Wounded Doves: A Home by Many Names

I recently read that that when the American west was being settled, prostitutes were referred to as “wounded doves.” That phrase struck me on two levels. First, one does not have to be a prostitute to be wounded and need a special place to roost.  Second, in the broader Zen sense, I see most humans as wounded doves.  And as prostitutes.

We live a Buddhist life attempting to be free of anger, ignorance, and greed, and often fail. We sell our principles to convenience, to social norms, religion and politics.

Many martial arts students have been wounded by early life experiences: schoolyard bulling, parenting gone awry, learning disabilities…  A history of choices made by anger, drugs or feelings of inadequacy and just wanting to be tough enough to make it.  Who comes to a dojo and why?

Several students talk openly about having been in trouble with drugs and alcohol; they find belonging to the dojo a legitimate way to “just say no” to a potential addiction. They’ve learned that saying, “I’m in training,” is a socially acceptable way to explain their new, non-drinking status.  The dojo is a safe place for those guys.  The know that if they do what they need to do for their training, a beer bong will not become their next nage.

There are stories about some of the women who, once past the rage and anger, conquered their demons.  Beyond the trite ‘victims to victors’ their wounds heal and become a source of strength that they channel into fearless practice, on and off the mat.

Then there are those who, by their own description, just never fit:  freaks, emos, stoners, jocks, brains, band nerds and… these guys.  Individuals who would have had to ‘sell out to fit in.’

The dojo is their home. Their Community. Just like a Buddhist sangha, the marshal arts dojo provides a place for practitioners to join and commune.

Whether in the dojo, Zen practice or rehab… we are seekers.  The most fortunate of us find a place to sort out our lives, relieve suffering and find out who we are.

It’s our home.

Advertisements

4 Responses to “Wounded Doves: A Home by Many Names”

  1. […] Wounded Doves: A Home by Many Names (via Senior Samurai) October 1, 2010 I think what I appreciate most about this post is the gentle, non-judgemental way you break the silence. Too many people attack when they notice something amiss. Thanks for not adding to all of that. I recently read that that when the American west was being settled, prostitutes were referred to as “wounded doves.” That phrase struck me on two levels. First, one does not have to be a prostitute to be wounded and need a special place to roost.  Second, in the broader Zen sense, I see most humans as wounded doves.  And as prostitutes. We live a Buddhist life attempting to be free of anger, ignorance, and greed, and often fail. We sell our princ … Read More […]

  2. Kurt Carlstedt Says:

    It seems that you read my mind, and say my thoughts far more eloquently than I possibly could have. As another senior, I thank you.

  3. […] I recently read that that when the American west was being settled, prostitutes were referred to as “wounded doves.” That phrase struck me on two levels. First, one does not have to be a prostitute to be wounded and need a special place to roost.  Second, in the broader Zen sense, I see most humans as wounded doves.  And as prostitutes. We live a Buddhist life attempting to be free of anger, ignorance, and greed, and often fail. We sell our princ … Read More […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: