Your mind is not your own



Joseph Zabloski


“Your mind is not your own.” The words imparted to me by Master Seong during my first lesson resonate in

my mind each day since first I heard them. I initially walked into the dojang with little knowledge of the path

I was about to embark on or the challenges I would face, but I quickly realized I was in the right place. Focus

and discipline were aspects of myself I knew I wished to improve, but I did not realize the large gap between

my mind and body. My mind had little control over my body and even less control over my own thoughts and

patterns of thought.

This became evident the first time I tried to draw and sheath my sword. I felt almost handicapped, like my

arms were disconnected from their control mechanism within my brain. Despite looking relatively easy, it

was a challenging, frustrating, and even embarrassing exercise. The new movements were almost rejected by

my body. It was as if it was rebelling against the instructions my mind was issuing. However, by opening

my mind to my Master’s instruction, believing in his words, and allowing my mind to remain open, I began to

realize a relatively rapid improvement.

As time progressed, I began to learn the basic cuts that would become the foundation of all future training.

Slowly, but sure I was able to attain a rudimentary grasp of the motions involved in the proper drawing,

cutting, and sheathing. Through practice and instruction, my ability improved enough that I was able to

advance to the first of five stages in the training of Siljun Dobup, Set Jee.

Set Jee, the Earth, is the true beginning of my training. The Earth is both our beginning and our end. It is the

element that allows us to spring forth into life, but it is also our final destination as we are returned to it in

death. It is the most primal and essential aspect of all life, without it, nothing would exist in our reality as we

know it. This is much the same in our training. Set Jee is the cornerstone that allows all other stages to flow

forth and branch from it. The growth of these branches stems as much from the midset of Jee, as it does from

its physical counterparts.

The ability to become empty and open your mind to Master’s teachings is of paramount importance to Set Jee.

When most of us begin our training, we do so full of preconceived notions, ego and pride. It is often difficult

to set these things aside and open yourself to the ideas of another, let alone accepting and embracing them,

but this is the most important aspect of the lessons learned in Set Jee. Set aside your self, become empty, and

allow yourself to be filled anew with the teachings of Siljun Dobup. Through practice of this basic principal, I

look forward to continuing my training and growth. As the chasm that separates my mind and body narrows, I

continuously gain a better understanding of myself. This is the true gift of my training.

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