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By Richard Chun

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A story is told of a master swordsmith whose technique in making blades was excellent but whose character was weak. This weakness came out in combat, when the blades he made would cause their wielders to get into bloody fights in which both they and their opponents would get killed or badly hurt. One warrior, on receiving one of these swords, decided to test it before he used it. He placed the blade in a swiftly flowing stream in which autumn leaves were floating. Every time the blade touched a leaf, the leaf was cleanly sliced in two.

In our normal lives, our minds are constantly being overrun by what has been called “stream-of-consciousness” thoughts. Random thoughts constantly intrude on our purposeful thinking. Focused concentration is replaced by polyphasic thinking, and our mental efficiency is reduced immeasurably. Thus, we never get to realize our true powers. In a self-defense situation, this state of affairs can be fatal. When your life is threatened, you cannot afford the luxury of random thoughts wandering willy-nilly through your mind.

To realize one’s own true nature (this is the real meaning of enlightenment) 3. to achieve the realization of the truth of enlightenment in everyday life The goals are achieved through meditation, or positive training of the mind. Enlightenment does not come easily. Even the ancient Zen masters spent a many as twenty years groping toward it. ) One of Taekwondo’s most important principles is its reverence for all forms of life. The power we learn is awesome, and it carries with it an awesome responsibility, which cannot be takes lightly.

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Advancing in Tae Kwon Do, Revised and Updated Edition by Richard Chun

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