The warrior's code

Many of you who practice yoga with me have been hearing a lot about spiritual warriorship. I've suggested that if you're on a spiritual path, which to me includes practicing yoga in a mindful way, you're a warrior. That if you have an open heart despite the current societal forces aligned against you, you're a warrior.

A true warrior, and the most fearsome one on the battlefield, is the kindest, quietest, humblest person you'll ever meet.

Whether a martial artist or not, the best warriors are those who smile as you approach with ill intent shining in your eyes. (And yes, I do know this from personal training experience.)

Not only do they really enjoy what they do, they see your upset as a sign of inner turmoil and feel the utmost compassion for your pain. Their main goal is to keep you from hurting yourself or others. And at the same time, they do not hesitate to protect life if necessary.

The other night I was reading Bushido: The Warrior's Code (Nitobe 1979) when I came across this phrase: "The bravest are the tenderest; the loving are the daring."

Kindness and compassion are often mistaken for weakness by those who don't understand the warrior code by. To allow our hearts to open and remain open is the most courageous act any of us can perform right now. Because through an open heart, Source Energy can flow. That is our highest purpose.

Each of us carries two blades: the heart and the mind. Each must be carefully crafted and tempered (through training) to cut cleanly through our own ignorance and those of others—with the most profound kindness imaginable.

As humanity leaps forward, it's up to each of us to use our blades wisely and compassionately. Discipline and training in their use is highly recommended.