I've been told my beginner's opinions don't matter.
Whoever told you that was both wrong and an arrogant a$$. My apologies that you were so ill treated, and you can point me in the direction of whom I should frap!
Seriously, Harlan, everyone's opinions have some grain of worth and truth to them. and no one is so wise that they can ignore the insights and opnions of others. If that were the case, learning would be finite, which it is not. Also, some of the best teachers I know, say that teaching is where they have learned the most.
So please continue to post your opinions. We won't always agree, but I do value your voice!
Wow, those are two heavy and valuable pennies!
Thank you Harlan for sharing such a personal story, and facing issues that I agree we often only address in tangential ways.
People come to train for many reasons, and we usually train to the surface reasons. We train for self-defense, we train for physical health, we train for combat, we train for fun, etc.
But there is almost always an underlying mental/spiritual/emotional reason as well. Whether it is because she/he is looking for "something", seeking inner peace and wisdom, facing up to fears born of a specific incident, dealing with all the small petty slings of fate and childhood, or simply seeking a way to better understand or challenge her/himself...there is some mental/spiritual/emotional aspect to any training or hobby one undertakes.
Harlan, I think this actually addresses both your and Maxwell's post. Why do so many people only learn the surface lessons of sanchin, and why is satori so rare?
First, I must admit that I have had epiphanies, but I do not think I have reached satori...yet. But I think Harlan's post speaks eloquently to your question, Maxwell, even if she didn't mean to.
What little I know of satori and enlightenment is that courage is required. Because it takes courage to step into the unknown, and it takes courage to look inside yourself or face your own personal demons.
Personally, I think learning is pretty one-sided if there is not some deeper context for the learning. I think it is this deeper context that defines the difference between a warrior and a bully. I also think it is this deeper context that defines a dan rank from a master.
But that is my opinion, only.