Eps 71: Exploring The Meaning Of Service & Sacrifice

Photography by Jay Horton

Photography by Jay Horton

This morning we had already the 11th meditation session of the 100 Day Warrior. After having started with yoga during the first 5 sessions and with martial arts in the second part it is now the turn of boot camp to challenge us physically.

Michael Henskens, my Warrior Brother and co-facilitator put together a very nice workout. He has been teaching all the physical classes to accompany the meditation classes that are taught by me. His assignment is to try to integrate the theme of today into the class he gives. What is so beautiful to observe is that we are all growing and it makes us better as a whole. As a group we are growing closer and everybody starts to understand what warriorship is about. As trainers and teachers Mike and I understand each other better and we become more successful at delivering our messages and at synchronizing our messages. The group is getting better at receiving the messages so more and more it becomes a dance. I feel really inspired after this last session.

The theme of this morning was “Sacrifice & Service”. From a warrior perspective these are very important virtues, for the coward they are less desirable. A warrior is always prepared to give everything; a coward preferably gives the absolute minimum to optimally serve his ego.

The group workouts that accompany the weekly meditation sessions are designed in such a way that it becomes more and more a group experience and that the needed physical increases. Yoga is more an individual experience although done together, martial arts is you against your opponent aka training partner and boot camp becomes an intense team effort.

Two days ago I gave Mike the briefing for today’s session. I expressed my wishes and ideas. This morning I was a little bit earlier in the gym, he came in shortly after me. It is a strange kind of trust that I feel at such a moment. I know he is prepared, I don’t know what his plan is but I just trust that it will be good. Of course there is a part in me that wants to know but another part of me also wants to focus on my own work.

The workout was great. It was fun, spectacular, taxing, uniting and it had a clear message. We were forced to cooperate and come up with strategies to complete certain tasks. We needed to find solutions or alternatives for injured team members. That means serving each other and making sacrifices. I was very happy with how Mike put the class together. It feels good if somebody has your back covered.

Because the weather was beautiful even though it was cold we decided to meditate outside. We cleared a space from fallen tree leaves on the yard and formed a circle. I introduced tonglen, a Tibetan meditation where you open your heart and invite all suffering and transform it into unconditional compassion. Because we are in the heart of Amsterdam on Sunday morning you hear many church bells, in different tones and melodies and from different angles and distances. The air was crisp. It was quite a beautiful morning to embrace the whole world and invite it into our hearts.

During the second part of the session we looked a service and sacrifice from the coward’s perspective and from the warrior’s perspective. It was  hilarious how we all recognized our not-that-selfless ways to ‘serve’ or to ‘sacrifice’. When a coward makes a sacrifice he wants everybody to know, he needs the validation and keeps track of the amount of sacrifices he makes and holds that against others. We were all keeping books and had strategies to make our ‘nobility’ noticed.

As a warrior it is different. The warrior doesn’t have to think twice about sacrifice if he feels the cause is worth it. He is not guided by selfishness but by a sense of connectedness that makes contributing self-evident. One of the great insights was the realization that a warrior attitude towards service and sacrifice saves everybody lot of time, energy and negative self-talk.

Long story short: it was a great morning and I am very proud to see the warriors grow and bond. I am grateful to be part of this adventure and very happy with how Mike and I are blending our work.


This is episode 71 in a series of 100 blog posts that will be published daily during the 100 Day Warrior, a unique program around physical strength, inner wisdom and meaning. All posts are written by Atalwin Pilon, founder of Basic Goodness and creator of the 100 Day Warrior. For requests for motivational speaking, in-company workshops, online coaching and mindfulness training click here. If you would like to join our international community of brave and inspiring human beings or just follow this blog and receive updates, please click here or sign up on the right side of the page. Atalwin specializes in coaching smart and creative people, both groups and individuals. If you are interested in a free coaching session click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *