Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Sword That Can Take or Give Life.

Many of you who know me, hear me often speak about how our Mind is a Dojo...and how it contains 'Mind-Swords'. These Mind-Swords, just like the Katana, Wakazashi and Tanto, are just as sharp and capable of either protecting you or harming you. It depends on how you use them and how you train yourself in their use.

Let's say, for example, that you come into the Broken Bokken Dojo and the very first day I hand you a razor-sharp Katana, give you some rudimentary idea of how to sheath the sword and let you practice. Odds are, in a few moments, you are going to be heading to the ER hoping they can reattach your thumb. Without proper training in the use of this sword damage will happen.

The same goes for your Mind. Your Imagination is perhaps one of the most powerful weapons your mind has...and I correlate it with the Katana. Remember a moment, perhaps in school, or at work, you are called to the principal's office or to your boss' office. What's the first thought you have? I am guessing it goes something like this, "What did I do wrong" or "I hope I am not in trouble".

You are allowing your Imagination to run away with you and it is causing you harm...perhaps a headache, nervous anxiety or upset stomach. Your Mind-Sword is 'cutting you' because you have not trained it properly. Just like a real sword, if you allow this Mind-Sword to run wild, it can kill you. I work with people who have allowed their Imagination to run wild and it has effected their life causing severe anxiety and depression to the point of attempting suicide. It is imperative, especially for Martial Artists, to understand how powerful your mind is.

Just as there are proper techniques and procedures to train yourself in the use of a Katana, there are proper techniques and procedures to train your Imagination. Remember, the Katana is the Sword that can either take life or give it. The same goes for your Imagination. Are you letting it cause you disease or health? Anxiety or Peace? Worry or Confidence? It is up to you to train and use your Mind-Swords properly. This is what Zazen, Hypnosis, Qigong and your Kata are all about. These are training procedures to sharpen and help you maintain control of your most lethal mind-sword, the Imagination. When coupled with the proper use of your Emotions and Faith a whole new world can open up for you.

In future posts, I will do my best to give you tips so you can train your Mind-Swords and to understand why Budo is about 'Ceasing the Struggle'. In other words, how to keep your Mind-Swords sheathed and at rest, and what that can mean for you on a deep and personal level. Until then, if you have any questions, please let me know.

Hands palm to palm,

Sensei Dave

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