Many years ago, I read a phrase about what education really is about. It has stuck with me throughout my life. Education fundamentally involves a change of perception and once that happens we can never go back to our previous perceptions.
In other words, education involves a change of view, of ourselves, our relationship with others, and with Life and the Universe itself. Once that shift happens, we can never go back to a narrower or limited view. Education then is the process of ‘waking up’ to our full humanity and potentials. As we used to say in the old days, You’ve got to unchain your brain. And, as Aikido Master author and educator George Leonard pointed out, Be a learner.
Education, in this light, is a continual, ongoing process, as is Reality itself. As I like to say Reality is a verb not a noun. Literally speaking there are no “things,” instead there are processes of relationship, flows of energy that constellate as objects in our perceptual field.
In this extraordinary life we have been given being a life-long learner and acting on what we learn is our main task. We are evolution in action where Consciousness is not an abstraction, it is a platform and evolving stance for being and acting in the world.
We are evolution’s manifestation in time and space, as is all Life.
We are evolution itself! How conscious we can become given our human ability to be conscious of Consciousness itself is the incredible gift, responsibility and opportunity we humans possess.
So, our lives are filled with meandering, frustrating, painful, dramatic, and joyful events along the pathway of “waking up” whether we know it or like it or not. And as Craig Hamilton puts it: We are awakening to the Spirit of Evolution itself. The only real choice in life, is how conscious we are, what do we pay attention to, during our “waking up” journey.
I view our Sports, Energy and Consciousness Group (SEC Group) as a consciousness-education-delivery organization using sport, the athletic experience and physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual fitness practices as our vehicle.
Our work and “product” boils down to integral Consciousness education. As athletes and coaches, we have come to realize the power and clarity sport can offer in evoking greater Consciousness and greater Self-Awareness in human beings.
This expanded view of sport, seen and experienced as a consciousness education process involves a deep appreciation of our human sensibilities and our collective human experience. We know, at best, engaging in sport and fitness is a huge positive, joyful, life affirming experience.
Though the notion of sport as a means and process of education, indeed consciousness raising, is certainly not a new idea, the old shibboleth that participating in sport is a character builder is not too far off base.
The question is what kind of character are we intending to build.
As an example, we can look at a core element of sport which is competition. I’ve pointed out many times the root word for competition, from the Latin is competere, is “to strive together.” We can strive together with an attitude of “kill our opponent,” or with an attitude of seeing our opponent as a means to help us strive for personal excellence. We can also become aware that the “killing my opponent” attitude is only one kind of emotional energy we can have during athletic competition. We can also see there are other more effective emotional energies and attitudes that can produce better results.
Winning is also a key element in sport. A question I want to pose is:
What state of internal being do we hold when we focus solely on winning?
And is this focus the most functional, does it produce the best results? Perhaps a more productive view would be to focus on developing excellence and let winning take care of itself. In this regard, we see the contest with our opponent as mutually enhancing. At the same time, I make no judgements here. I invite us all to remember we are always evolving including our attitudes and world views, and we need to be very pragmatic – what works for us. And all of us carry the seeds of “kill our opponent and we want to win at all costs”. And yes, what is the cost of that attitude, a good chance is limited performance.
We strongly suggest coaches and athletes review their operating beliefs about competition and winning, and be open to consider different approaches, including a focus on the mental/inner side of the game which can open many doors to greater performance and enjoyment. For sure decide to be a learner.
Our SEC solutions approach is to develop multiple mind/body coaching perspectives and practices that enhance enjoyment and performance. These practices focus on incorporating energy and consciousness approaches into sport and fitness training. We are calling this, Omni Sports and Fitness Training. SEC is developing and will be offering an on-line Omni Sports Training and Fitness module; an integral, whole person training program that coaches and athletes can use right away.