Aaron Molyneaux Hewlett

historical-nonfiction:

Aaron Molyneaux Hewlett, the first African American instructor at Harvard. He was the instructor and superintendent of physical education from the college’s gymnasium’s construction in 1859 until his death in 1871. Hewlett got the post because he was a boxing and wrestling instructor, first while he worked as a porter, then in “Molyneaux House” his own sparring academy. The New York Clipper, at the time the leading New York sports paper, considered him “one of the best boxers in Brooklyn.”

The 1866 portrait above was taken after Harvard recruited him. It is the first known photograph of a medicine ball in the United States.

Stay: Pema Chödrön

“In meditation we discover our inherent restlessness. Sometimes we get up and leave. Sometimes we sit there but our bodies wiggle and squirm and our minds go far away. This can be so uncomfortable that we feel it’s impossible to stay. Yet this feeling can teach us not just about ourselves but also about what it is to be human. All of us derive security and comfort from the imaginary world of memories and fantasies and plans. We really don’t want to stay with the nakedness of our present experience. It goes against the grain to stay present. There are the times when only gentleness and a sense of humor can give us the strength to settle down.

The pith instruction is, Stay… stay… just stay. Learning to stay with ourselves in meditation is like training a dog. If we train a dog by beating it, we’ll end up with an obedient but very inflexible and rather terrified dog. The dog may obey when we say “Stay!” “Come!” “Roll over!” and “Sit up!” but he will also be neurotic and confused. By contrast, training with kindness results in someone who is flexible and confident, who doesn’t become upset when situations are unpredictable and insecure.

So whenever we wander off, we gently encourage ourselves to “stay” and settle down. Are we experiencing restlessness? Stay! Discursive mind? Stay! Are fear and loathing out of control? Stay! Aching knees and throbbing back? Stay! What’s for lunch? Stay! What am I doing here? Stay! I can’t stand this another minute! Stay! That is how to cultivate steadfastness.“

-Pema Chödrön

from Tumblr https://seekingstars.tumblr.com/post/626004719422390272