Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Satori~ A Moment of Clarity

I feel melancholic today. Most people won't be surprised by that because it seems that's how the see me most of the time. However, most of the time I keep my spirits up and I keep on going and working towards the dream.

The last thing I wanted to do today was put on a martial arts uniform. I was feeling under the weather, not to mention it was blazing hot and humid and the last thing I wanted to do was to put on a martial arts uniform, which would make me hotter. Still I did it and I endured it. Once I got past my own mind (the ultimate "nay-sayer" in my opinion) everything was grand. 

I guess I feel tired. I know there are other people who work much harder than I do, but still I'm tired. Three years straight I've gone to school with only one month's worth of rest a year. I love going to school, but right now I'm just tired. Then years and years of Japanese, and still I'm so far from fluent it feels like a dream to far to touch. Martial arts, I love it, but every week I fight harder and work harder to be better or least I try to be. Last but not least is all the leeches I've worked for who've tried to suck out my spirit and keep me in this cess pool that's been my home. Not anymore....

Just let me have a rest? Please mum five more minutes until I have to wake up? Soon the dream will begin.....

Saturday, May 28, 2011

More Spiritual Happiness

So I will repeat myself and say my happiness lies in the dojo.....I always feel better after I have been able to focus myself there. Now I have two missions in addition my current one, which is to finish school. I really have to put more of my energy into my techniques, as I've realized that I tend to separate myself from them when I am doing them. My second focus is becoming better at Japanese. It is no longer just a desire or optional thing, in fact it's no longer optional at all. I absolutely must be able to communicate in Japanese before I begin to hate it and fail at living in the place I call home. だから、いっしょうけんめい。。。。Therefore I must try with all my might!

I also want to mention how happy I am I have my life back. I gave up so much for people over periods of time, even if it wasn't asked for. I'm glad I've rebuilt my life, even though some of it has seemed to have taken a bit of time. I'm glad I have really good friends around me now :) Most of my friends are overseas or out of state, but it's really nice to have a few good ones here too. I'm glad I could rebuild that for myself, as for a while I felt like my social skills deteriorated and perhaps I wasn't likable. I began to feel standoffish after I continually received rejections from people in regards to actually socializing with them. It seemed having a chat with them or seeing them in places I became acquainted with them at was OK, but outside of that there was no social interest. I think as the Dalai Lama said, embracing people with compassion and an awareness we are all connected to each other makes it less likely we will isolate ourselves from others. Perhaps that's what I've done without realizing it and not seeking validation through my contact with others. I know what my path and goals are and I don't need those people to validate any of it, however I can embrace them compassionately and be apart of it if that is what is meant to be.

Time to chill now...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happiness in the Dojo

OMG I'm tired....no more like exhausted, yet I see no reason why I should be. So many things have been going through my mind as they tend to when I'm delirious. First I want to start with my thoughts about resuming Japanese lessons. This time Lily Sensei is being really strict with me, but I like it. It's forced me to use the language, whereas normally I don't "have to." However, I've received something special from this, and that is the realization that it's my language too and I should be speaking it on a regular basis. Having done that (to the best of my ability) I feel more in my element, and more like I am doing what is natural to me.

In addition, Amy chan and her friend Allison came to the dojo tonight for a trial class. I have to say first how happy I am to share with my friends, that which makes me so happy too. Their visit made it even more profound and clearer that the experience I get there is indeed special. I don't have the proper words, especially in this state to be sure, but I can say we do something really wonderful and special there, and that is why my happiness lies in the dojo.

I just haven't been thinking clearly lately, nor have I been very focused. Perhaps this is what love does to you, I suppose it's the case. Going back to juujutsu was just what I needed to help me regain my focus and concentration. I'm not quite sure how it has the ability to do that for me, but it does and I feel more sane than I have in 2 weeks now. Therefore, I shall endeavor to focus on the things, which need much of my attention over the next coming months. We shall see the results.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Returning to Life

I haven't been keeping up the last few weeks because everything got out of control before I left for Oz. Seemed like I barely got it all done just in time. Going overseas always changes everything, at least for me. I had a 10 hour layover at LAX and while wasting away the time there it occurred to me that I have never been more sure about moving overseas. Even though getting through the airports was rough this past time, it's my life and what I do. How I've missed traveling overseas these past two years. 

During this past trip I never felt more like myself, like the person I know I am, and who I always want to be when I'm here in the states. This trip went beyond my expectations in terms of relationships. It was a laid back trip, as we just took our time doing things and didn't rush to pack a bunch of things in the short time we had. I got to spend time with my friend Tobias and his family, who I met for the first time in 2 years. I really love his family and enjoy his lads. My relationship with Michi is beyond anything I could have ever expected. I never could have expected such happiness to exist.

However, I am already miserable being back here. I thought I would have loads to keep me busy, but I have already sorted everything thing out that was waiting for me. School has slowed down, and work is always like "whatever" just go and get it done, so there's not much else to do. Hopefully Japanese lessons will keep me busy and I will most likely bury my nose in a few books again to pass the time. In addition to escaping from the boredom which this place consists of, I should begin my preparations to leave here next year. At least tomorrow begins my juujutsu training again and more of my time will be absorbed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Catching up

The last few weeks have been rough, as I've been trying to get through my classes. The work load has been quite heavy this time and I have loads of other stuff going on too.

I find myself immersed in many thoughts I can't always keep up with and that I haven't had time to write, although I wish I did. In relation to everything I've been discussing lately I think I've found my way through things a bit. As for the earthquake in Japan I've done what I can financially for now, and unfortunately my skills are not enough to contribute anything. I think at some point I will be able to contribute somehow. When I return from Australia I plan to do some art for the Japan Art Drive.  http://www.artdrivejapan.com/ However, after much reflection and meditating on this I've come to realize it's more about people than just trying to do something. I've heard this before too.....but I mean it's about people even in a simple way, such as the friends I've made through a support group and the daily communication I have with them and my ability to spread Japanese culture and news to my own friends as well. So for right now that is what I can do.

In relation to my other discussions, I continue to experience my happiness lies in the dojo. The Dalai Lama noted how a disciplined mind results in a person being happy and more likely to live a moral life. I find this interesting as this is what we're taught in the dojo too. I'm very happy when I'm training, although in reality I am learning how to beat a guy up! In addition I've come to realize that I'm not only interested in being happy, but also understanding what it truly is, i.e. how one's perspective and awareness contributes to being happy, in essence of the mechanics.

I don't have much more to say at the moment, as these are just a few of the thoughts I can recall I wanted to set down. I can only say I believe I have found truth, honesty, and a genuine life and I can be happy for that alone.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sakura ~ 桜~

Tonight I was driving in my car all happy singing Japanese Pop songs....yes Japanese Pop. It hadn't even occurred to me until I parked the car that everything I had listened to was in Japanese and it all sounded so completely normal to me, even though there are still some words I don't know. I'm always happy singing in Japanese, but upon realizing what I had been unconsciously doing, what felt so normal to me, I felt even happier knowing that even through something like pop-culture I am bridging a gap between cultures. It made me recall a friend Yoshi-san because he posted one of my favorite songs today. My thoughts then wandered onto how I can only use simple Japanese with him, but even the smallest things I am able to communicate with him still make a big difference and is bridging the gap.

Even after six years I find it amazing how deeply Japanese culture has permeated my heart. So much that it has stolen my heart and I must return there to reclaim it if that's even possible.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Deeper Reflections

Recently I've realized the path I'm on and my aspirations in life, that is the occupations I've found purpose in, becoming a teacher, and my beliefs are all genuine. Not that I ever had any intention of being insincere in the past, but I suppose I was never in the right place and could never truly find what I should have been doing. I referred to this in my previous post as being "in my element," but in reality it's genuinely being in the right place doing the right things that have purpose to me. The Dalai Lama said, "There is a difference between happiness and pleasure." Of course this is an obvious thing to realize, but I think he is right in saying most of the time people don't realize these differences. I don't think I did either until recently. In the past whatever I had brought me pleasure, now the things I aspire to bring me happiness. I know that these things make me happy because even when I am down about something I remain happy. I am happy I put 120% into my work at school and I am very happy at how hard I work on my techniques at martial arts. Knowing I am working for something that has value and worth, and that I can appreciate makes me happy. In the bigger picture I have a great love for Japan and teaching/sharing my knowledge with others, therefore I am happy being engaged in those things and being in Japan. Also the people dearest to me originate in Japan, so there is a deeper happiness involved. Last, but not least I am able to love in a genuine compassionate manner, always putting that person first. This is happiness. In the past I only really cared about sex, this was only pleasure, as sex is only pleasure and not an ultimate happiness. I'm glad I've been able to make these distinctions in order to know my happiness is lasting and not temporary. 

At one point in my life I don't think I could have ever said I was truly happy or even have thought I could be. Now there are important people and purpose in my life, which makes it possible for me to appreciate and therefore be happy.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Can't Sleep....

I have to be awake at 6:30 a.m. to go to work and I can't sleep at all. I suppose taking a nap earlier might not have been a good idea. Also there are many thoughts going through my mind right now. Michi's dad emailed me, which I am really happy about. I already know they are safe, but it's still really good to hear from him. I miss everyone so much and can't wait to be back in Japan next year. I'm also getting a little more excited because my trip to Oz is in a little less than a month.

Aside from that I can't help feeling that everything is in place. I haven't felt so genuinely in my element in a long time. Japan for instance feels like my home more than any other place, and I feel really connected there, although I am not biologically Japanese. Then being a Buddhist feels so right too. There is a saying in yoga that goes, "Right mind, Right body, Right living." This is exactly what it feels like. Perhaps this is what unmei (fate) is. I would like to make the distinction that I do not call myself a Buddhist to be placed in a group, after all it's only a label, but rather I am quite happy I follow the teachings of Buddha. Those teachings help me to reflect upon being a better person. I am happy I can love and have compassion for others, while striving to be better each day as a person. 

I'm still not tired, but feel better having put down these lingering thoughts. I should attempt to sleep now.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Yesterday was a long day and I was really angry, yet I knew all my underlying reasons for being angry were lame, so I let myself sulk and accept it. I feel trapped lately. I can't make enough money, I can't contact people, and I feel helpless in trying to help those who desperately need my help.

I have nothing to complain about. I'm a good student, I enjoy school, and I live a fairly good life. I work hard at martial arts and I really enjoy it, as it's a big part of my life, and I get to travel and will teach in many countries in the future. In short, I am happy with my accomplishments and what I am doing in life. Yet, recently it feels like a cloud is looming over me, as my sun is nowhere to be found.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Still Reflecting.....

So aside from the deep compassion I feel for the situation in Japan, I also feel hopeful and have much confidence in their ability to rebound from the disaster. The Japanese are resilient people, who in the face of adversity always do the right thing and manage to survive. I have become irritated with the bloody-thirsty American media looking to prey on others suffering and misfortune. The other day I read on the NHK (the Japanese news) that 18,000 were expected dead and missing. Upon seeing the American news they had already accounted 18,000 people were dead. Mataku! (sheesh, unbelievable) After hearing the story about the 80 year woman and her 16 year old grandson being found I felt even more confident because I know there are more people alive out there than dead, and they will be found. As most people are aware things are getting back to normal there for the most part. There's no rioting, looting, or violence (much to the American media's dismay) and people are already returning to their lives and also beginning the rebuilding process.

My perspective places me in awe, as I realize I am witnessing historical events. I've read much history and literature throughout my life and I always try to think of people's perspectives who lived through wars, revolutions, and catastrophic events, but I can never quite imagine what it would be like to be alive during those times or even be a part of it. Now in this so-called modern age I am witnessing many great, wonderful things and also sad things, such as the revolutions in Cairo and Libya (prayers to those who have lost their lives) and of course now the natural disasters in New Zealand and Japan. It is always my hope and wish people will work together and help one another because we all have one thing in common; we're human. Let's help each other because we're people and not American, Japanese, Haitian, etc. I hope these events make people realize life is not about race, countries, or politics it's about people living happily.

This blog has become my consolation for all these thoughts.....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Usually huge tragedies don't affect me so much because I am always positive everything will be repaired and everything will work out.  However, the event of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11th has shaken me quite a bit uprooting me from my center. I have a close relationship with Japan, as darn near everything I love comes from there. There are many people suffering there from the various problems, such as no food, water, or shelter. Yet I feel like I suffer with them, although my life for the most part has not been interrupted. Usually my spirits are good, they are positive, yet they have been dampened almost two weeks since this tragic event. 

Recently, I began reading the Dalai Lama's book The Art of Happiness. One thing the Dalai Lama said in respect to happiness is how as Westerners we always put our own problems at the forefront of things, and how it seems like our world is always ending because of these problems. He also said that when tragic events or something really terrible happens to someone else we reflect on ourselves and see our problems are minuscule in comparison. This is certainly true. Furthermore, he said that we are also the happiest when we are helping others, and this is true compassion from a Buddhist perspective. In the end happiness is our perspective of our lives. In regards to this, I feel happy I can do something to help the country and culture I love so dearly, yet sorrow remains in my heart for their suffering.