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— Jon Gilson

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Developing Awareness

In May 2011, I was middle of a grueling four-week course taught by the United States Military Special Operations Command at the United States Navy Land Warfare School.

During the course, embers of my team from the Drug Enforcement Administration were embedded with US Navy SEALS, in order to learn their brilliant patrolling tactics. During live-fire drills, we learned how to immediately react to enemy ambushes and attacks.

BANG! BANG! BANG! Shots rang out from an enemy firing position.

“Contact! Enemy twenty five meters.” The lead SEAL in our team shouted this warning as he laid down fire. Moving in a pre-planned and controlled manner, my fellow DEA partners and SEALS quickly hit the prone firing position, and moved into a line to counter-attack.

“Give me the SA” shouted the Team Leader.

“SA” referred to a request for Situational Awareness. And with these words, I came to understand the key principle taught in Yoga.

Develop the ability to be sky holding weather.

Awereness

Consider the sky. It never changes. It always is. It holds space for everything that passes underneath it’s omni-presence.

Consider the wether. It is in constant flux. It changes by the hour. Sometimes weather is stormy. Sometimes the sun shines brightly.

Regardless of the weather – the sky holds space. The sky allows weather to pass. The sky is not attached to one type of weather condition. The sky neither judges the weather nor wishes it were different than it was.

The sky is simply aware of what passes underneath it.

The Warrior seeks to develop the qualities of sky. To be present for the circumstances of our life, without becoming the circumstance. To listen to our thoughts without becoming attached to the thought. To be aware of our feelings and emotions without being the emotion or feeling.

Develop the “SA”. This is the Way of a Warrior of Light.

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