Daily Meditation: The Tao, the Human Condition, and Self-Overcoming

Daily meditations for the higher man.The Tao Te Ching, Chapter 13, reads:

Accept disgrace willingly.
Accept misfortune as the human condition.

What do you mean by “Accept disgrace willingly”?
Accept being unimportant.
Do not be concerned with loss and gain.
This is called “accepting disgrace willingly.”

What do you mean by “Accept misfortune as the human condition”?
Misfortune comes from having a body.
Without a body, how could there be misfortune?

Surrender yourself humbly; then you can be trusted to care for all things.
Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things. (translation by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English)

Disgrace and misfortune are anathema to the ego-driven culture of the West. We do whatever it takes at all costs to ensure the ego remains enthroned upon a the seat of pride and good fortune. The New Age consumerist mindset views spirituality and health as measures to prevent the disgrace of the ego and the misfortune of the body, rather than dedicated practices to bring the body and mind into harmony with the soul. You can transcend your limitations to “become the best you” with ancient alchemical secrets of mind control and achieve optimum wellness via long-forgotten nutritional wisdom of the cavemen. Continue reading “Daily Meditation: The Tao, the Human Condition, and Self-Overcoming”

To Cross Fire and Water: Akira Kurosawa and the Cinema of the Higher Man

seven-samuraiEmpty or undeserving praise is often heaped upon filmmakers and their work, but Akira Kurosawa — known mostly in the West for his Rashomon and Seven Samurai — is of that rare breed who deserves of every inch of praise and adulation he has received. “Most directors have one masterpiece by which they are known,” Francis Ford Coppola once remarked, “Kurosawa has at least eight or nine.”

This week, the world of cinema celebrated the 106th birthday of Kurosawa. Here I want to look at Kurosawa’s accomplishments with special attention to our discussion of the Higher Man. Continue reading “To Cross Fire and Water: Akira Kurosawa and the Cinema of the Higher Man”

Kung Fu: Meeting the Master at the Limits of Endurance

imageedit_14_6819071505During training the other day, while practicing Limalama entry techniques at the martial arts school where I train in North Hollywood, a strange sensation overcame me.  It was my opponent’s turn to defend, however I delayed for a moment in administering the attack.  It wasn’t simply because I was exhausted or that my mind was wandering, as I must confess it tends to after long hours of hard training.  

Being relatively new to the martial arts, I have not fully conquered my mind’s susceptibility to distraction.  After all, the appeal of the martial arts is not only the physical strength and stamina it builds, but the mental focus that results from discipline, practice and training.  The hyperactive monkey mind is perhaps the greatest opponent anyone faces in the modern world, and many of us will spend an entire lifetime striving to overcome its imbecilic tyranny. Continue reading “Kung Fu: Meeting the Master at the Limits of Endurance”