A Zen Story (Learning to be Silent) -The pupils of the Tendai school used to study meditation before Zen entered Japan. Four of them who were intimate friends promised one another to observe seven days of silence. On the first day all were silent. Their meditation had begun auspiciously, but when night came all the oil-lamps were growing dim one of the pupils could not help exclaiming to a servant, "Fix those lamps." The second pupil was surprised to hear the first one talk. "We are not supposed to say a word," he remarked. "You two are stupid. Why did you talk?" asked the third. "I am the only one who has not talked," concluded the fourth pupil.
for your seniors
for your juniors
for your parents (who gave you life)
for your friends (because a good friend is hard to find)
for your teachers
for your country (that is not at war)
for your God (whoever it may be)
Bun Bu Itchi
Pen and Sword in Accord
Master Key by Charles F. Haanel
Presented by Sensei Platt
The Master Key reveals the Natural Laws of how to apply the new knowledge for practical purposes. There is nothing material about a thought. It must therefore necessarily be a spiritual activity. Spirit is the creative Principle of the Universe. Mind is the static phase of the Principle, and Thought the dynamic. Thought is Mind in motion. Addition and subtraction are, therefore, spiritual transactions; reasoning is spiritual process; ideas are spiritual conceptions; questions are spiritual searchlights; and religion, logic, argument and philosophy are spiritual mechanism.
Opportunity follows perception, action follows inspiration, growth follows knowledge, environment follows progress; always the mental first, then the transformation into the illimitable possibilities of achievement.
The process of creation is carried on through definite, exact and scientific laws; otherwise the Universe would be a chaos instead of a cosmos. The Creative Principle of the Universe makes no exceptions, nor does it act through caprice, anger, jealousy or wrath; neither can it be cajoled, flattered or moved my sympathy or petition; but when through "the Master Key" we secure an understanding of our unity with this Universal Principle and act in harmony with its spiritual laws, we appear to be favoured, because we have found the source of all wisdom and power.
Nature compels us all to move through life. We could not remain stationary however much we wished. Every right-thinking person wants not merely to move through life like a sound-producing, perambulating plant, but to develop - to improve - and to continue the development mentally to the close of physical life. This development can occur only through the improvement of the quality of individual thought and the ideals, actions and conditions that arise as a consequence.
The Master Key is here given to the world as a means of tapping the great cosmic intelligence and attracting from it that which corresponds to the ambitions and aspirations of each practitioner. Human thought is the spiritual power of the cosmos operation through its sentient creatures. The Master Key instructs one in how to use that power, and use it both constructively and creatively. The things and conditions we desire to become realities we must first create in thought. The Master Key explains and guides the process. The Master Key reveals the wisdom of the ages, and expounds it with that simple lucid power which arises from inspiration.
Before any environment, successful or otherwise, can be created, action of some kind is necessary, and before any action is possible, there must be thought of some kind, either conscious or unconscious, and as thought is a product of mind, it becomes evident that mind is the creative centre from which all activities proceed.
Every thought tends to become a material thing. Each of us today is the result of his past thinking. Later we shall be the result of what we are now thinking. We create out own character, personality and environment by the thought which we originate, ore entertain. Thought seeks its own. The law of mental attraction is an exact parallel to the law of atomic affinity. Mental currents are as real as electric, magnetic or heat currents. We attract the currents with which we are in harmony - are we seeking those which will be conductive to our success? This is the important question.
When we understand that mind is the great creative power, what does not become possible? With Desire as the great creative energy, can we not see why Desire should be cultivated, controlled and directed in our lives and destinies? Men and women of strong mentality, who dominate those around them, and often those far removed from them, really emanate currents charged with power which, coming in contact with the minds of others, causes the desires of the latter to be in accord with the mind of the strong individuality.
Difficulties, disharmonies, and obstacles, indicate that we are either refusing to give up what we no longer need, or refusing to accept what we require. Growth is attained through an exchange of the old for the new, of the good for the better; it is a conditional or reciprocal action, for each of us is a complete thought entity and the completeness' makes it possible for us to receive only as we give. We cannot obtain what we lack if we tenaciously cling to what we have.
Nothing may reach us except what is necessary for our growth. All conditions and experiences that come to us do so for our benefit. Difficulties and obstacles will continue to come until we absorb their wisdom and gather from them the essentials of further growth.
Motivation and the Martial Artist
Motivation is inherent in all of us. It is the driving force behind all our decisions and actions, which ultimately determines who we are and who we will become. Motivation is never a constant and it can equally strengthen or weaken goals that we set for ourselves. It is up to us to tilt the balance in our favour by routinely reminding ourselves of our goals and why they are important to us. In this way we reinforce our commitment and the positive motivation needed to achieve them.
Martial Artists are taught to strive for goals that will better themselves and others. At the Dojo, motivation is an important facet of Martial Arts training. As instructors, we are motivated to pass on the knowledge and values we have learned through our training and to guide each student through becoming a Black Belt. Short term goals (gradings) have been stepping blocks to making the Martial Arts a way of life.
Students are expected to come to class with the desire to give their best. Students that are motivated by their instructors, parents, and themselves are renewing their commitment to their Martial Arts goal. This will actually enhance their learning potential. Attending class regularly and practicing at home also reinforces their commitment and establishes excellent habits for everyday life.
We want the student not only to succeed in class, but to take what they have learned and be motivated to succeed in regular school and in the work force. The Martial Arts offers everyone the benefit of developing motivations skills that build character for a very rewarding life.