Tajima no Kami was fencing master to the Shogun.

One of the Shogun’s bodyguards came to him one day asking to be trained in swordsmanship.

“I have watched you carefully,” said Tajima no Kami, “and you seem to be a master in the art yourself. Before taking you on as a pupil, I request you to tell me what master you studied under.”

The bodyguard replied, “I have never studied the art under anyone.”

“You cannot fool me,” said the teacher. “I have a discerning eye and it never fails.”

“I do not mean to contradict your excellency,” said the guard, “but I really do not know a thing about fencing.”

The teacher engaged the man in swordplay for a few minutes then stopped and said, “Since you say you have never learned the art, I take your word for it. But you are some kind of master. Tell me about yourself.”

“There is one thing,” said the guard. “When I was a child I was told by a samurai that a man should never fear death. I therefore faced the question of death till it ceased to cause me the slightest anxiety.”

“So that’s what it is,” said Tajima no Kami. “The ultimate secret of swordsmanship lies in being free from the fear of death. You need no training. You are a master in your own right.”

A Master In Your Own Right

From the story does anyone inspire to be a master in your own right. We all have that desire. But somehow it remains as a dream only. Why?

Instead of WHY, recollect from your own life incidence, that many times irrespective of our fear we have taken certain decisions consciously and acted. What exactly happened at that time? You have dropped your association with the past and faced the present. This is called the death of ego. At that moment we have dropped the ego.

We are not masters in our own right because we are afraid of death. We are not ready to face death. To face death only means to live your life fully, totally. Make sure that in all your actions you are total. When you are total you will be conscious of yourself. You will have courage to face reality irrespective of fear.

When the student says that till the time slightest anxiety is there, I face the question of death – in other words fear of death – from within and not through mind. You cannot feel the anxiety of others you can feel anxiety of yourself only. So unless you face the question from inside and from your subjectivity your anxiety can’t calm down.

If really we want to live as a master with our own right then we need to learn to live from within. Till the time you live from without you will be educated but not a master own your own right.

Start from small things like setting up goals in mind of exactly what you want to do and how you want to do it, but rarely will life work out exactly how you think it will. By not holding anything too tightly, you open yourself up to opportunities that may not have even been on your radar before.

Opportunities rarely happen in your comfort zone. If an opportunity were prone to present itself where you are, then you’d already have one. Use your confidence to step outside your comfort zone and engage people and situations that will help get you to where you want to be.

When opportunities arise, take advantage of them with confidence. You haven’t planned, primed, and nurtured a pipeline of opportunities to let them go to waste. The amount of preparation you’ve done will equip you to know whether or not an opportunity is right for you. You’re able to make an informed decision based on your confidence, skills, and knowledge of self. Step into your power and feel assured that you cannot make a wrong decision. If you step into an opportunity that eventually turns out to be less-than-perfect, you’ll know that it served its purpose of leading you to the next one. Every step in your journey happens for a reason.

Learning from the story Fencing Master: A Master In Your Own Right

Experience Learning

There are people who always seem to land the dream job or live the dream life, fulfilling their dharma in meaningful ways. Fortunately, those people aren’t just subject to luck. Opportunities are present all around you as well; you just need to learn how to step into them.

There are people in this life who always seem to be in the right place at the right time. They’re the ones who appear to always land the dream job and live the dream life, fulfilling their dharma, or their life’s purpose, in ways you can only imagine. Their life seems to be marked by a profound sense of groundedness, self-realization, and joy.

Fortunately, those people aren’t just subject to luck and chance. Opportunities are present all around you as well; you just need to learn how to identify and step into them. There is nothing in the Universe that says you can’t fulfill your own dreams and create a life you want to live. On the contrary, the Universe actually invites you to step into who you were created to be, offering your unique skills to others in ways only you can.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur embarking on your next business idea or a visionary simply wanting to start a new quest in your personal life, you don’t need to wait around for an opportunity to present itself. By knowing yourself and making a conscious effort to push forward, you can create your own opportunities or find ones that fit what you’re looking for.

Understand Who You Are

Before you start the journey of finding or creating an opportunity, you first need to know yourself on a deep level. Anything you do should come out of a sense of who you are, so that your unique skillset can be used to the fullest extent possible. By identifying what you can offer that is also in line with your personal values, you can begin to hone what is or isn’t an opportunity for you. For example, if you are highly skilled in biology and value helping others, then a great opportunity would be to look into medical or nursing school (as opposed to becoming a graphic designer.)

To get a better sense of your unique offering, take a half-day retreat to reflect on what makes you special, what you value, and what skills you’d like to offer others. Beforehand, ask those closest to you to answer the following questions (and answer them yourself) to use for your reflection:

What do you admire most about me?

If you could describe me in one word, what would it be?

What unique qualities do I possess?

What do I offer others?

What am I naturally good at?


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