🎧 Bedtime Story Podcast #55
Chapter 9 – True Learning
“I’m getting it now,” Martin said, as they were working on a flinch reflex to defend against punches.
“Yes, you are. Now we’ll practice faster, move around. I will throw punches from different angles. You must defend.”
The two were moving around the dojo, Kuyasaki started to throw open handed strikes quickly but lightly at Martin’s forehead, and Martin was jamming the strikes with his own arms.
“Good, good,” Kuyasaki said. “Faster.”
Kuyasaki threw punches faster, and faster, and faster, until Martin could defend himself without thinking, he could stop a punch without needing to think about what to do, and after a while he was becoming out of breath.
“Ten more seconds, fight when you’re tired!” Kuyasaki said, throwing blistering strikes at Martin’s head, and Martin was moving his head, putting his hands up and defending, and he was picking it all up very quickly.
“Good, stop,” Kuyasaki said, and Martin stepped back and relaxed his arms.
“Very good. See, soon it becomes natural, and then it becomes enjoyable.”
“Yes, I see now,” Martin said. “Thank you.”
The two bowed at each other and walked over to a corner of the dojo where the floor was not matted, but stone. They sat down to drink water from cups.
“What happened with your brother? Why does he want to harm you?” Martin said.
Kuyasaki paused, and sipped his water.
“We had an arrangement where we both had some money invested in a particular project. When he left us and the dojo, he sold his shares in the project to me so that he could have some fast cash. Since then the value of my shares rocketed, making me wealthy in finances, and he has always regretted it. Regret will drive a man to madness, if he does not know how to deal with it.”
“How do you deal with it, how do you deal with regrets?”
“You first accept the energy of regrets. You accept that you feel regret, rather than trying to fight against it. The fighting, the running from yourself and your feelings is what drives a person mad. So the first thing is to be comfortable with the feeling, to not turn it into an enemy.”
Kuyasaki paused again.
“Then you will see that the regret is almost an addictive thing. It feels bad, but it feels good. It’s like someone who loves to talk and think about their problems. They don’t like it, but secretly they do.”
Martin paused this time.
“So then what? Is that it?”
“Then you will see that the regret is not a useful thing. It eats and festers in the body and mind, but it does not change the past or the future for the better. It just creates unhappiness.”
“What about learning from your mistakes?”
“This is easy to do. Very easy. The regret and the guilt or the shame or the self-torture are completely extra. Optional extras. If you decide to simply regret nothing, because you no longer have the time to suffer in this life, then this will also help a great deal.”
“Yes. Try it. You may have been trained in the power of regret, but all regret does is keep you stuck in the past, doomed to repeat what you never wanted. How we feel now affects our future. If you regret nothing, your life has a power and a freshness and a space for evolution. If you like to regret things, then it will feel as if you have chains tying you back to inevitable actions that you don’t desire. This world is mental.”
“Mental? You mean like crazy?”
At that moment an echoing gong rang from another room. It was time to eat, and the two stood up, bowed, walked to the exit of the dojo, and bowed again before they left.
Story written and read by Adam Oakley, Copyright © Adam Oakley