Happy New Year! I've always found the New Year not only to be a great time for resolutions, but also a time to look back upon past experiences. It's funny how some of the most memorable parts of my training came from the most unexpected places.
Having just about grown up in the martial arts, I've long been aware of the many great experiences training can give children. Like in any type of education, the student will have many questions along the way, and the teacher will carefully guide them.
Well, years ago, I called a young child up in front of the class for a promotion. Seeing the joy in children's eyes when they've worked so hard to improve is truly amazing. Up until that point, I had always shaken a students hand, said "congratulations," and then smiled and said "do you know why you're here?" Usually I was met with something like "to get my yellow belt!" Not this lesson. The young boy turned to me, and with such a pure and open way about him, said..."to learn."
For a moment, he was the sensei, and I that white belt so many years ago. His answer, to this day, makes me smile... and makes my New Year's resolution that much more promising.
Happy New Year, everyone!
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few."
--- Shunryo Suzuki-Roshi