My uniform is on.
Belt is tied.
The room is full of people busy performing different Karate kata, punching and kicking, kiai! Shouts fill the room.
I work through my kata once.
Over and over again.
With each repetition I pick up speed and use more power. I torque my hips and use my stances to create more and more power.
My body is full of adrenaline.
Each kiai comes from deep down inside and echos through my body and the room.
Sweat is dripping off my brow. My breathing heavy but steady. Again and again I repeat the same movements. The same kata.
The kiai comes again and again and I feel the power course through my body.
I stop to catch my breath.
I can’t stop for too long or the momentum will slowly fade – I start again.
The next repetition I’m going to focus on making each movement an individual movement, aiming at perfect technique.
The same kata, the same movements over and over again. I’ve been practicing this kata for over 20 years. The kata is not perfect and never will be but I continue to practice.
The next repetition of this kata I’m focusing on fluidity, I want to move like a drop of dew falling from a petal of a flower…and then it happens.
The world around me fades away.
I hear the noises of Karate around me but they seem distant…but not apart from me. Like I’m submerged into warm water.
Everything is muffled but connected.
My movements through the kata are strong and fluid.
I feel buzzy or high, but not ill or overheated, just that the repetitions of the kata are making me one.
One with everything.
For a few brief moments I experience the essential oneness of life, a fullness without thought or division. I don’t know exactly how to describe the experience, kensho, an epiphany or henosis?
For a fleeting moment reality all becomes one. My breathing, body and movements all sync and I forget “self.” I’m not looking for this experience but it finds me and fills me.