The Road To Self-Mastery: Taking a Shortcut

The road to self-mastery can be short or long, depending on the psyche of an individual. The choices we make can alter this pathway to paradise. In many traditions it is said, “we need only Christ-Consciousness or Buddha-Consciousness to find everlasting life.” Translating this…”if we think it, know it and believe it to be true…It shall be So.”


The longer journey is uncertainty or doubt. When we doubt ourselves, building walls of self-sabotage, our journey to self-mastery is longer. Whether we master the piano, sports, or whatever, it is through these facets or catalysts that we find self-mastery. In Buddhist traditions it is called ‘our practice.’ Through mindful-meditation throughout our daily activities, we find balance within all we do.

It is not necessarily the games we play, food we cook, friends we have, or materials gained, but merely self-realization. When we come to the realization that we are all of the above… Our boundaries dissolve, expanding our field of energy to the infinite.

My personal story, through various martial arts, continued for over 25 years. It wasn’t about mastering martial arts, but about mastering myself. The martial arts became a catalyst to that which was sought.

A few years back when I was invited into a Master’s program at a martial arts school, I declined… Boldly stating I no longer need the paper to show who I am. This was not intended to be disrespectful or arrogant, but merely stating “the piece of paper was no longer of interest to me.” Not focused on the piece of paper, I am left merely with The Way of travel. My training does not confined in a ring or in a Dojo, my training is out there in the streets. Not sure if the master understood, either way he politely smiled while I went on my way.

Thinking back to the scenario I would have loved to join the program not to get the piece of paper but to continue my training. While my training is continuous, there is something magical that takes place in a quiet room where our practice takes place. For I know that the training inside that room aids me in the training outside in the streets.

It’s not about training for the physical or brawn; it’s about training the brain and the soul.~Muhammad Yusef

Again, when we come to a place of self-mastery… where we no longer need this and we no longer need that…we merely trust in the guidance of self and the voice carried by wind.~Ani Po

So whether we choose the long course of self-doubt or the shortened course of self-actualization, either way we come to a place of self-mastery. While for some the journey is long and difficult, for others it is short and blissful. No path is ever the same and what works for one does not work for the other. The key to our journey of life, is enjoying every moment along the way.

Stepping Into The Canvas of Self-mastery. Whether pain and misery fill our days or peace and Love, we have the ability to live happily ever after. Whether we believe in infinite possibilities or limited beliefs of the self…eventually we come to a place of infinite possibilities. Why not accept them now? The key to our happiness is finding it in the ‘here and now,’ while we are still young enough to enjoy the fruits The Canvas of Life has to offer. The time is now…

Paying It Backwards: A Random Act Of Kindness

Have you ever wanted to do something nice for someone? Make their day? Have you ever thought of doing a random act of kindness? Paying it forward? Yesterday morning, while getting my morning ‘Cup of Joe,’ I decided it was time to pay it forward.

While turning into Starbucks parking lot, with thoughts of paying it forward, a Chevy Avalanche chose to cut me off. My first knee jerk reaction was, “You Jerk!” Then another voice steps in, “I guess he was in a hurry for his cup of coffee. Too bad, because I would have bought his morning coffee.” Had he not cut me off, he would have been right behind me, making him the recipient of paying it forward or in this case ‘paying it backwards.’ His loss; the person in the SUV behind me…their gain!

I ordered as usual and anticipated the random act of kindness. “Quad Venti, Two pump, White Chocolate Mocha, non-fat, no-whip please!”

As I ordered my morning pick-me-up, I wondered where this man was off to in such a hurry. Was he on his way to work? Did he think he was the king of the road? Funny how we begin to fill in the blanks, judging others by the automobiles they drive. I was way off from my assumption of him being a professional athlete. Judging by the large vehicle, the professional sport logos, tinted windows and the major college logo on his license plates, I thought for sure he was a pro ball player…he wasn’t. He was indeed in a hurry to get to work and was not fully in the moment of friendly driving.

When I approached the checkout window, the surprise was on me. The Barista asked me to ‘hold on.’ When she returned she explained, “your coffee has been paid for. The guy in front of you paid for it. When we asked if it was a random act of kindness, he replied No, I think I cut him off. Please extend my apologies.” Huh?! The person about to commit a random act of kindness, just got served a random act?! Who cool is that?!

When I explained to the Barista my plan for the morning and the irony of this gesture, we both chuckled as the person I would have  bought a coffee for, bought one for me. Nevertheless, I asked her to keep it going and still chuckling she complied.

The moral of the story is this…people may cut you off…stay on task. Whatever the goal of the day, do not let others sway you from having a good day. In the end, you will be happier and the mundane will not seem so mundane. Who knows…you might be pleasantly surprised as to how things work out.

Stepping into the Canvas ‘Paying it Backwards.’ As we step out today, may we practice random acts of kindness. Whether it be paying it forward or, while at your favorite coffee shop, ‘pay it backwards.’ In the end you will have made someones day, you will feel better and the domino effect can go on for eternity…