Friday, July 29, 2011

The one sure event - Death

For the samurai to learn
There's only one thing,
One last thing -
To face death unflinchingly.
- Tsukahara Bokuden (1489-1571)

In this lifetime, I have been the bringer of death; I have been the enemy of death.  On the battlefields of the Middle East, I was the instrument of death, the bringer of artillery and ruthless fire upon those who opposed our advance.  It was this road that eventually led me to the path I follow today, the enemy of death.  

I now walk a path to make sure that death is held at bay until it is truly welcome.  We all take a journey through this life.  The only thing that is certain is the passing of this lifetime.  At an early age, the age of 14, I learned that death can come at any moment.  It was an early morning on Thursday, May 20, 1982, that my father passed on to the other side.  It would be many, many years later before I accepted this moment in my life.  It only became acceptance when I realized that my dad was gone, the ones alive where those he left behind. We should live, everyday in the Here and Now.

Today, the word goes out that the man who went on to marry my mother, my stepfather, has begun his journey on the other side.  The family grieves and strives to find acceptance on the passing.  He had 70 years on the earth and fathered two wonderful men.  He provided balance to my mother.  Now he has passed on, to find what lies on the other side.

I will not tell you how he died; I will tell you how he lived.  My stepbrother summarized it nicely, “Father, Brother, Uncle, Friend, Obnoxious Jerk at times, but much more often a loving, caring man...”  This is the remembrance we must embrace.  Remember the lessons of life and not the lessons of death.  Hold those precious moments in your spirit so that they may light the path ahead.

The Samurai did not fear death.  It was a natural part of life.  We exit the womb with only one thing that is a surety.

I have no parents; I make the Heavens and the Earth my parents.
I have no home; I make the Tan T'ien my home.
I have no divine power; I make honesty my Divine Power.
I have no means; I make Docility my means.
I have no magic power; I make personality my Magic Power.
I have neither life nor death; I make A Um my Life and Death.
     - 1st Refrain, Samurai Creed, 14th Century

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