We all perceive the world through our own distorted lens of experience, prejudice, desire, and fear.
At times, this lens makes it very difficult to see the world from the perspectives of others.
It reshapes reality so that we can understand it, process it, and accept it, but it leaves us somewhat blind to that which resides outside of our purview.
That which we cannot comprehend remains incomprehensible so long as we maintain our previously held perspective.
The good news is that, with enough open-mindedness, willingness, and effort, our perspective can be expanded and reshaped so that we are able to see the world, people, and our circumstances as they are instead of as our preconceptions make us believe they are.
With this shift in perspective, we gain the ability to be compassionate and understanding where we once were not.
Through this, our lives, and our hearts, become bigger.
Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.
Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Kogen Dojo Self Defense Academy where he teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.*
*Robert Van Valkenburgh’s black and white photography can be seen at My Darkness To Light
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