During a recent trip to Japan, I was lucky to meet a relative of my friend, the grandmother Satoko Miyashiro. She is just a storehouse of Japanese wisdom and the keeper of the ancient traditions of her people. I have always admired the way of life and thinking of the Japanese, helping them to stoically overcome difficulties without breaking the harmony of spirit.
In Slavic culture, we are taught from childhood that a responsible person achieves a goal through self-sacrifice. For the sake of children, parents sacrifice a lot, wives sacrifice their careers for marriage, husbands sacrifice their freedom to support their families.
But we are offended by the suppression of our desires. Forced sacrifices inevitably generate aggressive emotions in us. Imagine that what we used to call “sacrifice” in Japanese culture is considered only as a mutual exchange.
“When we do what you call self-sacrifice,” Satoko told me, “we do it out of a desire to give or because it’s nice to give. We do not feel sorry for ourselves. Despite how much we actually sacrifice for the sake of others, we do not believe that this gift elevates us spiritually and do not expect a reward in return. “
If the terms of the contract are favorable for both parties, no one feels burdened by the victim.
Many of us are familiar with stress and depression, the feeling of losing control of our lives. How does the East cope with these problems? Ms. Miyashiro talked about techniques for cultivating self-discipline through spiritual preparation.
“Self-discipline is a kind of patience. Imagine how you will behave when you want to eat something. Do you eat as much as you can? You need to eat in moderation (not too much) to keep your weight in a healthy range. I usually don’t eat as much as I can eat because I want to live longer. “
Skillful self-discipline in Japan has a logical rationale: a person has better control over his life.
“The beginner is able to overcome any powerlessness he feels at first. The student fully masters his profession, the girl masters the sports discipline, the young father adapts to the requirements of his child. “
A high level of self-discipline makes a person able to manage his life. We all know how hard it can be to study, what irritation and powerlessness visit us if learning does not bring pleasure. At the end of the day, do you think to give it all up?
To my question Satoko Miyashiro is surprised: “How did you want? To know life, you must first learn. If you don’t learn anything, then naturally you will be unhappy. “
But thanks to self-discipline, many actions that seem unbearable turn into easily tolerable for us. The philosophical principle states that there are no barriers between will and action. Simply put: “If you want to do something – do it, and do not look for an excuse!”
Being aware of our actions and evaluating them from the point of view of others does not give us the opportunity to get what we want. Japanese wisdom teaches us to eliminate guilt and our vulnerable “observing self”. ” When the burden of self-control is dropped, we discover our true abilities.
How surprised I was by the statement of grandmother Satoko that the Japanese, in order to encourage a person before starting an important business, tells him: “Behave as if you are no longer.”
If a person is in a state of severe mental crisis and cannot determine his further path, he often finds the strength in himself, having made the decision “to live as if he has already flown to heaven”. The idea behind this philosophical principle is based on getting rid of inner self-control and, as a result, from fear and discretion.
A person becomes like an ethereal spirit, which does not care about his behavior. The inanimate are no longer afraid, they are free. Adhering to the rule “live as if you have already disappeared” means completely freeing yourself from internal conflicts.