There is an old zen story about two monks-
They were watching a flag waving in the wind.
The first monk said to the other, “The wind is moving.”
The other said to the first, “No, you are wrong. It is the flag that is moving.”
They argued and argued, and as the sun went down their master came down with his stick, struck them both over the head and said, “it is the mind that moves.”
What does this have to do with NapTown?
These two monks have dedicated their lives to studying Zen. It is their passion, their vocation. Right or wrong, the two characters have committed themselves to a lifelong process of learning. The stakes may be different than that of an athlete, but the process of self-improvement is the same.
The whole goal of Zen is to be uncompromisingly aware. Distraction is the greatest error.
People come to NapTown because they need a change. This is the start for many of a lifelong process.The same can be said of Zen: flashes of awakening, a moment of learning, and your life is changed. The ultimate end…mastery.
At NapTown, this could be a personal record, the end of a long barbell cycle, competition, or beginner cycle. Maybe you completed a SWIFT chipper workout where you were 110% satisfied with your effort. There are countless opportunities for development and learning. Making a friend. Relaxing during yoga (…really relaxing). Successfully prepping real, clean food for a week.
The list goes on…
The two monks were watching the flag. It could be argued that the wind was moving. It could be argued that the flag was moving. They argued this point and missed the experience of the flag and the wind, it never mattered which one was moving. The master saw this and came down to whack them both over the heads.
The mind moves and the circumstances around our practice change.
Enjoy training. Enjoy the flag as it moves (if it is the wind, enjoy that too). Through many seasons of training you grow closer to mastery. It is the same in the gym. We have to be willing to continuously learn. Because true mastery can never be achieved, one has to enjoy the process.
Even these two zen monks show the value of being teachable. The poem implies that this led to an insight, a moment of learning. A whack over the head from the master!