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Strength and Honour


Muir

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"In order to gain strength, the body, mind, and heart must all be trained. One aspect can not work without the others." He turns towards me, his face is expressionless, but his eyes hold the seeming wisdom of the aeons. "You have been conditioning your body, but nothing you have learned will be effective unless you have dedication, concentration, and discipline."

 

"But wise Teacher, have I not proven that I am dedicated? Have I not been concentrating on your words, and shown discipline in my training?"

 

The ghost of a smile passes over his face, as if he expected my questions but still finds them amusing. "Patience must always be strived for during every waking moment. You are taught to move with speed, but you must also show common sense and intelligence. When a foe presents himself, your body, mind, and heart must all be united so that you know when to block, when to dodge, and when to strike. Without this three tier unity, you can be the strongest man alive, yet be as powerless as a newborn babe."

 

I ponder his words as he looks at the statue of the Buddha located in its niche behind me. For a moment, his gaze looks distant as though he is listening to something far away. And perhaps he is. The Teacher is old and wise; some say he has been around since before the town was built, but that's just old wives tales - silly stories made up by the superstitious.

 

He glances down toward the floor, sighing and nodding slightly as if acknowledging some instructions or advice. "Over the next month, your lessons will be taking place out there, in the world around you." He gestures towards the doors leading to the town green. "You must properly learn respect. Not just for yourself, but also for others, your family, teachers, and all in the wider community."

 

Fixing his gaze upon me, I shiver slightly under the weight of it. "There is much you must learn and most are lessons only experience can teach. You will come here, as usual, for your physical training. In addition to that, I will be giving you various missives each week which you must complete in the time frame I give you for each."

 

"But, Teacher, what can I learn outside in the world that you can't teach me here?" I ask, knowing how plaintive, scared, and pathetic I must sound to him. I have practically lived inside these walls for the last several months. Being told to go out into the world and learn from it sounds almost counter-intuitive, not to mention a waste of time. I am however smart enough to not voice this last part out loud. (See? I'm learning already!)

 

His demeanour stifles any urge I may have had to smile at my internal thoughts. "You will learn the meaning of Brotherhood, Strength, and Honour. You can - and have - learned much inside these walls, but your training will not be complete until you have learned to unify all facets of your being. Go now. Rest. Come back tomorrow and we will start you with your first missive."

 

------------------------------

 

OK! Here we are, another challenge awaits us. Welcome, all those who enter!

 

This month, my randomly assigned topic is "Strength and Honour". (Originally, it was just strength, but when I did a google search, the first hit was the Satanic Warmaster album "Strength and Honour", so I took the full phrase and ran. Searching for that full phrase led me to boxing and thus to Muay Thai - a form of martial arts that I am currently semi learning for fitness reasons. This then led me to Buddhism, as it is the most popular religion in Thailand where Muay Thai started.

 

Over the next 5 weeks, I am going to be doing at least one "missive" or quest. Each one will be assigned to one or more of three categories, these being: Body, Mind, and Heart. Each missive will also be worth points; how many depends on how difficult the missive is and how long it takes to complete. The goal is to reach 100 points in each category.

 

There is also a 4th category: Honour. This is where you all come in. On certain missives, I will invite any who are interested to do the missive along side me. For example, if the quest is to prep cook enough to last for 3 meals, then everyone who does this will give me extra points which will be put into the Honour category. If all four categories reach 100 by the 5th week, then I will do one more missive, as voted on by everyone who helped out.

 

So! Are we ready?

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Following along again, brother! I liked the little write-up in the beginning. Count me in to help out with the missive ;)

 

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You have my lance! Strength and Honour!!

 

Any way I can help, let's do it!

 

I dabbled in Buddhism years ago, really nice and pragmatic stuff. :D

i am not waiting for a hero.  i saved myself long ago.

Level 50 Bardic Time-Mage; of the Furious Heart

STR.55  DEX.43 STA.48 CON.51 WIS.53 CHA.65

"Well...in the end, it boils down to two simple choices. Either you do or you don't.

You'd think with all the problems in this world, there'd be more answers. It's not fair...
...But that's the way things are. The choice is yours."

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It is morning and I enter the Teacher's abode, removing my shoes at the entrance and bowing to the Buddha, leaving an offering of flowers and water. Of course, the Teacher is already there, waiting.

 

"Good morning," he says calmly, after my meditation in front of the Buddha has finished. "Are you ready to start the Unification of your Body, Mind, and Heart?"

 

I greet the Teacher with the traditional wei. "Yes, Honourable Teacher. I stand before you ready to receive your missives and will not stop until I have completed them."

 

"Very good, young one." I bristle slightly at that - I have lived for nearly 4 decades; I am not exactly young. But to the Teacher, we are all as children. He holds a place in my memories for as long as I can remember and the elders of the town also speak of their memories of him from when they were young. How many years he has been amongst us, no one is quite certain.

 

His eyes twinkle as though he knows my thoughts, but he does not comment on them. We sit in the middle of the floor, facing each other. "Your first missives are not going to be easy; they will require much dedication and perseverance to complete. I know that you can do them, if you work hard and listen to your Heart."

 

I swallow, my eyes widening slightly at his words. Suddenly I feel doubtful of my abilities, but I don't want to let the Teacher - or myself - down, so I sit up straight, pulling my shoulders back and holding my head high. "I will do my very best to not disappoint you, Teacher."

 

"This week, you will start with 3 missives."

 

My eyes widen yet again. Three?! Talk about starting in the deep end. I bow my head in acceptance. "What do these missives entail, Teacher?"

 

"The first," he replies, holding up one finger, "will last two weeks and will help train your Body and develop your Discipline and Dedication. For the next 14 days, you will not eat any bread, pasta, or other food which has been made from white flour and every meal you eat must contain at least one fruit or vegetable. You may eat food which has been made from whole grains however and you may two days off."

 

That doesn't sound too bad, I think to myself, especially if some of my fellow Brothers and Sisters joined with me.

 

"Your second missive is to obtain one thing which will help you better your life by making it easier for you to maintain the good habits which you have started. This will help with your Mind and, depending on what you get, either your Body or your Heart. You have the entire 5 weeks to do this, so there is no real rush."

 

My mind races, thinking of all the things that I've been looking at in the shops lately. Several of them will help me maintain the habits that I've built over the last month, so this task should be very easy indeed.

 

"Finally, your last task is one of the Heart. You will write or draw one thing that inspires you. Alternatively, you may complete this task by collecting an assortment of images and placing the collection somewhere so that you can go through them whenever you need to awaken the feeling of inspiration. If any of your Brothers or Sisters in the order which to do this with you, they may do so."

 

"Thank you, Teacher. I will start these immediately."

 

"Come here at least 3 times over the next week as well as Sunday so that you can keep me abreast of how you and your Brothers and Sisters are doing and so that I may give you further tasks when the time is right to do so. Good luck. You may go."

 

-------------

 

In summary,

 

  • No white flour foods for 12 days out of the next 14.
  • One fruit or veggie per meal, every day for the next 14 days.
  • Write, draw, or collect images which inspire you.
  • Make or buy one thing to help me keep a good habit that I've built over the last month.

The first 3 points can be done as co-op tasks. For every person who starts these tasks, I will get one point in Honour. For every person who makes it half way through the first two points, I will receive 2 extra Honour points. And everyone who makes it all the way through the two weeks will give me 5 Honour points. Side note: The first two points, if done for the entire two weeks counts as achieving NF level 5 nutrition (I've deviated a little from the actual quest, as I'm not going fully Paleo, but am still counting it). The third point will mark off the Iron and The Soul NF quest, and the 4th point will mark off the 2nd Bat Cave Quest.

 

Who is up for the challenge?

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Following.

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52,53,54

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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1 hour ago, Muir said:
  • No white flour foods for 12 days out of the next 14.
  • One fruit or veggie per meal, every day for the next 14 days.
  • Write, draw, or collect images which inspire you.
  • Make or buy one thing to help me keep a good habit that I've built over the last month.

 

Count me in! 

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In!!

 

Do I have to choose which one of the missives I want to work on, or is it all of them together? ^_____^

i am not waiting for a hero.  i saved myself long ago.

Level 50 Bardic Time-Mage; of the Furious Heart

STR.55  DEX.43 STA.48 CON.51 WIS.53 CHA.65

"Well...in the end, it boils down to two simple choices. Either you do or you don't.

You'd think with all the problems in this world, there'd be more answers. It's not fair...
...But that's the way things are. The choice is yours."

»  kom starkru

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3 hours ago, Muir said:

 

  • One fruit or veggie per meal, every day for the next 14 days.
  • Write, draw, or collect images which inspire you.

 

Count me in for these two :D 

 

...I seriously need to get my diet sorted out, and I reckon this'll help nicely. Plus you can't go wrong with a little extra inspiration now, can you?

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"The old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring."

 

 

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First time reader here. Loved your initial write up and am following along: 

 

8 hours ago, WorldSparrow said:
  • No white flour foods for 12 days out of the next 14.
  • One fruit or veggie per meal, every day for the next 14 days.

 

These two align pretty nicely with my own diet goals so count me onboard! 

 

 

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Welcome, Jon! And thanks for joining in with the challenges!

 

Day one has just ended for me here in England. The challenges have started out fantastically. I had a 2 egg omelette with ham and a banana (eaten separately, not in the omelette) for breakfast, a Mexican tuna salad with tomatoes, corn, onions, and beans for lunch, and a pork stew with potatoes and tons of veggies for supper. I had zero bread and nothing made with white flour.

 

My boyfriend (T) totally does not understand these challenges that I'm doing. He just can not grasp why I'm doing them. In his mind, white bread/flour is the same as whole grain, granulated white sugar is the same as the natural sugars found in fruits and veggies, and all meals must contain carbs in order to be "balanced". I honestly think I'm going to have to start doing my own shopping and my own cooking in order to succeed with these challenges. He isn't going to like it, but making healthy habits in regards to eating is important to me. We're getting our new Fridge delivered on Thursday, so I'll spend the first half of the week planning some meals and will do some shopping on Friday and the beginning of next week.

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8 minutes ago, Muir said:

My boyfriend (T) totally does not understand these challenges that I'm doing. He just can not grasp why I'm doing them. In his mind, white bread/flour is the same as whole grain, granulated white sugar is the same as the natural sugars found in fruits and veggies, and all meals must contain carbs in order to be "balanced".

He's still plugged into the matrix. Just keep setting a good example.

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52,53,54

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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I'm following along and will sign up for the no-white-flour business (with one variance used already for cake yesterday- dang it!). My Mr also gets confused/annoyed by my diet choices. His reaction is generally 'you're not going to make me eat that?!' (Which I never do). He is much more accepting of 'bread is giving me a tummy ache lately' than 'I'm trying to reduce grains'. As both are true I just pick my wording.

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Motivation for the day!

 

b10bfb66a16371669b70e4121809245a.jpg

 

Welcome aboard, Yasha! Thanks for taking part in the dietary co-op challenge!

 

Speaking of, how is everyone doing? I know it's only been 2 days, but the first few days are always the hardest. Yesterday was my variance day for the week as it was gaming night. I didn't go overboard though, which is good. My boyfriend's sister fixed a chocolate crumble cake and some chocolate chip cookies for last night. I had a very small piece of cake and two of the smallest cookies. She fixed us pasta for supper, but it was whole grain pasta so doesn't count as white flour. I skipped the garlic bread, which was white baguette. Today has been good so far. Today was Bootcamp day and I went to the nearby café for brunch after and had a cheese, onion, and bacon omelette with side salad. Very tasty. I believe we're having chicken and veggies tonight, so the day seems to be shaping up quite well! :) 

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That omelette sounds amazing!! *____*

 

Zero week is going well!  We had the opportunity to order pizza last night, and aaaalmost did, but I stuck to my guns and prepared breaded panko porkchops with brown basmati rice instead!  SCORE!

 

+1 for motivation from one of my favorite movies~ <3

 

e8462531716e7a8fa1b024e9b1dc163a.jpg

i am not waiting for a hero.  i saved myself long ago.

Level 50 Bardic Time-Mage; of the Furious Heart

STR.55  DEX.43 STA.48 CON.51 WIS.53 CHA.65

"Well...in the end, it boils down to two simple choices. Either you do or you don't.

You'd think with all the problems in this world, there'd be more answers. It's not fair...
...But that's the way things are. The choice is yours."

»  kom starkru

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42 minutes ago, Muir said:

Speaking of, how is everyone doing? I know it's only been 2 days, but the first few days are always the hardest.

 

Veggies everywhere over here! Usually for me it's the opposite, the first week or so is the easy part, and then it gets difficult, so we'll see how it goes in week two...

"The old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring."

 

 

Yeti on Flickr - Facebook - Instagram

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41 minutes ago, shaar said:

I stuck to my guns and prepared breaded panko porkchops with brown basmati rice instead!  SCORE!

 

31 minutes ago, iatetheyeti said:

Veggies everywhere over here!

 

Great job you two! Brown basmati rice is so good! Put it together with some stir-fried veggies and bacon (and just a tiny splash of soy sauce)... so good. I'm hungry now lol.

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