True Me – Breakthrough Coaching

ADVICE FROM A ZEN MONK

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ADVICE FROM A ZEN MONK

The other day, reading a book by one of my favorite authors, I fell upon an ancient text, which I found extremely profound and wise. This text was written many centuries ago during the Samurai era, and refers to the spiritual art of sword handling. “Uninterrupted Understanding”, also known as “The Tahlan Treaty”, the name of its author – who was at the same time a swordsman and a Zen monk. I quote here parts of the text, in free translation.

MAINTAIN YOUR CALM. Anyone who understands the meaning of life knows that nothing has a beginning or an end and therefore, he is not worried. Fight for what you believe in without trying to prove anything to anyone, keeping the calm silence of those who had the courage to choose their destiny.

This is true of love and war.

ALLOW  THE PRESENCE OF TH HEART. He who trusts in his power of seduction, in his ability to say things at the right time, with the proper use of the body, does not hear the “voice of the heart”. This can only be heard when we are in perfect harmony with the world around us and never when we consider ourselves to be the center of the universe.

This is true of love and war.

LEARN TO BE THE OTHER. We are so focused on what we consider the best attitude in life that we forget something much more important: to achieve our goals we need other people. Therefore, it is necessary not only to observe the world but also to imagine that we are in the position of others and know how to accompany their thoughts.

This is true of love and war.

FIND THE RIGHT TEACHER. Our path will always come across many people who, out of love or pride, want to teach us something. How to distinguish a friend from a manipulator? The answer is simple; the true teacher is not the one who teaches an ideal path, but the one who shows his student the many ways to access the path he must travel to achieve his destiny. Once he finds this path, the teacher can no longer help him because his challenges are unique. This is not true of love or war … but without understanding this section we will go nowhere.

REMOVE THREATS. Many times we believe that the ideal attitude is to give our lives for a dream. Nothing could be more wrong. In order to achieve a dream, we must maintain our lives and, therefore, have to know how to avoid what threatens us. The more we contemplate our steps, the more likely we are to make mistakes, because we have no appreciation for others, the teachings of life, passion and tranquility. The more we think we have control, the more we will be controlled by everything. A threat gives no warnings and you cannot plan a quick reaction like a Sunday afternoon stroll.

So if you want to come to terms with your love or your struggle, learn to react quickly. Through careful observation, do not let your supposed life experience transform you into a machine: use this experience to always hear the “voice of the heart”. Even if you disagree with what this voice says, respect it and follow its advice. It knows what the best time is to act and what the best time is to avoid the action. This also applies to love and war.

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