A couple of days ago I went to the new Harry Potter movie. Let’s get this out-of-the-way now – I am a Harry Potter fan. I arrived over an hour early because I thought, “I’ll get there early, before everyone else, so I can get a good seat.” Well, it turns out that everyone else decided to get there an hour and a half before the movie and I was therefore last in line. I did manage to get a good seat however. After the initial excitement of getting a good seat wore off, I realized that I had over 45 minutes to wait for the movie to start. I immediately thought, “I’ll just meditate” but alas whenever I do that people tend to stare. I have tried several ways of meditating in the past that I thought no one would notice but it never fails, after about 15 minutes the fingers start pointing. Basically, anyone that sits for over 15 minutes without moving starts to attract attention. I think next time I’ll lean my head back, open my mouth, close my eyes, and start working on one of the more challenging koans. Hopefully everyone will think I’m just sleeping. Nothing odd about a middle-aged American male sleeping at a movie theater due to a lack of sleep caused by working an 80 hour week, sitting in front of the computer for hours on end and almost never sleeping. Yet I digress.
There I was sitting and waiting. In order to pass the time a little faster I starting listening to the conversations the people around me were having. As was to be expected, they were all concerning Harry Potter. One ended up catching my attention more than the others. The two young males were talking about how much they wished Hogwarts really existed and that they both wanted more than anything to be able to attend that school to study magic. They talked about how they would practice endlessly until they were able to perfectly cast all the more difficult spells. They talked about how they would spend hour upon hour in the library reading all the books about magic. On and on they went until they finally concluded they would become the best wizards Hogwarts had ever seen.
I felt like saying to them, “Instead of talking about it, why don’t you just go do it?” To which they would say, “How can we? Hogwarts doesn’t exist.” It is true that the fictional school in the Harry Potter books doesn’t exist, but there are thousands of schools across the US that do teach magic. They are martial art schools. I know what is going through your minds, “that’s not the same.” I would have to disagree and say that anyone that would say that is speaking out of ignorance. Almost every spell has a martial art counterpart. It might take on a slightly different form but in the end it will achieve the same end result. If what we do isn’t magic I don’t know what is. We can control a person both physically and mentally with little effort. We can destroy boards, bricks, stones, etc. with our hands and feet. We can heal the injured. We can sense someone’s intention to move before they actually move. We can withstand extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. We can endure a very high level of pain. We can control our breathing to alter our mental state. The list goes on and on and on. The point is, if you don’t have to ability to perform magical feats, practice more. Remember it took Harry almost an entire school year to be able to successfully cast the Patronus spell.
Some Magic Videos
1) O Sensei – Morihei Ueshiba
2) Master Kyuzo Mifune
3) Bruce Lee
4) Shaolin Monks
Something to think about…