I recently started going to a small Muay Thai kickboxing school here in Amsterdam. It has been a new experience for me in many ways — my first time engaging in a competitive sport since high school, my first exposure to Muay Thai, and a language immersion as the classes are mostly in Dutch.

The founders of the school trained in Japan, and every class begins with the students kneeling in a straight line across from the teacher. The teacher says the word “mokuso” and everyone exhales deeply and closes their eyes.

For about a minute, the room is silent.

For weeks, I assumed that mokuso (pronounced "mohk-sou") was a Dutch word that I didn’t know. Finally, I Googled it and learned that mokuso is actually a Japanese word, which roughly means, “to prepare one’s mind”.

Indeed, this one-minute micro-meditation at the start of each class had helped slow me down, mentally prepare, and help me set my intention for what I am about to do. The teachers’ purpose is to ground the class and each individual student so that we can bring our full awareness to the training about to begin.

It’s a tradition that I have taken with me outside of the class as well. Before I begin a big task, a presentation, or a meeting, I close my eyes and say to myself slowly, “mokuso” and exhale. It’s a way of preparing my mind and setting my intention for what’s about to begin.

Always start with intention,

Dave Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

P.S. Speaking of awesome words in other languages, here are a few past reflections you may enjoy: Arete, SonderKintsugi, and Shokunin Kishitsu.

P.P.S. Looking to dive deeper into setting your Goals and Intentions? Take a look at our Intention Guide PDF (available to all Holstee Members).

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