Another warrior class of feudal Japan was the Ninja. “Nin” literally means “to persevere.” These warriors were a very spiritual group, who went deep within and studied human nature and drew from all of the arts in order to survive the harsh conditions they faced. Unable to own weapons, they mastered unarmed combat and esoteric skills that allowed them to be sneaky and do uncommon things, not unlike the modern SEAL. Their art, called art of Ninjutsu, is represented by this informative Kanji character:
The character is composed of two parts. The upper part, ha or jin, means of “edge of the sword.” The lower part, shin, means “heart” or “soul” and can also mean “Ko- koro.” The two together mean “endurance”, “perseverance”, and “patience”(Source: Wikipedia). So with the sword of discipline hanging over the Ninja, they sought to develop endurance, perseverance and patience.
Other spiritual traditions have gifted us language and practices pointing to this same concept. In Yoga, Hinduism, Zen, Tibetan Buddhism, Taoism, Kabala, Christian Science we see practices similar to those used by Unbeatable Mind. These are perennial and universal training methods that have served spiritual aspirants and warriors from all walks of life for millennium. The highest stage for the trainee is a complete union with Universal Spirit resulting in a total present awareness devoid of the duality of ego and soul. This state is felt as bliss and peace, filled with the energy of love. Often we must look to the roots of a religion, past the dogma and legalism, to find these practices. These traditions include some variation of the following practices in their training:
- Meditation – many varied forms of meditation include breath awareness, concentrating on a count, an object, a sound, mindful movement, eating, walking, sitting…and more.
- Visualization – visualizing a deity, Christ, or a Lotus in your heart center, or white light coming into your third eye.
- Mantra – a positively and spiritually charged statement repeated over and over – such as the Christian Rosary, the sound “Om,” the utterance “Om Mani Padme Om” which in Tibetan means “lotus flowering in your heart” and the like.
- Contemplation – especially of spiritually charged words in the great works of the tradition – the Bible, Koran, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, etc.
- Service – taking your eyes off yourself and putting them on others. This is a practice of all traditions, as it is with Unbeatable Mind and SEALFIT.
- Communion – communing with friends, family, nature and silence. This can also be considered a form of mindful meditation.
- Alignment with Universal Law. The study of nature and human nature, and subsequently aligning ourselves with universal laws and our teams and organizations is foundational to create balance. Some form of this exists in all spiritual traditions – such as the rst 2 limbs of yoga (as outlined in the Yoga Sutras), Right Thought and Right Action in Buddhism, the Golden Rule in Christianity, etc.
- Purification and Non-Attachment – purifying the body of toxins and harmful thoughts, and giving up attachments to material things are also all taught in the traditions.
These practices cross religious barriers and make the spiritual aspects of each tradition appear strikingly similar. It is a shame that dogmatic teachings of some of the traditions are far removed from these personal practices that adherents are willing to kill to protect their version of the truth.
We do not need to believe in God or “belong to” a religion to find Kokoro, Sacred Silence and Shibumi in our lives. We can find it through our disciplined training in the soft practices outlined above, combined with the more severe hard training of the warrior. Over time we will polish the mirrors of our Kokoro spirits. When traversed with discipline, drive and determination, and infused with faith, desire and expectation, the hike up Kokoro Mountain will unlock our spirits and lead us to unparalleled peace of mind. It will ignite a raging re within and fuel our purpose with passion.