I’ve received a lot of emails from people over time saying they wanted to go down this path. To do exactly what I’m doing. And they ask me what specifically they should do. I’ve responded a bit differently each time. As I’ve grown, my understanding of what I am doing grows. I finally feel like I get it…fully.
I’m not suggesting that this Way is right for everyone. But if you are feeling badly about your situation in life, and you are out of answers, maybe give it a shot. I can tell you that it really has worked for me. And this only comes from a place of wanting to help you.
If you want to do this…this is what you do.
1. Start meditating. If you do nothing else, start meditating. The samurai meditated on death. Meaning they thought about how they were going to die, every day. That helps you in so many ways with the elimination of fear. But that’s not where I want you to start. You just need to meditate, period. It’s really good for your physical health. It’s REALLY good for your mental health. Take 15 minutes out of each day and focus on your own breathing. There are countless web sites to teach you how to meditate. Find one. Follow it.
2. Read Hagakure. Go to Amazon.com and buy this book. It’s great. The passages are told in short blurbs. So even for people who don’t like to read it’s very easily digestible. Simple lessons with deep meaning. You can also read The Book of Five Rings, or many of the other samurai books, but read Hagakure first. This will be your guidepost to how to act and what to do in life.
3. Enter into the martial arts. I started Kendo. Kendo, for those who don’t know is sword fighting for sport. The training is aggressive, with yelling and hitting people and being hit with bamboo swords. It’s cool. And fun. There are other sword-based martial arts. People skilled in each can tell you the benefits. I do believe that there is something sacred about learning the sword, meaning kendo, aikido, etc., but I don’t think you don’t need to go that route. I think you can find a similar peace in other martial arts. (I have been forced to stop Kendo for a few months. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes life gets in the way.)
4. Serve someone. The word samurai means literally ‘to serve.’ When I first started this, I dismissed the samurai way of serving. I proudly proclaimed that I would serve myself. And I argued a few people about that fact. And up until very recently I thought I was just serving myself. But I came to the realization that I only did that for the first month or so. I then began serving the audience that has gathered here around Urban Samurai. I am here for you. To write for you. To help you in any way I can. And that was never my intention when I started this, it just kind of happened. And I am convinced that without this service of others, this Way would not have be nearly as fulfilling for me.
If you wanted to serve others, you could start a blog like I have. One that helps people in some way. Or you could volunteer your time somewhere. Do anything where you can really experience the joys of giving. It’s not the same blind service that the samurai undertook, but I believe it to be a realistic substitute in today’s world.
That’s it. There isn’t much to it and it is infinitely rewarding. I know from experience. If you give it a try, let me know.