I was walking to the writer’s room this morning and in the midst of my samurai shuffle (listening to an iPod with random Japanese music and books on tape), Furuichi-san came on and talked about the importance of studying in the morning.  Now mind you, as far as the Japanese language is concerned I’m as dangerous as a novice wielding a samurai sword.   I’m more likely to hurt myself as anything else.   Take all translations with a dash of soy.

You don't have to be a Buddha to develop a morning practice

According to Furuichi, morning has several advantages.   There are fewer distractions in the morning:  interesting television programs, phone calls, social invitations, etc.  Furthermore, from his personal experience Furichi-san claims that studying in the morning is more effective than in the evening.  He suggests that you experiment by studying in the morning and in the evening for two hours and noting your results.

I have become a creature of the morning.  During the weekdays, I am a high school teacher and it seems every second is taken with teaching, planning, copying, or dealing with many situation.  On Sundays, I am busy planning and grading.  When I get home, my daughters want to play and then need to be bathed, fed, and storied.  (Love it.)  By the time, 9:30 rolls around, I’m pretty much exhausted and moving towards bed.

I wake up in the morning around 5 a.m.  I like to wake up before the 5:30 alarm and turn it off because waking up to an alarm is not how I want to start off the day.  I guess the “I Can” book is rubbing off a little on me, because if I wake up complaining I try to right my thinking for a little bit and concentrate on the positive–little corrections to keep my ship straight.  If I’ve woken myself early enough I do some exercise, usually nei kung, a Chinese strengthening and alignment series of exercises.

Afterwards I walk towards the Writer’s Room.   It’s sometimes the only chance I get for cardio exercise and offers a chance to be in the sun and the cityscape.  When I get to the writer’s room before going to work and I make the decision to just make one hour of the day my time.  I  split it between writing a book proposal, working on the blog,  studying Japanese, and spending a little time on success literature or history that moves my mind.

For me, studying means anything I want to expand in my life.  I’ve moved forward with my book proposal, I’ve learned a little more Japanese, and more importantly I am having more fun.  Sometimes ideas don’t come but sometimes they do, and I leave the writer’s room with a little bit of an inner glow.   It’s nice to start the morning with a “win” all before eight o’clock.

Consider the mornings.  Like Toni Morrison, I kind of plugged myself into the mornings because of the small children in my life:

I was involved in writing Beloved at that time—this was in 1983—and eventually I realized that I was clearer-headed, more confident and generally more intelligent in the morning. The habit of getting up early, which I had formed when the children were young, now became my choice. I am not very bright or very witty or very inventive after the sun goes down.  Paris Review


Well, I’m no Toni Morrison.  I’m better.  I can personally guarantee you that when I write my novel it will have more car chases and zippy one liners than Beloved ever hoped to have.  Way more. 🙂  I will rise with the sun and make it my mission.

I wish you all many good mornings.