“A dojo [practice hall] is a miniature cosmos where we make contact with ourselves-our fears, anxieties, reactions, and habits. It is an area of confined conflict where we confront an opponent who is not an opponent, but rather a partner engaged in helping us to understand ourselves more fully…….” Joe Hyams
Reading this book, Zen in the Martial Arts, by Joe Hyams became an immersion in the journey of a martial art devotee and practitioner as he discovered an unexpected path to greater self-awareness and an enhanced quality of life.
As Mr. Hyams writes, this spiritual development was the farthest thing from his mind when he began his exploration of different martial arts, but unfolded over time as he deepened his practice. He realized that this mental, emotional and spiritual development represented the deepest purpose of the martial arts. He reminds us that the thinking of the arts can only be fully understood through experience. Words alone do not suffice.
He weaves quotes, Eastern parables and stories and his own personal experiences with martial arts masters from many disciplines, into a compelling narrative. With thought-provoking titles such as-Empty Your Cup, Conquer Haste, Lengthen Your Line, etc., for each chapter, this book provided an utterly absorbing account of powerful self-growth through dedicated engagement with the martial arts.