Little pieces floating back to the edge of consciousness. Samurai reviews old pages. Review your notebook, change your mind. Continue reading »
Break out the soy sauce, because Samurai Mind Online is lost in translating another Japanese source today! In this chapter of １日３０分」を続けなさい！人性勝利の勉強法５５ Learn to Win by Yukio Furuichi (古市幸雄) asks the simple question, what is the best way to read? Continue reading »
I haven’t gone bowling in years, but three weeks ago I was back at it, funny shoes and all. I think I’ve played mini-golf more times than I’ve gone bowling, and that isn’t saying much.
I only played two games. The first game, I was getting used to bowling again. I kept experimenting with different balls. I went for the pink gum light gum balls and tried bowling with that. I kept noticing my buddies next to me getting strikes and having a great old time. I hung my head in shame and then just kept trying. I kept trying different balls and adjusting my technique. I got a heavier ball and got a strike towards the end of the game. I think I got an 85–not an impressive score.
However, towards the end of the game, I made a few interesting choices in addition to getting the heavier ball. I modeled the form that the more successful players were using–something like my foot ending up on the other side of my body. I also made the decision to breathe and, as hokey as this is going to sound, I made the decision to love the moment. I made the decision to be happy holding the ball, seeing where the pins were, releasing the ball, and staying connected even after I released the ball.
The results were shockingly fun. Almost every frame I played a spare or a strike. At one point, I got three strikes in a row. I surprised myself by being able to pick off single pins. Each time it was my turn, I made the decision again: have fun with this moment, connect, love. I ended up the game with 200.
I didn’t know that this was a big deal, except for the big video display. Then guys came up and said, “Wow, how did you do that?” A couple guys explained that they have been bowling regularly and have never gotten to 200.
I could end this little post with some big lesson. In fact, as I wrote this, Steve Chandler’s 100 Ways to Create Wealth came up on my samurai shuffle. His wealth tip #29 is: “Learn to Keep Breathing.”
However, for now, I’m not going to further dissect that moment. My only hope is that I can have more of those moments, and that others can have more of those moments in bowling, serving others, the earth and all other sorts of silly games.
Yeah, sing it, just like the Rolling Stones. “Sa-mu-rai Time is on my side! Yes it is!” Don’t know how to sing? That’s okay, sing it badly. Don’t know who the Rolling Stones are? Abandon all hope ye who enter.
As I write this, I have a device strapped to my wrist, counting down and ready to vibrate in twelve minutes. Continue reading »
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest (lit: most important) thing in life is to keep your mind young.
Samurai Dose of Soy Translation: A Little Bit Every Day Over Time is Better Than a Lot over Short Periods
I have been a reluctant writer but now I have found ways to turn writing into a game. I have had a space at a writer’s loft for years and have written many pages now, but now it seems my writing has taken off in new and exciting ways. (To me at least!) Part of this is a new way in which I am managing time. (See Samurai Time is on Your Side) But I also play a little game called keeping the laptop battery charged. Continue reading »
Suzuki Shosan (1579-1655) who had fought as a samurai in the battles of Sekihagara and Osaka argued that in the life of commoners, ordinary, daily work, could lead to enlightenment. What mattered was internal attitude; when this was properly adjusted and focused all trades could become the roads to spiritual emancipation.” p. 222 Marius B. Jansen, The Making of Modern Japan
Well, despite my disclaimer samurai have crept into my blog. First of all, let me explain how I found this quote. I am a busy high school teacher and a father of two children and time is at a premium. However, what I have learned All Japanese All the Time and Japanese writers on learning, is that squeezing in little moments of learning things that bring you joy is much more preferable to throwing up your hands and feeling that all is futile. Want to play guitar? Hold it in your hands five minutes a day and do something. Continue reading »
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.