June 26, 2022

My previous article on the Godai introduced my readers to some very basic principles. In this article I want to discuss how the Godai reveal the Five Character Flaws we all face. That is, envy, neediness, ignorance, anger and egotism. With proper spiritual training these can be overcome, and, in the process, you can develop the Five Wisdom Principles. As stated, the Godai can assist us in this process. Water-In the water mindset, when you feel hatred rising within you,... Read more

June 26, 2022

There is an important spiritual phrase in Japanese tradition: “Shiken haramitsu daikomyo”. 四拳 波羅蜜 大光明. I want to take the opportunity to explain what this means at some depth, since it is obviously not readily known. The word “shiken” implies four things. (shi=4, ken=heart/fist) In this sense it is the four hearts. It implies a merciful heart. That is, a heart that expresses love for everyone and everything. Love is properly defined as seeking the highest good. It implies a... Read more

June 21, 2022

Humanity, if we are to flourish as we should and can, meeting our fullest potential, is in need of two essential things. First, we need to be rescued from our illusions, which brings us out of loneliness. This is only possible when we establish the vertical relationship the Divine Being. Secondly, we need to serve others, relieving burdens and comforting those in distress. This is the horizontal relationship that flows naturally out of the vertical. A true spiritual path should,... Read more

June 20, 2022

Each of us is a being of temporal and spiritual components. That is, we exist as both a body and a soul. In this brief teaching I want to focus on the body and the elements of which it is comprised. Why? Because these elements connect us to the universe and each other, and each of them holds important spiritual lessons for us. In the spiritual traditions of Japan there exists an important concept known as the Godai, a Japanese... Read more

June 16, 2022

Most in the West think of spiritual teachers as the all-inclusive types who never defend objective truths they hold, never call anything else error or a lie, but simply smile and praise us when we spew silly ideas that make no sense, remaining entirely agreeable all the time. Perhaps that’s because Westerners tend to be lazy. Now, I know that is probably going to offend someone, and that’s okay. If it offends you, then perhaps you need this article more... Read more

June 8, 2022

The Japanese word “soku” means to cling to, to adhere to, to become one with something else. Sokushin Jobutsu means that one becomes an Enlightened being in this life by properly identifying our nature and recognizing our inherent unity with all of the enlightened beings of history. It means you’re able to attain perfection of all of the qualities of a Buddha while you’re yet living in the present physical body. All of us are comprised of six things: Earth... Read more

June 3, 2022

I was upset and worried. Things weren’t going the way I wanted them to. A change had come along that broke my heart. At one point I sat in my small Japanese flat, feeling every bit of the misery and loss, and just cried like a child. If the tears had washed away the pain, maybe that would have been the end of it. But that wasn’t the case. My sorrow was having an impact on my martial arts training.... Read more

May 31, 2022

Human history, for all of our modern record keeping and scholarship, holds a multitude of mysteries. Beyond a certain point in our shared ancient past, we know little to nothing. We dig at ancient sites, pulling bones and pieces of our past out of the earth, and sometimes discover large settlements. Examining these fragments of human history, we attempt to form a picture of the past. One of the things that appears to emerge from everything we can discover is... Read more

May 26, 2022

The image to the left is a depiction of the Six Desire Realms. Some might be misled into thinking that these realms are spiritual ‘places’, for lack of a better term. That idea is, however, wrong. When we speak of these realms what we truly mean is psychological states. These are six ways people think and live. Let’s take a look at each level with an eye toward discovering which realm or realms our psychology tends to occupy. The Realm... Read more

May 24, 2022

Most are somewhat familiar with the Four Noble Truths of the Buddha, but few really grasp their meaning. What follows is a very brief discussion of each with the goal of providing my readers with clear definitions that allow for the application of each principle in your life. Four Noble Truths Ku-Tai-We often see this expressed as the truth that life is suffering. A better understanding is that life, for the unenlightened soul, is substantially marked by anxiety, discontent and... Read more

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