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Practice of Ashla 

 

 

The skills and techniques employed while in the service of the Order of Ashla Knights are also those used to actualize its teachings in an effort to achieve balance of mind, body and spirit. These methods fall within the “practice” portion of the Ashla philosophy because, it is not enough to read about an ideology you intend to accept as your personal life path, it must be personified by living it every day of your life.  Living the path is the most difficult part of any philosophy for one cannot remain as they are and expect such a fundamental and profound transformation to be a success overnight.  Real, long lasting change happens by taking small steps, not giant leaps.

 

Truth

 

However, before any steps are taken one must release passion and let go of attachment to those the “truths” long trusted and relied upon.  If one cannot do this, then change cannot take place.  In a previous lecture, we discussed how the passions of our beliefs and the attachment to what we practice make it difficult to accept truth, which is in part a derivative of our upbringing.  While not wrong or evil in many cases, the perspectives and/or truths of our family beliefs and social traditions have molded and shaped the way we negotiate and reconcile both the negative and positive situations in our lives.  It is difficult to let go of who we are especially when situations are resolved “successfully”, for we become beholden to antiquated and subjective beliefs and practices.  Success is not always a revelation or verification of truth just as failure is not always an oversight or negation of truth. 

 

Success can sometimes have a negative affect on our nature.  It can yield a false sense of character validation, which can keep us locked into damaging personality traits especially if our success is the result of questionable methods.  The reverse is true, failure can often have a positive affect on our nature just as adversity, disappointment, and the setbacks we encounter can compel us to review, evaluate and confront our character traits developed from contentious beliefs and problematic traditions.  Truth can be illusive, success can hide it, failure will always reveal it but choosing to make a major life change without accepting it will be difficult to impossible.

 

Change

 

The chain of events that provoked you to change your life path did not happen by accident.  Deciding to make a change, taking the time and putting the effort in to explore different faiths, philosophies, religions and spiritual disciplines is the first step.  However the path you choose and the teachings you accept cannot be actualized unless you are living that path.  It will not be an easy thing; even as a fully trained Ashla Knight it will be difficult everyday of your life, for you have chosen to re-evaluate most or all you have known and trusted, to start on a new path with a larger perspective.  Life is hard, living is tough and change will be harsh, but if:

 

  • One’s mind is serious.
  • One’s heart is committed.
  • One’s body is dedicated.

 

You will succeed.  It is a scientific fact that change begins with the mind; a Harvard experiment conducted by neuroscientist Alvaro Pascual-Leone in 1994 dubbed “The Piano Study”.  This study involved taking a group of volunteers who had never played the piano, and having them practice playing a simple combination of five notes for two hours a day over five days. The second group had to imagine playing those same five notes, for the same period without touching a piano. The volunteers had brain scans each day and by the fifth day, the area of the brain governing each of the muscles used to play those notes had grown substantially, yet amazingly, you could not tell the difference between those who had actually played the piano and those just imagined playing the piano.

 

21 Days

 

On average, it takes 21 days to create new behavior neurologically, without doubt or complaint, give each Ashla practice 21 days to undo old habits and develop new ones.   Represent each practice you intend to implement with a colored wristband and wear it on your left wrist.

 

  1. Every time you doubt or complain about a practice about move it from your left wrist to your right and then back when you doubt or complain next.  You will end up moving it back and forth a dozen times within the first hour or so, pretty soon you will start to find positive ways to express negative sentiment.
  2. After about a week, you will notice that you have gone a few days with fewer doubts or complaints and your sentiment will be that of positive reinforcement most of the time. 
  3. After two to three weeks, your brains neuroplasticity (the changing of neurons, and the organization of their networks and function according to new experiences), will have changed significantly and the lure of your old habit will have reduced.
  4. After three weeks, because of neuroplasticity, the lure of the new habits over the old habits will be more appealing.

 

No large leaps just small steps.

 

Old habits die hard if ever.  The triggers and stress factors tied to old habits will always be with you.  Accept the fact that they will resurface from time to time and do not let them discourage or deter your efforts; just be prepared to confront and deal with them quickly and decisively and eventually they will cease to be a burden to you.  It will be a struggle and a constant challenge so be patient, change begins with the mind for if the mind can conceive, the heart will believe and the body will achieve.

 

 

Written by

Derek M. Thompson

Ashla Master

 

 

The following sources & links provided where used as reference material to create these original works.  Ashla Knights does not own nor lay claim to these reference materials.  The site owners and/or the content authors who own these materials are in no way affiliated with the Order of Ashla Knights.

 

 

References:

 

The Brain: How The Brain Rewires Itself – By Time Magazine

 

Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life - By Rebecca Alexander in Psychologies.co.uk

 

 

 

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