Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Did you ever notice?

Did you ever notice how your mind cuts like a sword? Think about it for a moment. A Samurai sword's razor edge cuts. It cuts up stuff into separate pieces, cleaving whatever it touches into two sides...or more.

Your mind does the same thing. At least a part of your mind does. When you label, judge, sort or analyze whatever you encounter you are in essence 'cutting' up your experience into pieces. Now there is nothing inherently wrong with this unless you have not trained your sword...or in this case your mind.

Have you ever been around someone who is hyper-critical? They are always judging and 'cutting' someone or something down. The only thing that comes out of their mouth is full of criticism and severe judgements. It actually hurts, emotionally and physically, to be around such negative people. They are just swinging their mind-sword and cutting up everyone and everything in its place...they are 'taking life'. Their swordsmanship is undisciplined...they have not disciplined their mind.

On the other hand, how does it feel to be around someone who is open and non-judgemental, who accepts you as you are? Feels good doesn't it? A person who uses their mind-sword judiciously and 'cuts' only when necessary is actually more fun to be with and more 'life-giving'.

This person gives off a greater sense of confidence and you just want to be around them more. Their swordsmanship is trained and disciplined.

When you keep your mind from over-cutting and seeing the world as good/bad, black/white, up/ is actually more pleasant. You can see the world in its greater totality and organic wholeness. You get a sense of the interconnectedness of the universe. I know I am rambling a bit, but it is very important, at least in my mind (and here comes a cut) that Martial Artist's discipline their mind-swords as much as they discipline their samurai swords.

Can you see the world without cutting it? When you do it to give life or take it? Are you even aware of how you cut? Just some thoughts for the day...I hope they don't hurt.

In Gassho,


  1. Yes...this is exactly how I feel in the company in of my sensei.

    A sense of open space to 'be'. And yet, to be shaped as well by the 'cutting' away of the un-necessary in mind, spirit and practice through the ministrations of a teacher...

  2. Great post. Another way to look at it too is that every time we cut at something or someone with our mind-sword we double (at least) our suffering/problems. Then if we cut each half of the problem we create even more pieces or problems. Bowing...

  3. Samsara at its best! Thanks James.