I have a permanent altar at my dojo. When I say permanent, I mean it is built into the back wall. Deep dark wood with candles and occasional photos and trinkets of passed loved ones adorned the humble altar. It's my constant reminder of not only those of have passed, which people find endearing, but that death is always with us. This is fact, as you breath today, one day you won't. We all will pass on. I will die so why would I not want to be reminded of it? Why would I choose to ignore such an important moment to come? It the one event I know I can count on.
Most people i know are completely freaked out and afraid of death I mean they seriously believe that if they ignore it enough, push it deep down in their subconscious, that death will cease to exist. Death will die and they will live forever. When they ask about an item on my alter they have such a strange look as to what does this have to do with a dojo or gym? Well it has everything to with the philosophy of what martial artists are training for. Ultimately we train hard, preparing ourselves for a good death. Now this does not mean we go out on the world and pick a fight, ready to die. No.
Preparing for death is the daily task of practicing the tenants of life set into motion by our ancestors. This is the only way to pay homage to death, by honoring the traditions and practices our Fathers and Mothers set before us. Compassion where we show mercy. Kindness where we show grace. Humility where we value others our ourselves. Gentleness where your meek power is under control. Patience is the ability to suffer trials over trials. Forbearance in all, as we must hold each other accountable. Forgiveness in all we do. Now, unify all those virtues with love, connect the stars, be the cosmic matter and you'll have a damn fine day.
I just lost the ending in a failed auto save, s I'm a bit frustrated as to what I just lost. Mourn and move on Paul. So I will just say use this blog to confront your ideals on death. Fear or not, it's always good to check in with where we are going. When we enter and leave the dojo, we bow in reverence for all that was and what may be. As with life and death, we may have accomplished something exciting in class or we emotionally felt lost and gained nothing. We may have lost even though we won a match. Bow and walk away. See you on down the road.