Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lesson from the desert....

Several years ago, my wife and I were driving through the desert in Arizona, enjoying the vastness of the landscape. There were no houses, save the odd Navajo dwelling every few miles or so, and any cell phone signals were nonexistent.

Yet, at one point, after an hour of driving, we came upon several sheep trying to cross a ditch to get to the road. There were no fences anywhere to be seen, or people, just a ragged looking border collie nudging the animals back from the road.

Whose were they? Why weren't they fenced in?

The memory reminded me of saying I came across in a book by the Zen Buddhist Shunryu Suzuki: To give a sheep or cow a large, spacious meadow is the way to control him.

Hmm. I love thinking about this. And although I am sure it has martial parallels or daily life application, I don't feel I need to delve into these areas. I just enjoy thinking about these sheep and how by giving them absolute freedom they were under more control than any barrier could achieve.


  1. I've thought a lot about that word 'freedom' since moving back to the States. Suzuki's quote reminds me a lot of the bahavior and mindset i see here...

  2. i'd love to hear some of those thoughts....

  3. I love these last two posts of yours ... absolutley right up my alley, keep it flowing! I agree, there is no need to divulge on all the details related to martial arts ... takes too long. Is that lazy or prioritizing? No answer needed.