One day in the dojo (the martial-arts studio) before our karate class began, I witnessed the power of a concentrated focus unlike anything that I’d ever seen growing up in the heartland of northern Missouri. On that day, our instructor walked into the room and asked us to do something very different from the form and movement practices that were familiar to us. He explained that he would seat himself in the center of the thick mat where we honed our skills, close his eyes, and go into a meditation. During this exercise, he would stretch his arms out on either side of his body, with his palms open and facedown. He asked us to give him a couple of minutes to “anchor” himself in this T position and then invited us to do anything that we could to move him from his place. The men in our class outnumbered the women by about two to one, and there had always been a friendly competition between the sexes. On that day, however, there was no such division. Together, we all sat close to our instructor, silent and motionless. We watched as he simply walked to the center of the mat, sat down with his legs crossed, closed his eyes, held out his arms, and changed his breathing pattern. I remember that I was fascinated and observed closely as his chest swelled and shrank, slower and slower with each breath until it was hard to tell that he was breathing at all. With a nod of agreement, we moved closer and tried to move our instructor from his place. At first, we thought that this was going to be an easy exercise, and only a few of us tried. As we grabbed his arms and legs, we pushed and pulled in different directions with absolutely no success. Amazed, we changed our strategy and gathered on one side of him to use our combined weight to force him in the opposite direction. Still, we couldn’t even budge his arms or the fingers on his hands! After a few moments, he took a deep breath, opened his eyes, and with the gentle humor we’d come to respect, he asked, “What happened? How come I’m still sitting here?” After a big laugh that eased the tension and with a familiar gleam in his eyes, he explained what had just happened. “When I closed my eyes,” he said, “I had a vision that was like a dream, and that dream became my reality. I pictured two mountains, one on either side of my body, and myself on the ground between the peaks.” As he spoke, I immediately saw the image in my mind’s eye and felt that he was somehow imbuing us with a direct experience of his vision. “Attached to each of my arms,” he continued, “I saw a chain that bound me to the top of each mountain. As long as the chains were there, I was connected to the mountains in a way that nothing could change.” Our instructor looked around at the faces that were riveted on each word he was sharing. With a big grin, he concluded, “Not even a classroom full of my best students could change my dream.” Through a brief demonstration in a martial-arts classroom, this beautiful man had just given each of us a direct sense of the power to redefine our relationship to the world. The lesson was less about reacting to what the world was showing us and more about creating our own rules for what we choose to experience. The secret here is that our instructor was experiencing himself from the perspective that he was already fixed in one place on that mat. In those moments, he was living from the outcome of his meditation. Until he chose to break the chains in his imagination, nothing could move him. And that’s precisely what we found out.