Life is like a drop of dew on a leaf that forms in the morning and is gone before the sun reaches its zenith.To the warrior, death is a constant companion; it’s always on your shoulder, waiting patiently. Death is a reminder, and a potential awakening.
The Samurai were a martial breed; they wore swords on their belt, and protected their lord with their lives. Because of the precarious nature of their lives, they might be in the pink of health at sunrise, and by sunset, be sliced down in a puddle of blood.
We All Have The Same Death Sentence
A 55 year old man feels poorly and sees his doctor. He’s told he has cancer and is given a year to live. He decides not to get treatment but goes to Hawaii and tries to have fun. But he can’t enjoy himself. His mind tortures him. He counts the passing days. He laments that he’s going to die so young. The passing of time just makes him more miserable. The ocean, the trees, plants, and beautiful people make no impression on him. He’s so wrapped up in his self pity, he hardly even sees his surroundings.
Towards the end of the year he experiences a tremendous ah-ha. It hits him: everyone has the same death sentence. We all have the same terminal disease. Everyone that lives will die, and no one knows when. It was like waking up or turning on a light. The beauty of life came alive again, and he was able to enjoy whatever time he has left. Each of us should have the same realization.
We try to make a comfortable, safe nook in life. But the world is, and has always been, the ultimate wilderness. We live on a ball of dirt and water thats hurtling through space. There’s no safety anywhere. Yet we walk around as if we had forever. We think we have more time, a good ten, twenty, or fifty years.
Given the absolute fact that you have a death sentence, that you may leave at any time, there has never been a time that we are not in the same position as the samurai.
It’s possible to carry Bushido, the way of the warrior as a profound meditation. The realization that you must someday leave everything you’ve built in this life, and surrender into death, can slap you into awakening. You drop the mind and live from your true nature, your essence that must take the leap, and is always ready.
If you find that part you will find pure consciousness.
You can practice even when you sleep, this is a meditation in itself: drop thinking about your problems. Let go into sleep as if it really is time to die.
When one practices the way of the warrior, the chaos of screaming children, dogs barking, the interruptions, and the countless inconveniences take on a new flavor. You savor every bit of life. You become like the Samurai: receptive to every moment. You are aware of the ultimate reality, every instant may truly be your last. And so you live elegantly, with tremendous gratitude.