Bujinkan Rank from the Heart

御神籤 omikuji, 道祖神社 (Doso jinja) Katsushika, photo by Michael Glenn
One day you learn there are no Bujinkan ranks… only people you can choose to invest in.

We form many relationships in this world: Family; friends; coworkers; parole officer; guy who works at the sandwich shop… It's obvious not all of them have the same value.

One thing I really love about the Bujinkan, is that it is possible to develop some of the most meaningful relationships of life with people you meet in training.

I have made lifelong friends. I have seen others do so. I have watched people date and get married after meeting in training. I have witnessed children start training at a young age and grow up to become amazing adults with an entire Bujinkan dojo looking out for them.

I have also lost friends who have died. I have my own personal way of honoring their life in my training. But the whole art is richer for the life they shared with us. And many of us feel this deep in our hearts when we bow in for each class.

There are people who have fallen away from the Bujinkan part of their life for some reason. We never forget them. And when they return, we welcome them like family.

At these times, no one thinks of rank or politics.

We are only thankful.

Hatsumi Sensei shared with us that the Samurai who became a Zen Buddhist... Shōsan, had the feeling of "The heart that thinks of oneself, suffers. The heart that thinks of others, is free."

I choose to invest in people on this path with me. My students, my teachers, my family.

How do you invest in yourself and others? Is Bujinkan training a choice for you?

1 comments:

a returnee

"There are people who have fallen away from the Bujinkan part of their life for some reason. We never forget them. And when they return, we welcome them like family."

Thank you for these words!
I stopped training about 5-6 years ago (somehow faded away...), mostly due to personal issues but as well due to a quite difficult training situation (unfortunately there have been some bad experiences with bujinkan politics).
I came back last year after a weird experience that somehow showed me I should train again.
And I indeed feel and felt very welcome by a lot of people -- some of them stayed friends all the time, some I hadn't seen for years, some even didn't know me.

And while I feel that it's a pity I ever quit training it's great to be back again and especially to train with and under people that care for people and training and not for ranks. I value high what has been and actually is given to me by those people and do my best to give it back somehow.

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