What we do affects others
In class last night at Jung SuWon, there was a really eye-opening learning lesson that occurred. We were doing an extra workout after the normal class hours. Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim was working with the Masters on one of our forms and the rest of the class was in the other do jang practicing their own forms. We did that for a while, then I noticed that one of the more junior students was talking to one of the Black Belts. It was a little distracting, but I tried to not pay any attention to it, figuring the junior student was probably asking the Black Belt a question about a form. I put it out of my mind. Many minutes later, Great Grandmaster stopped class to address their discussion. It turned out it wasn’t just a question about forms, but there was casual talking and some laughter going on. This is not normally how we would conduct ourselves in class.
It reminded me that our actions, what we say, can influence others. I’m sure the junior belt didn’t intend to distract the Black Belt and I’m sure the Black Belt didn’t intend to lose his focus, but it happened. How often do I let myself be influenced by something external, seemingly against my choice? From hearing a song played on the radio that stays in my head for days, to seeing a commercial for ad and I have a sudden yearning to find my nearest Taco Bell, when I wasn’t even hungry, nor even wanting to eat that particular food.
Great Grandmaster talks about energy, and how it is “sticky”. In Dr. Tae Yun Kim’s book, The First Element, page 67, she writes “If you aren’t aware of the energy states around you, you will likely pick up undesirable energy without even noticing. Have you had the experience of feeling good, then spending time around a depressed person? Did you later experience that your cheerful mood just vanished, and that you were now feeling depressed yourself?”
When I think of energy as “sticky” it isn’t really a pleasant thought. I imagine being covered in goo or slime that gets more and more sticky. In martial arts, if we know an attack is coming, we can prepare mentally and physically, and the blow isn’t as jolting as if it comes unexpected. The same applies to energy. If I know that I will be encountering a depressed person, or going somewhere full of negativity, I can take steps to protect myself.