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There is no
When people asked Krishnamurti how to live well he always said that you should live today as though it were the last day of your life. Make amends. Live completely and fully.
Seek to experience every facet of the day to its fullest potential.
If only for a while...
The samurai chose the cherry blossom as their symbol. It falls from the tree and dies after only a short moment of glory and splendour.
When death can come at any time, every moment matters. Life was treated with reverence, and the samurai refused to waste it.
They dressed with care, spoke eloquently, wrote beautiful poems and honed their martial skills.
Hic fructus virtutis
This is the fruit of valour
(Waller family motto)
In modern life, people are complacent. They do most things in a half-assed way. Apathy, ignorance and laziness prevail. Being bothered, making an effort, working hard... these are not valued.
Only the rare person is willing to make the best of every opportunity.
What's the point?
Once you embrace apathy, it is quite easy to argue that tai chi is a waste of time. Why bother? It is far easier to do nothing, to just watch TV.
But, can't this argument be applied to everything: Why bother getting out of bed? Making the bed? Showering? Brushing your teeth? Flushing the toilet? Cleaning up after your dog?
Washing the dishes? Going to work? There is a world of difference between existing and living.
Your level best
Zen encourages people to treat every moment as an opportunity to really make an effort; to focus, to put everything into the task that is before them. To hold nothing back.
Work, family, marriage, learning, sex, diet, reading, brain work, tai chi. How many people really show sincerity, commitment and truly give their best?
The fruits of valour
Valour means great courage in the face of danger. Life presents us with countless travails: at home, at work, in the street, financial, interpersonal...
How we face these challenges says everything about our character, about who we are. About how we choose to live our lives.
You decide who you are
You can choose to be brave in the face of adversity or you can be weak and make lame excuses for your own inadequacies. This is who you are. Your actions define you. For better or for worse.
Lo there do I see my father;
Lo there do I see my mother and my sisters and my brothers;
Lo there do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning.
Lo, they do call me, they bid me take my place among them, in the halls of Valhalla, where the brave may live forever.
(The Viking prayer, 13th Warrior)
1 December 1999
Last updated 13 January 2020