During one of the last days that I spent in the best Japanese city, Kanazawa, I visited the D.T. Suzuki Museum. Mr. Suzuki is a well known philosopher of Zen Buddhism, author, translator, lecturer, and overall humble badass. He is a true ninja when you get down to the nitty gritty details. Seeing someone so accomplished yet so grounded with reality can make even the humblest of people question their awesomeness. He began his study in the big apple of Japan at Tokyo University. From there he followed his dreams to Illinois where he bunked up at a rich dude's house so he could translate some old texts and teach the rich dude about the root of all evil. Also upon his journey, he married a beautiful woman who was equally as adept in the art of philosophy. However, as any true ninja understands, you never talk about another ninja's woman, nor do you look at her when meeting her in person; you should stare directly into the other ninja's eyes for obvious reasons. Therefore, I will no longer offer any insight into his queen. As can be seen on Suzuki's Wikipedia page, the person writing the article also understood this basic principal.
Anyways, now that you understand the history of D.T., this museum was amazing. The art and philosophy of Zen is fascinating and Western society can learn a lot from sifting through the ancient texts. There was one quote that stood out to me in this museum:
"When you are a kid learn to have manners, when you are a young adult learn to control your desires, when you are a middle aged man learn to be just, when you are an old man learn to teach well." --Some Zen Buddhist.This quote gives people of all ages something to chew on and can be easily applied to anyone's life. There are times when I often feel overly polite, but then I realize that you can never be too polite. Furthermore, as a young adult there is constant internal conflict for me to control my desire. But then I come to the epiphany that there is a smoking hot babe out there waiting for me somewhere and I need to take care of some things first, so it's not hard to control my desires. Here is a picture I took to help you chill out and realize the meaning of Zen:
As an Electrical Engineer trying to make my way into Japan while knowing little Japanese, the path is arduous. However, I am not worried because deep down, when one ninja sees another, they just know. There is a connection that you cannot describe, but you just know from the friendly tension that you are in the presence of another ninja. There are multiple ninjas out there who are going to feel this connection and offer me some help on my journey. As long as you play it cool and respect your elders, the other ninja will be more than willing to help you along your journey. The key in trying to achieve my goals is to stay persistent when I fail. Everyone fails and only some people have enough respect for themselves to learn from their failures. I met with a nice lady at my university in the Japanese Language Department who gave me some pretty simple advice: when you are trying to obtain a dream of yours, if you stay persistent then the world will work in your favor and figure out a way to make it work out. Domo arigato señorita! What she means has certainly held true for me in my career thus far and I do not see it failing me any time soon. Just stay motivated and keep trying to reach your dream, even if you fail once or twice. Failure just helps you put things into perspective and reveals your true intentions. It is only after failing a couple of times that you can truly appreciate the progress you have made. Ganbatteru my dudes and dudettes!