Dōjō (道場 ) is the Japanese word for “place of the way”. Originally the formal training halls of temples, in the West, the term dōjō has become synonymous with traditional martials arts.
The traditional Japanese martial arts dōjō is a sacred space. Cleaned and maintained by it’s students, the dōjō is at the heart of practice.
We don’t need to be a martial artist or Zen monk to experience the dōjō. We simply need to pay attention.
You are the dōjō.
They say “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. We are always ready, and the teacher is always present. Not some white robed Sensei, no, the teacher is in everything you do.
I have been fortunate to learn from some amazing teachers over the years and every one of them has directed me back to my own practice, my own understanding, my own experience, back to myself.
When the opportunity presents itself to learn from another, embrace it. But don’t wait in anticipation. You need to recognise the lessons you are presented with every day. Like the students of the dōjō, take time to clean, maintain and respect your training ground. Get off autopilot, put down the phone, switch off the computer, close the door and just breathe and move.
Wherever You Go, There You are - J. Kabat-Zinn