Gratitude

Dear Traveller,

I have been remiss in my duty to both you and myself; the silence of my grief has spoken for me long enough; today I wish to speak my gratitude to life and all that arises from it. I am thankful for the life I breathe, I am thankful for the woman who loves me as I her, for the friends that have provided comfort to a heartsick ronin.

The deaths of both my sister and a dear mentor during these fleeting few months has struck me with the amnesia that arises with pain’s crimson birth; I had quite forgotten the sheer wonder found in just being alive. Clouded were my eyes to the quiet strength of those that I know near and far, good people who struggle onwards. Though we all go to the same inevitable fate, are we not united in our individual decision to grasp the thorned rose that is life?  Alone, we all drink a potent wine of blood and nectar, the only ambrosia fit for a mortal. Raise your cups and celebrate this giving of thanks to life. 

Yours upon the Way,

Shinken del Fénix

 

Perseverance

Dear Traveller,

It has been some time since last we met on our journey, grateful am I to be here with you again. Since last we spoke, I’ve gone through several upheavals. In August, my little sister passed away and I had the painful honour to officiate her funeral (in my capacity as a Humanist chaplain). The pain I felt while doing this hurt more than I can adequately express here, but I persevered and paid reverence to her memory.

Since Bushido is my defining commitment, despair was not an option; and I could not allow grief to debilitate me from doing my duty. However, that was the most difficult thing that I have done in my life. Yet and still, I am a warrior and perseverance is a part of my duty despite the sometimes cruel vagaries of life.
Cut-the blizzard’s knife
Weary are we on Way;
Lone scarlet rose blooms

Yet and still,  I’ve been blessed with the knowledge that the passing of a single moment can reveal so suddenly the beauty of life, and all the possibilities it is pregnant with. You cannot know the future and many people find that uncertainty disturbing; they make predictions and conjectures based upon expectation, but that is illusion. The creative warrior embraces this uncertainty, thrives upon the multitudinous possibilities; and lets perseverance steady his or her mind; for all he or she knows is that they know nothing.

Yours upon the Way,

Shinken

Kaizen Fire

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Dear Traveller,

Long have I been interested with creating and bettering myself. This has taken on a new and burning significance since my 25th birthday (only a few months hence, although eons ago existentially speaking ). I feel as though I have finally matured in some fundamental and mysterious way. I don’t, of course, believe that I’m fully developed, but I do believe that I am finally at the beginning of my true development as a conscious being. I advocate the Way of the Samurai because I truly believe that it is one of the most authentic ways to live for anyone; but especially for creative souls willing to take full responsibility for their own lives.

Kaizen is Japanese for “change for the better” and I bear it in mind daily. I try to better myself each day, despite my Ninjas and Critics, because I truly intend to be loyal to the Way. My wish is to convince you to adopt a warrior-mind state as well because an authentic is worth creating. Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comment section either way. I hope you have a wonderful evening.

Yours upon the Way,
Shinken

The Pen Is My Sword

Dear Traveller,

As a poet and writer, I swim in that which words point to; the intersections between Being and Self and all the wonderful crystal shards such a collision creates. Every stroke of my pen is an homage to refracted truth; a faceteddprayer said to the sacredness of art itself.

As one attempting to live by the code of Bushido, I strive to excel in my chosen art because the blossomings of my heart must also bear real fruit. I am by no means a Pablo Neruda, Emily Dickonson, or Edgar Allan Poe; but I’m not trying to be either. I follow my own Way; but I choose the path of exellence as they did. I believe that if you are going to do art or be otherwise creative (whatever art/creative endeavour that may be), then you should do it with mindful totality.

My name is “Shinken” (or real sword) because only a sword authentically forged can earn that moniker; it also has the additional meaning; “to do things with deadly earnest”. With this in mind, I walk my own Way. As a warrior-poet, writer, novice Humanist chaplain and future creativity coach; I hope to inspire others to be the heroes of their own stories.

I fervently believe that creating yourself is an act of self-liberation, a existential call to arms that you will not conform, that you choose to take your destiny in your own hands.

The warrior walks alone but she or he is never alone

My hope is to see others commit to their highest possible selves. Together and yet alone we can surpass our current level and be the greatness that burns within. I leave you with these thoughts and bid you a good night. Thank you.

Yours upon the Way,
Shinken

A Moment

Dear Traveller,
I’ve been running around like crazy so please excuse this late post. (I publish every Tuesday and Thursday, and I don’t intend to be inconsistent.)

  Anyway, I just want to say that a moment is infinite as it is arising. Enjoy it, taste it, revel in its splendour. Is it not good to be alive as you breathe in time and space?  A warrior treasures her or his time, so too does the artist. The two are as you are with the moment; which is to say one. Remember this my fellow traveller. Thank you.
Yours upon the Way,
Shinken

Bury the Past

“But I’ll never survive with dead memories in my heart”-Slipknot (Dead Memories)

Dear Traveller,

  Often time, creative warriors are hounded by memories of the past (as I can fervently attest to). I spent years being haunted of the wreckage of my childhood. Filled with much fear and trembling were my dreams until I awoke from that deathly state and said “enough!” Enough to being the chattel of dead memories, enough to being marred by past misery.  A warrior knows that the past is literally a figment of one’s imagination, it’s called the past for a reason. Becoming the hero of your story means that you cannot burden yourself with illusory thoughts.

 The only thing that is real is right now, all else is delusion

  Burn the above in your brain, as it is your duty to authentically create yourself. If you are still attached to that which does not exist, then you are doing yourself a grave disservice. Let go of irrational rumination!  If you do not, then you are as dead as the past you cling to.

  Now I can almost hear the protests from some of you and I understand your position.  As I stated before dear traveller, I did not have a happy childhood (to say the least lol) I was (long before my resurrection) a victim to La Bruja Endriaga and she delighted in spilling my blood. But wait, how could it be my blood if I am here in this present moment writing this? Am I not just imagining a recollection of things that happened a long time ago to someone else?

For who I am now is not who I was then.

  My point is that you are here, not there; so why waste time elsewhere? Isn’t your imagination worthy of being put to better use? Aren’t you tired of those ephemeral chains that keep you locked away from reality? Fellow traveller, you have the keys to your liberty in your own heart and mind. Freedom is indeed a burden, but so is the past; which one would you rather bear?

Yours upon the Way,

Shinken

Warrior’s Bow: Sally Ride Ph.D

Heroine

Dear Traveller,
  Yesterday, pioneering astronaut Sally Ride Ph.D, rejoined the stars from whence we all came. She exemplified the essence of Bushido with her gargantuan compassion, courage, and rectitude. This was a woman of Promethean power who dared storm the heavens with distilled wonder and its glorious children; science and reason.
 

 The warrior-mind of Dr.Ride was an astounding example for all humanity, but especially for young girls and women. Her daring, intelligence, and service has made her a true heroine and I proudly celebrate her life. Maria T. Zuber (Geophysicist & principal investigator of NASA’s GRAIL mission) said this about Dr.Ride:

Sally was an icon in the history of space exploration. She realized the great honor associated with being the first American woman in space and used her notoriety to promote education. Her influence in inspiring students to pursue careers in science and technology is one of her many extraordinary achievements. In her role as an astronaut and as an educator Sally changed the lives of countless young people and that will be her legacy.”

I sit here, stunned by the meteoric impact this woman had on the world. Though she lost her valiant battle to pancreatic cancer, she went peacefully. That is, in my opinion, a good death for one so honourable. Dr. Ride was a creative warrior even near the end ; as shown by her founding of the company “Sally Ride Science” , which focuses on instilling awe through science for girls and boys. Her commitment to fostering a love for the “magic of reality” (to quote Professor Richard Dawkins) is just another reason for why I honour Sally Ride with a warrior’s bow. May we all be bettered by the constellation of her greatness. I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Yours upon the Way,

Shinken