The Last Samurai

The tiger’s eyes are like my own.
But he comes from a forest deep, and I the sea.

The perfect blossom is a rare thing
You could spend your life looking for them,
and it would not be a wasted life.
Perfect. They are all perfect.

Like these blossoms, we are all dying
To know life in every breath
In every breath we take,
In every cup of tea,
In every life we take:
That is Bushido.

When I speak of the martial arts, most people think of an organised system of self-defence training. Yet, for me, martial arts offers a chance to gain access to the minds, hearts and spirits of our forefathers. Martial arts use a physical training system to teach great truths and cultivate personal strength… Not so much in terms of physical strength, though it does so, but more effectively and more importantly in terms of mental strength.

Bushido teaches tenacity… To persevere despite adversity and irrespective of obstacles until your outcome is achieved.

Bushido teaches individuality… That while we each have different dispositions and habits, by training we are able to move beyond whatever we might have begun with… That we should do what we can until our destiny is revealed; act with boldness without becoming attached to transient objectives.

Bushido teaches presence… That there is only one present – now – and that this present is a gift that we must enjoy and exploit to its greatest extent, for our own benefit and for the benefit of those around us. By being present in each moment, focused totally upon now, we can enjoy peace.

Bushido teaches service… We must serve, not because we owe anyone else, but because we owe it to ourselves. Service allows us to live a life of purpose… A life that rewards us with all our physical necessities, while fanning the fire of our spirit, and allowing us to retire in peace.

We ought live our life as if it matters, knowing that paradoxically all that matters is who we are and who we become along the way.

Bushido teaches us to live now.