Monday, May 17, 2010

The culture in which we currently exist throws an endless amount of spiritual sand in our eyes. It encourages us to focus on the external. It discourages self-mastery and rewards hard work with financial gain alone. Yet our traditions were all forged in the ways of the spirit. These were paths often difficult to tread; paths that were both quiet and introspective.
Says Nicklaus Suino in his book, Budo Mind and Body:
“There are few places left in our society where we can examine life without it being reflected through the lens of some television producer or ad agency’s idea of what might sell a product. Alone in the dojo with a two-hundred-year-old kata and the limitations of your own body, there is little room for romantic notions of short-term gain, yet what you take with you when you leave the dojo has value in a way nothing you can pay money for ever will.”
Perhaps many people avoid confronting themselves in such an up-close manner. Maybe there is comfort in the external distractions of the real world. After all, as Suino suggests, we are not just building strengths but facing our weaknesses in order to do so, “even when it makes (you) uncomfortable.”
But the key word I have repeatedly heard in regard to traditional arts is cultivation. It is a word that describes not only growth, but dedication and patience as well. And we cultivate ourselves upon the foundations left by those who came before us.


  1. Discomfort leads to adaptation.

  2. .... though, it might not be positive or honest.