To deliver the cricket ball, the bowler has to make a long run-up. He runs towards the wicket, and then bowls the ball. With this method, he can make it fly much faster than anyone can do from a standing position. Similarly, the golfer needs a backswing for his drive, and a boxer needs some space to develop a big punch. If there is no space, it is only a push, not a punch. The judo man makes a tsuri-komi action to hold the opponent off balance while he himself swings into his throw.

To know this principle can be a great help in life. Big emotional disturbances do not come suddenly; they need a little time to build up their force. The mind can be trained to recognise them while they are still in the early stages.

When we hear some insulting remark about ourselves, in the first few seconds it is often clear that the words are simply the result of jealousy, or mindless spite, or to please someone else. At this moment, it is easy to shrug them off. They are trivial, often pathetic.

The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on. We do something else at once, and it is easy to forget. If however the mind is allowed to stick with them, they seem to develop a deeper meaning. Then they become important. Resentment, and then anger, arise.

It is essential to see clearly the early stages, and at once turn away.

A man in an embassy, who is in debt, is approached by the government of the country with a request for some information. In fact, this piece of information is already in the newspapers in his home country, and he sees no harm in selling it to them. They pay handsomely.

Next time it is for some information which he knows will become public anyway the next day: it seems harmless. But he has been secretly photographed with the agent, and his bank account would not stand

inspection. He is in the net. He did not recognise the early signs.

I need to spot the backswing of the passion as it prepares its blow. Then I must move quickly to break the causal chain. A very simple thing may suffice; one teacher recommended taking a drink of cold water. The blow may indeed be delivered, but I shall not be there.


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