Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Friday, July 25, 2008

Getting in the Way

Below is an excerpt from a martial arts blog entitled Bujutsu Blogger on how our ego gets in the way of our achieving excellence in our training. One of the ways our ego manifests itself is that we want to see the world the way we want to it to be, not accepting how it actually is.

If you click on the title of this post, you'll be directed to the full post. Please pay a visit.

The only way forward is “muga” (無我), no ego, and "mushin" (無心), no-mind. Snaggy likes to talk about that a lot, and I am starting to see why. As he puts it, ego gets in the way of living in the moment, in the now. Without muga mushin, there can be no refinement because things like rushing will always get in the way. This is not abstract Zen philosophy, this is the difference between going through the motions and training to fight.

Speaking of accepting the world how it is, the remarkable Randy Pausch died today. He was the author of the best selling The Last Lecture, which was based on a Youtube video with the same title. He made a real contribution.

For myself, my next post will be from Japan. I am leaving in a couple of days. Besides taking a lot of Japanese language material with me, articles I've printed out that I've been meaning to read, and I have the newest issues of National Geographic and the Smithsonian. I also brought a couple of books. One is Shogun by James Clavell, and the other is The Nobility of Failure, by Ivan Morris.

I'll be working on my presentation material on the plane (a 13 hour flight!) until my battery dies. I'm thinking of opening my presentation with:

"Detroit kara tobimashita, shoshite ude wa tsukaremashita yo!"

"I flew in from Detroit and boy are my arms tired!"

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