But there is Boddhidharma, fierce eyes, teeth showing, intent and determined, a free spirit who [will not accept] the propaganda of mediocrity. He challenges you to be free enough of society to transform it for the better. —L. Boldt Zen and the Art of Making a Living
Nurture your minds with great thoughts. To believe in the heroic makes heroes. –“All About The ” Benjamin(z) Disraeli
Sometimes in life you need to battle the “dark forces.” You need a weapon. You need a battle strategy. You need to reexamine your tactics in a world that isn’t necessarily out there to bring out the best in us. You need a de-programming device that helps you center your mind. You need to become a beacon to others by becoming a beacon to yourself. You need your trusty, dusty samurai mind notebook.
As I’ve been playing around with keeping notebooks, I’ve come to rely on them more. A samurai mind notebook is a place where I keep the thoughts and knowledge that I want to have kicking around in my mind. It’s the place where I put snippets of knowledge or forward moving quotes that will be there to lift me up and change my climate of thoughts. They have a longer-lasting impact as I playfully review them on a regular basis. (You can have notebooks to work out problems, complain, etc and that is awesome but the samurai mind notebook works better when it is positive, silly, useful, and fun. Get a “working it out notebook” if you need a space for that.)
I don’t necessarily believe you should become a positive thinking machine. You will have your feelings and you will feel suffering, but what will be out there/in there for you through that and after that? The television news? Keeping a notebook allows you to create your own channel of information of skills, thought, jokes (?), whatever you want to move forward in your life. Read through my different posts about keeping a notebook, but here are some powerful uses for my notebook that I’ve recently discovered:
My notebook is a place where I can re-enjoy the marrow I’ve sucked out of good books and resources. If I buy a $20 book I can multiply the value I get from the book by putting the ideas that make me stop and think into my notebook. As you review, if the knowledge still makes you “tingle” rewrite it in your latest notebook. That forward moving thought or inspiration gets reinforced.
My notebook is a place where I put little mechanical skills that I used to feel would never become a part of me.
Sometimes there are little blocks of knowledge or skill that can help you create and play. If you put it in your samurai notebook, in small digestible bits, those bits can become more of you. For example, I am going through a music theory book for guitarists and wrote down some information on compound meter. Do I have that concept nailed? No. But as I come across it more and more, it becomes part of the conversation.
Keep in mind that your notebook is not a place for obligation. Don’t write anything in there that you feel you “have to.” As you review, you can skip over parts that don’t rock your boat. Your samurai mind notebook is your weapon, your tool, your de-programming device. Though it can be physically messy, keep your notebook gleaming and shiny with your love.