Most people are aware of our global financial downturn. Yet many would be unaware that this downturn is a symptom of deepening and declining moral and spiritual practices. In Ninpo we undertake the practice Bumon (martial arts) and Shumon (spiritual arts) thus working toward a balanced whole. My master states that the physical training is the path for spiritual growth, and spiritual growth is the ultimate secret of Budo. In our teachings we learn that when a person feels fear, anger, greed and distress the heart becomes unbalanced. It is therefore crucial for a Ninja to take great care of the heart by practicing balanced living. In olden days (600 years ago) if a Ninja was sent to a mission where the success or failure depended on people lives, if the heart faltered even for an instant it could result in the mission failure.
There are 10 qualities a ninja should strive to develop in order to achieve balanced living: compassion, kindness, loyalty, wisdom, mannerism, obedience, humility, courage, grace, truth. In order to achieve these qualities one has to undergo proper training in the arts under the watchful eye of a competent teacher. In addition one has to learn to persevere through the ups and downs of life.
There is a common saying “Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves”. There is a great deal of wisdom in this statement. If you neglect the little things they will soon compound into big things. It is no different in training, tasks, financial details and emotional imbalances can easily escalate into major conflicts. Hence when we neglect family values, personal growth and friendship and focus on monetary gains and worldly desires we are creating for ourselves a bottomless pit to fall into. One therefore does not have to look far and see that most problems which affects the world today are closely related to these fundamental principals or lack of thereof.
One of the major benefits of Ninpo is to use the Dojo as “laboratory” in which to wrestle with life’s problems and find proper solutions for which to act upon. Student often resent the fact the mentors see more of their faults then they really want them to. But this is the only way for a student to mature in life.
Animals live only day by day driven by instinct and reaction to their environment. Only humans have the freedom to choose, the ability to discover their destiny, to learn principles by which to live and strive for a better way of living despite the ups and downs. Those who have neither hope nor ideals to live by are living only on the level of brute reaction. The first step in rising above this primitive existence is to establish a strong conviction which will form the basis for an enriched rewarding life and give you spiritual stamina to endure its hardship and trials.
A person of high ideals and character appreciates the laws of nature and fundamental laws and morals of his society.