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.