A true warrior trains in order to deal with the question that lies between life and death - "How do I live knowing that I am going to eventually die?" In Japanese to see life in the presence of death is called shichu usho. In Buddhism it is said that, "Life is suffering." In many ways and on many different levels this is one of those truisms - life is full of unsavory situations.
Besides being a physical way of life, our martial arts training teaches us "how" to deal with life and meet all of its ups and downs with a sense of calmness, clarity and acceptance.
Existentially, when one is confronted with the reality that they will not live forever or that they may soon die, it can create a sense of despair and in Japanese this is called seichu musho or "seeing death in life." To be able to live in the face of death or shichu usho requires that we be in the present moment with a sense of calmness, centeredness and acceptance.
To be calm and centered, one needs to have a sense of stability in their life regardless of what is happening around them. One of the best ways to find that calmness is to have a daily practice. Having a daily practice gives us stability and enables us to move from a place of chaos and meet our challenges with calm, clarity and acceptance.
A daily practice is something that one does out of personal discipline to push them out of complacency and back into the present. It could be something as benign as waking up every day at 4:30 am to meditate and clean your room or something bigger like forcing yourself to do your homework every day. One of Admiral William McRaven's daily practices was to make his bed everyday after he got up.
I recently read an article by Max Moore's How Soap Saved My Life where he illustrates how he found that having the daily practice of cleaning himself enabled him to meet the possibility of his death with a sense of clarity and acceptance. With a daily practice Max Moore was able to turnaround a horrible situation into a life changing event.
A daily practice is nothing more than an almost spiritual discipline that one exercisers on themselves to stave off complacency and negativity. What will you do as part of your training to improve yourself and and to meet your challenges calm, cool and collected?
Special thanks to Heraldo Farrington for initially sharing this article. Mahalo!
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