What is the meaning of our lives? What gives us purpose as an individual in this life? What can we accomplish with the right motivation? These are big questions that need to be answered but many people struggle to do so throughout their lives. Unfortunately, a large number of people will never find an answer that they are satisfied with. The long and tedious journey that we take to pursue a life of mastery and understand our own values and principles is one of the most crucial journeys that we go on, although it sometimes requires years of endurance, control, and introspection.
It is a very long-lasting journey because you have to understand the relationship between your mind and your body. There are several challenges that you will encounter along the way and knowing how to overcome them is critical. You must understand that there are no shortcuts when it comes to stepping onto a path of mastery. But not starting this journey or not going all the way are two mistakes that should be avoided.
Let’s look at the five hurdles that we will all encounter at some point along the way and how to deal with them appropriately. They have been identified by the Master Shi Heng Yi and are called the “Five Hindrances to Self-Mastery”. Master Shi Heng Yi belongs to the 35th Generation of Shaolin Masters and is the headmaster of the Shaolin Temple Europe, which is located in Germany. The Master says that by overcoming these obstacles, you will be able to achieve your goals, bring meaning and value to your life and make good decisions.
Master Shi Heng Yi · 释恒義
The first habit is SENSUAL DESIRE.
Master Shi Heng Yi said “One plans to go up the mountain to see the beautiful vista at the top but gets halted by the aroma of a nearby restaurant.” If we allow ourselves to be tempted by our senses, we lose sight of our intentions and our goals. It’s easy to become distracted by sights, smells, sounds, tastes and feelings. When one gives in to sensual desire to the point of obsession, clarity is impossible. Understand when to listen to your desires and when to move on to continue your climb to the top of the mountain. Consistently allowing yourself to indulge in your desires and pleasures can cause a blockage in your life. It can cause you to lose sight of your goals, of your purpose and of your journey. It is so easy to give into temptation and desire. When you believe in yourself, you have clarity. When you have clarity, you will know where to go. In life, there is only one way and that’s your way. It is up to you to climb your own mountain. Each individual has to find his or her way to climb the mountain.
The second habit is AVERSION or ILL WILL.
Once you are on your way to the mountaintop, you must not let anything discourage you. If it rains, if destruction fills your path, you must not stop or give up. In order to cross a river, you need to swim. In order to continue your path, you must face the rain and shadows just as much as you face the light. If you do not learn to let go of these aversions, it is more than likely that you will not be able to continue your journey. On your journey, the challenge will either stop you or enable you to go. There is an old Chinese proverb that says “A path with no obstacles doesn’t go anywhere.”
The third habit is HEAVINESS.
Dullness of the mind and heaviness of the body fills us as we desperately try to make our way to the top of the mountain. We cannot think straight and we just do not feel like moving. The greatest challenge of any human being is to learn how to think greater than we feel. How many people all around the world feel heavy and do not feel like doing what they need to do to advance their mountain? This habit is characterized by a lack of motivation and sleeplessness. When left to grow, it can manifest itself into a state of depression. But we must eventually get ourselves out.
“Heaviness is an imprisonment of the mind and it is up to you to break free of its shackles”
– Master Shi Heng Yi
An object in motion stays in motion. Where there is heaviness, there is a lack of energy.
The fourth habit is RESTLESSNESS.
This often happens to those who are constantly anxious about their future or judging themselves for their actions. Restlessness does not allow us to stay focused. During these times, we become more vulnerable to random, spontaneous actions and we act in ways which we later regret. An unsettled mind is a troubled mind. A mind that is constantly jumping from one thing to another. The awareness of restlessness is an imperative part of the process of becoming more aware. Seek peace to quiet your mind. Breathe in and breathe out. Meditate and come back to your initial purpose and goals. To quieten down the inner mind, it helps to give it something to focus on. The more we try to resist and change our thoughts and experiences, the more agitated our minds become. We must regain control of our thoughts in order to continue our journey. So, what is the nature of the mind? The nature of the mind is how our minds play tricks on us. In order for us to conquer our mind, we must become aware of where our mind goes.
The fifth habit is SKEPTICAL DOUBT or SELF-DOUBT.
Your journey is taking longer to achieve and you are starting to worry. You must quieten these thoughts. At some point, you must trust your own intuition that you are on the right path. Through this trusting of oneself, you gain a sense of confidence and are able to connect with your goals. You set yourself free. A great life doesn’t happen by chance, it happens by design, it happens by self-mastery. Being aware of the five hurdles to self-mastery is an imperative step to climbing your mountain. It’s time to investigate yourself, to be courageous, to use the wisdom that is within you as you decide your own fate. Your future is unwritten and you have the power to change.
All of us will face these obstacles at some point in our lives. But if we are fully equipped with the necessary tools to deal with them, we can navigate through the toughest of times and keep pushing forward.
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