40+ Best Be Water, My Friend Quotes by Shannon Lee

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We have compiled a list of quotes from Be Water, My Friend by Shannon Lee for you to read.

1. The Water Way

“Martial arts was my father’s chosen love. From the age of thirteen, when he started practicing wing chun, until the end of his life at age thirty-two, he practiced every single day with little exception. “

“I was so angry that I punched the sea. “

“I struck it but it did not suffer hurt. Again, I struck it with all my might—yet it was not wounded! I then tried to grasp a handful of it but this proved impossible. “

“Just recently I had such an experience, with a terrible leak in my office. We were pretty sure it was coming through from the roof, but it wasn’t just dripping down from a hole directly above. “

“If I am not aware of how I am feeling or what thoughts are going through my head, then how do I change bad habits or find more happiness and personal satisfaction. I need to be able to observe myself in order to see what I need to amend. “

“Life is always in motion. It is never set. Even within our daily, concretized routines, there are subtle differences at play—our timing, our mood, our environment. “

“Fundamental positioning is the foundation. “

“To be like water is to be engaged in a process of discovering and then embodying our most real and true selves. “

“Part of this programming is the normal, natural process of growing up and learning about the world, seeing that there are rules for survival and learning how to navigate them. “

“The Chinese conceived the entire universe as activated by two principles, the Yang and the Yin, the positive and the negative. And they considered that nothing that exists, either animate or so-called inanimate, does so except by the ceaseless interplay of these two forces. “

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2. The Empty Cup

“Be WaterEmpty your mind. “

“Emptiness, in these first discussions on the mind, means a state of openness and neutrality. When your mind is crowded with thoughts and information about all the things you’ve learned and how you feel about them, there isn’t room for much else. “

“But what if you went into that party with no expectations. No sense of dread and no expectation of having the time of your life. Then the party just is what it is. You can assess for yourself later what parts of it you really enjoyed and what parts you didn’t. “

“Consider the situation when you see someone who annoys you coming over to talk to you. Because that person annoys you, you are prepared to be annoyed before they even open their mouths. But what if you were to drop your judgment and open yourself fully to the experience. “

“Absence of thought means not to be carried away by your thoughts in the process of thinking them. When this happens, you are no longer present. “

“We are judgy f*cks. Let’s just admit it. Maybe you are currently trying not to be so judgmental in your life, and if so, good. But you still catch yourself doing it sometimes, don’t you. Me too. “

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral, which always is as it is. “

“If you are new to the idea of mindfulness or being present, let me try to set a simple framework for our purposes in this moment. The notion of emptying your cup is the idea of letting go of the past and the future in favor of the present. “

“My father focused just as much energy on conditioning his mind as he did on training his body. And in fact, our minds are already conditioned—by what we read, how we were raised, what culture we are part of, who we hang out with, what we study, etc. “

“What are thinking about right now. “

“Listening in on the dialogue of your own mind is the first step toward being aware of (and ultimately cultivating) what is in your cup. “

“It is not to be without emotion or feeling but to be one in whom feeling is not sticky or blocked. Do not let the mind be grasping or sticky. “

“Meditation is a great tool for creating that calm space in the mind that is needed to gain perspective and to empty your cup. “

“Be WaterEmpty your mind; be formless, shapeless like water, I picture all those thoughts emptying out and washing down through my body like a gentle waterfall. “

“There will be times when you will forget about this practice altogether and fall back into old habits, and when that happens, simply start again. No need to admonish oneself for doing something wrong. “

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3. The Eternal Student

“But because he was Bruce Lee and because he was twenty-four, he was a bit of a loudmouth. He was also bucking tradition in ways that annoyed the Chinese kung fu old guard in San Francisco’s Chinatown community. “

“The fight would end with a knockout or a submission. The fight itself was very unorthodox. “

“Shortly after that fight, my father started to consider the physical realities of combat, and what might be possible when one wasn’t bound by the traditions or norms of any particular style. “

“My father never wanted to be called a master. He said, Once you say you’ve reached the top, then there is nowhere to go but down. Instead he considered himself to be the eternal student—always open to new ideas, new possibilities, new directions, and new growth. “

“I’m generally a little introverted by nature and sometimes find it challenging to enter social situations and converse comfortably, always relying on the hope that someone else will be a stellar conversationalist, and I can just hitch a ride. This stance of curiosity can be both freeing and engaging. “

“Research your own experience. Reject what is useless. Accept what is useful. And add what is essentially your own. As we saw in the opening story, it was extremely important that my father took full stock of his experience in that Oakland fight. “

“The tricky part of researching our own experience is that we often don’t understand our own ignorance. What is our own ignorance. It is a lack of understanding of our true selves—our soul, as it were. “

“What is he doing or not doing that is making people feel ill at ease about his integrity. What thoughts keep nagging at you that you push away. What patterns keep playing out over and over in your life. “

“After all, if you’re honest with yourself, you already know what those things are that plague you internally, even if you don’t know what to do about them. “

“It takes courage to look at your issues, it requires work to release them, and you may be frustrated at times. You may feel as if you don’t know what you’re doing or what the next best step is. “

“Weaknesses and strengths are inextricably connected. You may think of them as separate—you have your weaknesses and then you have your strengths. Well, I’ve come to think of this duality of faults and assets as an IRL expression of yin yang. “

“It is easy to criticize and break down the spirit of others, but to know yourself takes maybe a lifetime. The strength of this quote is that it is a reminder that it is important to know yourself and take responsibility for your actions. “

“We shall find the truth when we examine the problem. The problem is never apart from the answer; the problem is the answer. The what will become quickly influenced when the how is directed in the proper direction. Take this quote by way of example. “

“I was extremely mischievous, aggressive, hot-tempered, and fierce. Not only my opponents of more or less my age stayed out of my way, but even the adults gave in to my temper. “

“Self-help is a process of self-empowerment. “

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4. The Opponent

“Don’t think. Feel!Don’t take your eyes off your opponent, even when you bow. Don’t concentrate on only one part of the experience and miss the glory of the full experience, which is still unfolding and which is where the deeper understanding lies. “

“To learn and to grow, you need relationship. You need that sparring partner to level up your game. “

“Competition categorizes everything and everyone into winners and losers rather than collaborators and cocreators. “

“The Six Diseases are:1. The Disease of the Winner2. The Disease of the Loser3. The Disease of the Victim4. The Disease of the Competitor5. The Disease of the Competitor6. “

“I am not okay as I am. I will perform constant self-work and read as many books as I can and take so many classes to make myself good that you will see that I am always trying to be a good person even if I continue to do lots of shitty things. “

“Relationship is the mirror in which you discover yourself—to be is to be related. “

“When I stopped judging him for his actions, I stopped judging myself for my reactions. “

“If you’ve taken up the mantle of the eternal student and know how to do the investigative work of getting to know yourself, then this process is easier because you already know what some of your stories and wounds are, what some of your weaknesses and strengths are. “

“Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. “

“What happened instead is perhaps not surprising: this person continued not to care for me or show up for me despite what he would say, and I would break it off again and again. “

“But the truth of the matter is that this was a pattern I had been repeating in all my relationships up to this point. This was simply a different flavor of the same thing. “

“In chi sao, the practitioners rock their arms side to side in a circular motion, never releasing the tension on their forearms and never stopping the motion. They continue to exchange energy back and forth, all the while sensing what the other is giving and then trying to respond skillfully and immediately. “

“The world and I are both in active correlation. I am that which sees the world, and the world is that which is seen by me. I do not think unless I think of things—and there I find myself. “

“To live is a constant process of relating; so come on out of that shell of isolation and conclusion and relate directly to what is being said. Do not make up your mind as to this is this or that is that. “

5. The Tools

“The simple answer is: consistent practice. First, however, let’s identify our own kung fu. There is part of you that is wanting something more for your life. “

“Bruce Lee charted his progress. He set goals. He created reminders and exercises and tools for his growth—physically, mentally, and spiritually. Bruce Lee was phenomenal because he worked relentlessly to be phenomenal. “

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. “

“I am going to be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States. In return, I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. “

“My aim is to establish a first Gung Fu Institute that will later spread all over the U. S. (I have set a time limit of 10 to 15 years to complete the whole project). My reason in doing this is not the sole objective of making money. “

“Patience, my ass! I’m gonna kill something!Be a practical dreamer backed by action. Action begets more action. “

“Action is a high road to self-confidence, my father said. Take one small action, and let that action lead to confidence, and let the confidence create energy toward more action—and from snowmelt, a surging river will form. “

“I can’t do it. Yet!-Sensei Benny the Jet UrquidezI am working every day to be strong and fit. “

“For example, for years I hated running. Despised it. Then in my thirties I tried it again and I suddenly found myself settling into a really good meditative rhythm with it and it became one of my favorite exercises. “

“In 1999, six years after my brother had been killed, I came out of my house one day and there was a huge red dragonfly splayed out on the sidewalk in front of my car door, perfectly preserved and intact, as if it had been delivered there and then had peacefully passed. “

“There was a period several years back when I had Post-it Notes around my house in key places—on the bathroom mirror, in the kitchen, by my bed—that simply said BE. “

“For instance, when he was beginning to become very famous in Hong Kong, he started to truly see the adverse effects of fame—people pretending to be his friend for access or favors, the way people glorified famous people but dehumanized everyday people. “

“Keep your mind on the things you want, and off those you don’t. “

“The art of physical practice is also a way to work on purposefully and literally unbalancing oneself in order to experience some discomfort so that you grow and stretch beyond it. My father said, To be balanced is to be more or less at rest. “

“Any martial arts training, qi gong, wushu, self-defense classes, or other related styles will enhance your inner strength and your confidence. I dance, stretch, walk, run, hit the heavy bag, and hike. “

“The desire for easy often brings out complacency in us. The first few days in the gym are always the most challenging, and then there are the plateaus. Don’t go out and try to run 26. “

“I am means. I am what I started with, and when it is all over, I will be all that is left of me. The point, really, is in the doing and not in the outcomes. “

“When you drop a pebble into a pool of water, the pebble starts a series of ripples that expand until they encompass the whole pool. This is exactly what will happen when I give my ideas a definite plan of action. “

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6. The Obstacle

“My father made his way from Oakland to LA just days after the birth of their first child, my brother, Brandon, and auditioned for a show about Charlie Chan’s Number One Son. But something life-altering had already taken place. “

“He knew immediately that something bad had happened. “

“The doctor told him he’d injured his fourth sacral nerve quite seriously, and ordered him to bed rest. The doctor told him he would have to prepare for the idea that he would never do martial arts again, and that he may, in fact, never walk again without considerable pain. “

“It is not a shame to be knocked down. The important thing is to ask when you’re being knocked down, why am I being knocked down. If a person can reflect in this way, then there is hope for this person. “

“He began a work he called his Commentaries on the Martial Way, a seven-volume tome that expressed his thoughts on combat and training. “

“If you think a thing is impossible, you’ll make it impossible. Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed. “

“Sometimes it takes all you have just to wait. Can you see how for a man of action like my father, the implementation of patience would take so much concentrated strength. “

“Inwardly, psychologically, be a nobody. “

“Harnessing my will is what I have to do to make myself sit down and write this book or eat well or work out or deal with my issues and problems. “

“Let’s look back at ‘should-ing. ‘ Using one’s willpower in service of ‘should’ is not using it spiritually and will not remove the obstacle. I ‘should’ eat healthily and I can ‘force’ myself to do so. But that is not connecting me to anything purposeful. “

“Believing your dream is possible is a key factor when facing the obstacles that will inevitably appear along the path—and a necessary component in overcoming them. “

“Sometimes we are sent on a whole life journey we never intended to go on, specifically because we rose to the occasion of what our lives threw at us. In the case of my father, he was able to work with his obstacle and stay on his path. “

7. The Rainstorm

“I burst into tears because in that moment I knew that my brother had died. I had felt his spirit exiting his body through my own. “

“I existed in this way for years. I got married. I started a career. I made a home. All on the outside. But inside, I was shut down. The rainstorm was still coming on strong, and I was drowning. “

“I was existing but I didn’t feel alive. I was going through each day, but I was just going through the motions. I had made plans and chosen paths, but I was on autopilot. “

“The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, but I did not observe it until this moment. “

“I began to seek to order my chaos. I sat with my grief and I sought more books, more words, therapists, healers. I opened myself up to the grief of loss and let it teach me how to live. “

“Faith is the maintaining of the soul through which one’s aims may be translated into their physical equivalent. Faith is a state of mind that can be conditioned through self-discipline. “

“The deep mind is the mind that listens to more than just itself. It is the mind that feels. It is the expansive mind. It is the mind integrated with the body and the soul. It is the mind that contemplates and doesn’t just analyze. “

“There is nowhere for man to go out of this world; no tavern in which he can overcome anxiety; no jail in which he can expiate his guilt. “

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8. The Living Void

“Water is in direct and immediate response and cocreation with its environment. Water doesn’t have to assess the cup and whether or not it will fit or how best to fill it. “

“The first aspect of the living void is to release you from the prison of your inherently dualistic thoughts—good/bad, right/wrong—and to simply see things as they are without attachment. “

“A response is a skilled expression, in which our higher self is present and at the helm and we are making a natural and masterful choice. “

“In 1966, my father asked George Lee, who had made the miniature headstone for him, to also make him four plaques to represent the stages of cultivation he had determined for himself and his art of jeet kune do. 1. Unconscious2. Conscious3. “

“Partiality is where most of us start, and this is unconscious behavior. When applying this stage to life, there’s no awareness when it comes to thoughts, emotions, and actions. “

“In fluidity, we see that life is rich and varied and that there is not only one solution to every problem. “

“In this emptiness, we and the void are one. “

“In order to achieve oneness of movement and true flow, the gap between movements should be bridged. But how do we apply this to life. What gap are we trying to bridge there. “

“Freedom is something that cannot be preconceived. “

“So how can we practice being one with the moment and bridging the gap. One way to look at it is in not second-guessing yourself once you’ve done a lot of good, solid personal practice. “

“The challenge with a notion such as the void is that it is at once simple to understand and difficult to implement. I love my father’s description of simplicity. He said, Simplicity is a quality of perception in approaching any problem. The void. “

“The goal isn’t not to fail; the goal is to fail faster so that the lessons from the failures can be implemented and lead you to success more quickly. “

“How do you know what is an expression of your soul. Well, first, don’t take it from me—experiment and figure it out (go back to earlier chapters). Play with expressing and not expressing and see what feels right. “

“It takes courage to grow up and be who you really are. Mode and control are yours. You have the ability to own your circumstances, to truly see yourself and then to be in conscious collaboration with yourself and your life, and you get to decide how to do that. “

“When your efforts become natural and purposeful, you don’t have to prove a point or position yourself or manipulate a situation or a relationship to be sure others think well of you. “

9. The Way of the Intercepting Fist

“To obtain enlightenment, emphasis should fall NOT on the cultivation of a particular department which then merges into the totality, but rather, on the totality that then enters into and unites the particular departments. “

“Enter the Dragon was the dream opportunity coming true for my father—a Hollywood feature for him to star in. “

“The studio finally succumbed to this request and agreed to rename the film. My father trained like he had never trained before and worked continuously on the script to make it as good as possible. He worked night and day to make the most of this opportunity he had been given. “

“The producers created cover-up stories about how my father was so nervous about being in a Hollywood movie and being a failure that he was terrified to show up to set. “

“Above all, I am hoping to actualize myself to be an artist of life along the way. “

“Enter the Dragon is iconic because Bruce Lee got to be Bruce Lee in it and to realize his vision in a vehicle that had the capacity to travel around the world. “

“The root is the fulcrum on which will rest the expression of your soul; the root is the ‘starting point’ of all natural manifestation. The root of who you are is the essential ingredient to your specific unfolding. “

“The deepest root of all of this glorious personal unfolding is a deep peacefulness. The real stillness is stillness in movement. To me, this means that when we know ourselves and accept ourselves, we have attained a certain peace with ourselves. “

“When the ultimate truth is realized, even as many as one thousand arms on one body may each be serviceable in one way or another. The mind does not stop at one object that is perceived, but rather perceives all. “

“Spontaneity may seem frivolous, like deciding to jump in the pool with your clothes on, or even irresponsible, like dropping everything and flying off to Cancún on a whim. “

“This is your essence. This is your untapped power that you hold in the palm of your hand. To live is to express oneself freely in creation. “

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10. My Friend

“True mastery is service. “

“When my father’s friend and assistant instructor at his Oakland school, James Lee, was ill and struggling with cancer, my father took over his book project for him, finished it, and got it published so James could have the money from the book to help pay his medical bills. “

“My friend is an arm around your shoulders. It says that he considers you a person with whom he shares a mutual bond. Someone he wants to make a connection with. “

“If every man would help his neighbor, no man would be without help. “

“In your everyday life, give people the benefit of the doubt, treat them with compassion, accept them for who they are, and live and let live while being the light and the model for what it is to be strongly and unapologetically kind. “

“I don’t blame them. It’s the same way in Hong Kong. If a foreigner came to become a star, if I were the man with money, I probably would have my own worry of whether or not the acceptance would be there. “

“Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system. Traditions and institutions can have their benefits, but they do and always will have their limitations, too. “

“My mother always said about my father that he looked straight across at people. Meaning, he looked them in the eye rather than at the embellishments of their outside packaging. His upbringing was such that there were many factors that contributed to this attitude. “

“Intolerance can teach tolerance. Suffering is such a good teacher because when we are suffering, we want so desperately to stop suffering that we become motivated to try to make it stop. “

“Put that friendly arm around your own shoulders and let go of the shortcomings of the past while you take these lessons forward with you. “

“The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering. He was our teacher, our entertainer, our friend, and our family. And his spirit contains the energy of unity and brightness. As for my father, he did accomplish what he set out to do. “

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