My name is Juan Rivera and this is my blog. Samurai mind online is about learning and self-help strategies with an Eastern edge. Disclaimer #1: I don’t know anything about samurai. I don’t want to be a samurai. I don’t buy into the samurai mythology. I don’t want to be Tom Cruise. (Though I do like the thought of jumping up and down on Oprah’s couches and babbling excitedly).
What fascinates me about the whole samurai thing is how the Japanese were able to choose to rise to the challenge of modernization. They were confronted by the West and were able to rise to the challenge and compete with the big boys. As the events leading up to World War II show, there was a dark side to this new knowledge. Learning needs to have an ethical side to it as well.
This blog came about from my desire to learn Japanese and from what I learned about learning as I learned more and more. (Did you learn something from my overuse of learning?) As I learned more kanji, I realized that I learned more from reading materials that were fun for me. I tried reading manga or Japanese comics, but that was somebody else’s fun.
I realized that I was a self-help junkie and started to realize that’s what I needed to read. I became particularly interested in Japanese “brain-boom” books, books that explore study methods and how to better optimize learning and growth.
Disclaimer #2: I am still learning Japanese and am committed to immersing myself in the language. My translations may be flawed, but its part of my immersion journey. I could also back up my ideas with research done in English, but that also interferes with my immersion goal. I will include reviews of “Western” books that I have found helpful. Take everything I say about Japanese sources with a grain of soy sauce. Take everything else with a grain of salt and experiment on yourself.
Samurai Mind explores some of these books and their underlying philosophies as well as my meandering along the way. My purpose is to share these books and other tools I’ve come across the way so that we can all lead happier, healthier, and wealthier lives. I firmly believe that if we fully can tap our minds, we can better serve our selves, others, and the earth in a spirit of intelligent play.