A monk diligently creates order from chaos, practising the expression of perfection.
The Kendo Nagasaki
Principles of Excellence...
...apply to every aspect of life, incorporating awareness of the dynamics that span incarnation and reach beyond it, and which includes an appreciation of how the apparently mundane and simple profoundly affect the complex and elaborate, and the things we cherish.
There is an old occult saying: “As above, so below”. The word “Above” refers to existence beyond the material plane, where there is innate perfection in all things, and “Below” refers to the plane upon which we live – the plane where perfection and excellence are not part of the fabric of reality, but must be consciously and deliberately worked for. This saying encourages us to do the work that is necessary to bring perfection and excellence into every aspect of our lives, so that it is applied to everything we do, from the mundane to the essential, from the simplest to the most complex things.
That Kendo Nagasaki was never defeated in competition demonstrates excellence on many levels; the victories themselves demonstrate excellence of performance, but in order to achieve this, excellence was previously required on many other levels, which included physical fitness, refinement of wrestling techniques, and mental approach to the contest, to name but three. However, even these may be sub-divided into further contributing dynamics, each of which was required to be pursued with excellence as a crucial requirement of their performance. This structured way of visualising how processes flow into each other is the key to greatness – great things can be achieved almost effortlessly if their components are performed to their utmost excellence.
An ancient Chinese proverb states that: “The longest journey in the world is started by placing one foot in front of the other”, and this is a useful way to conceptualise achieving great things. Of course there are essential pre-requisites to any achievement, but the enlightened approach is not simply to perform them, but to be aware that the quality of their performance is crucial to the quality of the whole.
If you do the simplest things with diligence and conscientiousness, and maintain this standard for all subsequent actions, you will find that the fruits of your labours are excellent. So, when pursuing an ambition, make sure that everything from the first exploratory steps to the project-forming decisions are done right, and this will form a foundation from which excellence can emerge.
Kendo Nagasaki is a sensei – a master, whom, to follow, a disciple must be prepared to abandon their entire previous life, and live solely according to the sensei’s instruction. There can be no deviation from this – the sensei’s word is law; such a rigid hierarchy is entirely appropriate – the sensei has sacrificed virtually everything in his own pursuit of excellence, and, harsh as it may seem, such a complete break with an ordinary life is a highly-effective means of focussing the mind on the specifics of performance – military service also has this effect.
Kendo Nagasaki’s Principles of Excellence apply to absolutely everything in life, from first waking in the morning until the last second of consciousness before sleeping, and in absolutely every aspect of life. Everything must be precisely ordered, meticulously arranged, and scrupulously clean; if the eye falls upon anything out of place, attend to it immediately – no disharmony or chaos should be allowed in one’s life. The physical aspects of one’s life must be as meticulously arranged and ordered as one’s mind – all aspects of one’s life, both inner and outer, above and below, concept and actuality, should reflect the perfection of a Zen Garden.