Featured student story
Meditation opens you up to life-changing realizations. Read the real-life experiences of some of our students who became empowered from meditation in Buddha Dojo.
A Blackbelt Victory
By Lauren, July 2019
This story of success begins with a failure. The first time I took my black belt test, I failed. However, as Bruce Lee once said: “defeat is a state of mind”. I took this to heart, and understood the experience as a teaching, exposing everything my mind that held me back. I looked carefully at my attachments, fear, beliefs, and focus. In our school, you achieve your blackbelt by defeating a blackbelt from another school in a sparring match, so this puts all the inner workings of your mind to the test. From that moment on, I knew that if I always tried my best with all my heart, failure would never be an option. There was no way that I wouldn’t win. Even if I died trying, the qualities discovered in the effort of reaching that goal is a success in itself. The state of mind cultivated by giving your all is the greatest gift, regardless of the outcome. Samvara has said: “Yogis seek the perfection of the work itself rather than the fruit of their labors”. I have had experiences in my life of feeling afraid, overpowered, and unsure. I acknowledged these feelings and persisted. I realized that success is a choice. Excuses, doubt, or fear may arise in your mind at any time, but choosing whether or not to bow to them, that is within your control. I chose not to bow. I kept in my mind my teacher’s words:
“True courage is not the absence of fear, it’s having fear and persisting”
The day of the next test, it was clear in my mind that whether or not I passed, the peace of mind, determination, and focus I had cultivated in my practice was the true gift. Practicing martial arts with all my heart had dissolved fears, doubts, and suffering that once plagued me. As I stepped on the mat, I felt stillness, and almost surprisingly, love. I loved the school, this opportunity, my teacher, my opponents, and myself. I had no fear, doubt, or even attachment. This was the true victory – the victory over my own mind and suffering. Through following the teachings of yoga, personal power, martial arts, and meditation, I became a blackbelt that day. And really, it’s only the beginning.