I have always learned more by doing than by being told. Yes, there is limitless knowledge to be garnered from a books or websites but I think the good stuff comes from personal practice.
The reason I think this is is because everything, and I mean everything is constantly in a state of flux.
For example: counter IED operations.
Down range we received a new tool or a new SOP for dealing with IEDs in sector once a month.
Was anybody around when the Rhino became a standard counter IED practice on the humvees?
Anyway, the reason we had to keep changing our tactics was because the enemy kept changing theirs.
We would adapt, they would adapt.
This reality is as old as time, only it takes in your face changes to really see it.
Now I've mentioned before how the in your face reality of imminent death in a war zone is a gift and a curse.
This is another example of why it was a gift.
The changes that are constantly taking place in a war zone speed up and make more visible the underlying fundamental truth of reality that everything is changing all the time.
I would go so far to say that the only constant in reality is change.
This is exactly why I think the most valuable knowledge comes not from what you read or what you are told but what you experience.
When you are on the ground in the moment you are living the flux, adapting.
I am 18 days into this fast and the changes I'm experiencing are pronounced.
For example: I've been a coffee drinker for years. In Iraq, we couldn't drink coffee on patrol, but we used dip and cigarettes to stay awake.
I don't dip or smoke now, so on long drives I keep myself awake by eating sunflower seeds. Three weeks ago I would have told you that I can't stay awake without them.
Now, I'm without coffee and sunflower seeds and I feel awake as the sun.
I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't experienced it myself.
This post was guided by the 46th stanza of the Art of Peace, a book written by Morihei Ueshiba
Armor Down has a website. Check it out.
If you like the AD Facebook page and I'll email you the PDF of a book called "Mindfulness in Practical English".
Lisa Wimberger's meditations:
Grounding Your Armor
Riding the Sun
Thrive as a civilian.