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Yesterday, February 17, 2012, I attended the home-going service for the father of my best friend. I mean my best male friend. Anyway, while reflecting on important experiences, this is what came to mind:

I am blessed! Many years ago I had a conversation, excuse me, I had an encounter with the father of my best friend. And for the next several weeks I am going to expound on that encounter. By the way, I got the impression that he coined these phrases.

Mr. Nichols talked to me on the subject of education, and (I’m paraphasing here) the need to seek as much of it as you can possibly obtain. As an educator, he knew the importance of learning.

After we talked (really I just listened) for several hours.I had to ask him to repeat the lessons to me slowly, so I could write down the titles of each section of the conversation;

First on this list was: “Education is a shortcut to experience.”

Consider my dilemma as I fought with myself. I had always felt that there are no shortcuts. It was necessary for me to re-evaluate some things as this man knew what he was talking about. He had a twenty-year headstart on me. Still, I wondered about his choice of words.

After much thought, my conclusion is, education IS the ‘experience’ to which he referred.

Your thoughts?

An interesting question was emailed to me by one of my students.

R. B. asked : “Do you have conversations with GOD?”

This is an extremely personal question not usually asked by martial arts students.   While I was a little curious as to where the student was headed, I don’t generally pass up opportunities to teach lessons in unusual  circumstances so this is my response:

Absolutely!  However, these conversations are usually in the form of messages or scenes that my eyes behold.  The beauty  in a flower, a hypnotizing sunset, someone’s commentary, be it a passage written in a book or magazine or the spoken word.  Sometimes it is a “realization” thought which comes to my mind suddenly or maybe gradually;  Watching a child in discovery mode with something in his or her hands and it can be any object like a simple box that a something was mailed in.

Is that what you meant R.B.?