Flow Free

You know the Bruce Lee quotes – “Put water in a cup, it becomes the cup. Put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now Water can flow, or creep, or drip or crash. Be water, my friend.”

Likewise, water can become still. More than still, it can become stagnant, oxygen poor, lifeless, and trapped.

Put water in a cup and becomes the cup, and sits and waits for time’s magic to work on the cup. The water seeks the lowest level, continually pressing against the cup, waiting for something outside to act upon the cup, its constant pressure to no avail. The bowl of the ground contains the pond. With no inlet or egress, the water will stagnate only to evaporate away, a ghostly mist with few of the heavy, crashing qualities of the water’s earlier properties.

It is not enough to be like water, following the flow blindly into the cup. “It is like a finger pointing the way to the Moon. If you concentrate on the finger you will miss all that heavenly glory.” To get you to follow them into the cup, they point at the finger pointing at the Moon. The cup is theirs, and inside is where they wish to keep you. They may leave no opening for growth, for flow in and out. Once inside, seeking the lowest passive level, pondering the professed power of the finger, growth and life will cease as evaporation peels away tiny piece by tiny piece.

It is fine to observe and learn from the fingers pointing at the finger, and the finger itself, but do not wait for the outside to free you. Be yourself. Seek your goals. If you will not crash or flow, at least creep or drip. Do not allow yourself to become contained and stagnant. Be water and fire, my friend.


About Sifu

I teach Wing Chun, both traditional and practical, at KDA Karate Academy. I have a Bachelor of Media Arts degree from USC. I have been an Audio Producer / Engineer, a Law Office Manager. In addition to being a Martial Arts Instructor, I am an author. My new book, "Astro Boy, Sensei, and Me" is available now, as is my Sci-Fi joy ride, "On a Sphere's Edge".

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