experiences inside of the meetings and sometimes I feel really stuffy in there or I'm irritated at the conversation or something else that's going on. [0:13:13.8]
And I had an experience where I was feeling that way and then I went outside and I was experiencing this total awe at the quiet of the sun raking across the grass and hitting the tops of the mountains nearby and the clouds streaming across the sky, a slight chill in the air, and I remember feeling this total sense of inner silence, inner peace, total awe and calm. And then I realized, oh my goodness - I'm still being controlled by my environment. I've mastered the ability so well that it took me this long to recognize that I mastered the ability to let my environment dictate just how happy I am. And how many other things have you mastered in your life? We can celebrate the fact that you are a master at creating it. You're having an experience. [0:14:01.0]
What do you hold to be the cause of that experience? What have you created in your mind as a reason to have that experience? And then, take a moment and glory in the fact and celebrate the fact that this is something that you created. You've created your suffering. You may not have created the event itself. That's … so there's a lot of variables. But the suffering from that event is all your own creation, all of my own creation and we know this because if you were unconscious, you wouldn’t be suffering it. If I were unconscious, I wouldn’t be suffering it. The fact that we're conscious and that the suffering comes when we're conscious, that means that our consciousness is bringing the suffering to it. If you're cut, you can be unconscious and still be cut, but you can't be unconscious and still suffer. I'm not talking about REM sleep, you know, and dreams. I'm talking about literally unconscious, like comatose. So as we're dealing with this, this recognition of creation, the recognition that you have mastered the skill of suffering, mastered the skill of pain, mastered the skill of irritation, of victimhood, of blame, of guilt, of shame, of pointing the finger, of feeling helpless, of feeling like nothing works out - mastered the skill of beating yourself up - mastered the skill of sabotaging yourself - you've mastered this. [0:15:17.6]
We are all hidden masters. Every single one of us are masters. It's just that the people we want to call master are the ones that have mastered something that we wish we had mastered. Right? But I want you to look deeper. There are superpowers that have been developed within you by your mastery. Just like the tea master had developed a skill of total presence and concentration that could not be shaken by doing something totally different that prepared him to be able to handle the situation with the ronin, you and I - same thing - even in all this suffering, we have mastered certain skills. For instance, somebody who's stuck inside of a porn addiction habit and this is the same for just about anyone on the planet - porn addiction got to the point where a person can imagine something to the point where they have a physical reaction to it. [0:16:05.7]
Now, this isn't just porn addicts. This is a lot of people on the planet; most suffering is happening this way, but you can make something so vivid in your mind that it feels like it's really happening to you. That is a superpower because what would happen if you decided to use that superpower instead of creating suffering to create other types of experiences that can feel so vivid that they feel equally real to you, but they are powerful empowering experiences? What about a will to end it and a will to finally be done that's developed by beating yourself against the wall so much that you're finally fed up? That resolve that's created, if you use that resolve to create something powerful in your life, what could you do with that? See, the thing is you and I have both mastered the ability to make our lives powerful. We have mastered the ability to make our lives happy and joyful and full of love. [0:17:01.7]
We have already mastered it. It's just that we haven’t been using the skill to create that. We have been using our skills to create other things, and other experiences. And if you want to, after you're done celebrating your own mastery, the next question then becomes, "What do I want to do with this now? Do I want to continue to create this? Do I want to find another form of suffering? What decision do I want to make at this moment that will allow me to use my mastery and my ability to create in a way that fills me up and brings me happiness?" I'm not saying that it's the easiest switch on the planet, but the first awareness has to come from the fact that you and I have both created our suffering and we have mastered that as a skill. And that's something worth celebrating - the level of mastery that we have because it's an indicator that we have just as much mastery to create something totally new and totally different and equally fulfilling and what's needed to move in that direction is a decision and permission. [0:18:03.6]
Now, you and I may not have a samurai master to help us see that, so I am here, standing in that place today, in that spot, saying, "Look, you just use the same skill you've already developed at suffering, at misery, at feeling like you're a victim, but instead, I want you to do it in this manner, which is take the environment around you, use it as an excuse to feel a certain way, but use it as an excuse to feel incredible, and out of that incredible feeling, then go create your life."
So, that's a wrap for today. As we move on next time, we're going to start talking about trust and what it means, what trust is and should you trust people. That's the question. Alright. Until then.
And that's it for today's Alive and Free Podcast. If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom bombs landing in your ear buds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcasts from, and while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you, and plus, it's just nice to be nice.
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