As we reach
the end of one year and the beginning of another, we
should pause to reflect on where we have been and where we are
We are all black belts of 2009, and white belts of 2010. Joy
Vigor! - what possibilities we have!
At the start
of anything, we can reflect on the concept of beginning.
In a fantastic book called Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, the
Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki have been edited and compiled. He
innocence and possibility of the beginners mind. In his
not something to learn. Wisdom is something that will come
out of your mindfulness. It is the readiness of the mind that
wisdom! So the point is to be ready for observing and ready
thinking. This is called emptiness of the mind. If your mind
empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything.
the beginners mind there are many possibilities; in the
there are few.
encouraging us in the same way when he says NOW is the
moment Dont wait. Dont hold back. Do it NOW!
know about you, but 2009 was a crowded year! Like a room
crowed with things, the room will slowly lose its function.
It is the
condition of our modern life that our minds are crowded and
danger of losing their function. Use the turn of the new year
empty and begin anew. Master Suzuki offers us an excellent metaphor
to picture this emptiness:
should not be just gathering many pieces of
information; instead of gathering, clear your mind. If your
clear, true knowledge is already yours. When you listen with
clear mind, you accept as if you are hearing something you already
know. This is called emptiness, or omnipotent self, or knowing
everything. When you know everything, you are like a dark sky.
Sometimes a flashing will come through the dark sky. After it
you forget and there is nothing left but the dark sky. The sky
never surprised when all of a sudden a thunderbolt breaks through.
And when the lightning does flash, a wonderful sight may be
When we have emptiness we are always prepared for watching the
what you have done in 2009, 2010 offers us new opportunity.
Do it now means that we cannot dwell in the past. And since
us are perfect, our karate practice offers us a living metaphor.
reflect on what we are doing in everyday life, we are always
ashamed of ourselves. One of my students wrote to me saying,
sent me a calendar, and I am trying to follow the good mottos
appear on each page. But the year has hardly begun, and already
have failed! The master said Shoshaku jushaku
which means to
succeed wrong with wrong or one continuous mistake.
life could be said to be so many years of shoshaku jushaku!
Chaskelson has stated this simply by saying that A black
belt is just a white belt who never quit. As karateka
Shorin-Ryu Karate USA, we are fortunate to be surrounded by
teachers and metaphors: Never give up! Moving forward! Joy and
you all a very full (empty!) 2010