Tag: appreciation

The whole world suffers…

… For one man’s selfishness.

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I challenge you to be thankful for…

Things you never really take the time to consider.

The ability to read and reason. Sight. Color. The ability to remember… To be unique. The forces that hold the universe together. The day and the night. The ability to communicate and create.

It is interesting that all that is physical, originated from the unseen. Thoughts. Forces. Feelings. Dreams. Energy. And of course…

Remember who to be thankful to…

All glory be to God!!

Happy Thanksgiving and God bless everyone!

~Shams

MEDITATE on DEATH: 3 Reasons why you should do it DAILY

If this topic makes you uncomfortable, then it is even more important that you heed its advice.

I began exploring this idea when I first started gaining a serious interest in the martial arts. I think I heard this quote from the Hagakure (“Book of the Samurai”) in the movie Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai:

“Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day when one’s body and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles, spears and swords, being carried away by surging waves, being thrown into the midst of a great fire, being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake, falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease or committing seppuku at the death of one’s master. And every day without fail one should consider himself as dead.”

I began this type of meditation and it proved to be an interesting exercise…. Here are 3 reasons why I think it is a beneficial practice:

1) It fosters an appreciation of life and a sense of perspective. Consider for a moment if you were about to die in just a few seconds. Whatever thoughts went through your head, I doubt they were the frivolous worries that people commonly engage in all throughout the day. Suddenly, the school midterm you have due tomorrow or car payments you have to make become meaningless. Maybe they meaningless and maybe they’re not. But EITHER WAY they are much less important in that moment than they usually were. And the fact that they CAN be less important in your mind, can be a powerful revelation in and of itself. The things you do feel are important when meditating on a an imminent death are what is TRULY IMPORTANT in life. Don’t be on your ACTUAL death bed before you realize this! Also, meditating on a painful death can remind you how blessed you are to be in the state of health that you are.

2) It prepares you death. Death is inevitable and nothing to be afraid of. Check out religion if you don’t believe me :). Coping with your fear of death before you face it will allow you to be more accepting of it when the time comes.

3) It makes you a badass warrior. Maybe some people don’t care about this point, but if you are a martial artist it is important. You can never fight with your truest spirit if you go into battle with a fear of pain or death. And if you don’t fight with you utmost spirit not only will you be cut down, but you will be cut down knowing that you held back, that you did not use all the resources you could have to achieve victory.

May God have mercy on the souls of those no longer with us on this earth…

Have fun with this one guys, and if you’re hesitant to try this remember: it’s all in your head.

~Jones

Did YOU choose your BELIEFS – and if not WHO DID?? ASK YOURSELF this question NOW!!

Here’s a common situation that has been occurring throughout human history:

IMAGINE you are sitting at home in your little village, where you’ve lived ALL YOUR LIFE. You barely have news of the outside world, nor do you really care too. Honestly, you probably just don’t give it much thought. THERE’S ENOUGH TO THINK ABOUT ALREADY… you figure. Now all of a sudden, one day, a large army walks right into your peaceful village and demands that you ABANDON your beliefs and adopt theirs.

I think that most people would feel rather INDIGNANT at the idea. Something like a red sign in their heads flashing the words “OH HELL NO!” I mean, who wants to be forced to change their beliefs?

But wait a second… Have we even addressed what either of those beliefs are?? What if I were to say that you lived in a tribe of incestual cannibals, and the conquerors were telling you NOT to eat people and NOT to sleep with your immediate family… would you be less resistant to them then?? Just because you have strong beliefs, doesn’t make those beliefs righteous or correct. In most cases, YOU DID NOT EVEN CHOOSE YOUR OWN BELIEFS. It was the society and environment that you grew up in.

A big part of MATURING, I think, is questioning those beliefs, in order to DECIDE FOR YOURSELF IF THEY ARE VALID. This includes beliefs about anything: yourself, your family and friends, your future, your past, your religion, the world, etc. If you don’t question your beliefs then you’re just taking a shot in the dark. I think it’s especially important to DEEPLY QUESTION your religion. REAL FAITH cannot be cultivated in a heart that afraid to question its beliefs. If you’re afraid to question your beliefs, then you clearly have some doubts about them being true. THAT’S FINE. But you must question them, and REALLY question them, (and ask God for guidance, I would suggest) in order to SINCERELY consider them as TRUTHS.

Did YOU choose your beliefs? Or did the MEDIA and SOCIETAL PRESSURES choose them for you? It’s unpopular (almost looked down upon) to be deeply religious in much of the USA today it seems. In television shows, any religious person is always portrayed as FANATICAL or wierd somehow. I get the feeling that many people (including myself) feel that they would be seen as such if they expressed their faith openly by in any way, such as by bringing God into a conversation (even casually). And HOW ABOUT PRE-MARITAL SEX? How NORMAL has it become in the minds of westerners. It’s pretty much considered CRAZY to even think about marrying anyone WITHOUT sleeping together first!

DID YOU CHOOSE THESE BELIEFS? And, more importantly, do you have the power to un-choose them if you’d like to? If you can IDENTIFY these beliefs (many of them are subtly ingrained in our subconscious and so it can be difficult to even realize that we have these beliefs) the you stand a chance to CHOOSE WHO YOU WANT TO BE FOR YOURSELF.

So don’t get too upset and defensive when someone challenges your beliefs, telling you that you’re wrong. TAKE A GOOD, LONG LOOK AT YOUR BELIEF and find out if it’s really valid. The other person may in fact be right. And if they’re wrong, then no harm has been done by considering the issue more deeply. Often you’ll find that nobody is right or wrong, THEY’RE JUST DIFFERENT VIEWPOINTS.

Regardless, don’t be mad about it. Appreciate people who make you feel uncomfortable. They are the ones that you can learn the most about yourself from.

~Jones