This is a work of art for my friend Matthew by Hatsumi Soke. It reads in large characters, Divine Dragon (神龍) and in ancient “Age of the Gods” characters (kamiyomoji), Shiken haramitsu Dai Koumyo. Sensei often writes this for people who are having difficulties with health or as a general Omamori or talisman for protection.
When my good friend Willy Iglesia went to Japan at the tender age of 18 to train with Ninja Master Hatsumi Masaaki, his first lesson was an unexpected one. Hatsumi Sensei took him to a restaurant and ordered two plates heaping with vegetables for the two of them. Willy, being a young man from Argentina, (people form Argentina eat a lot of meat! How much? Well, think of a whole hell of a lot of meat and then think even more!) So Willy, looking at the plate of greens, says “Sensei, I don`t eat vegetables.”. The reply from Ninja Master Hatsumi, “First lesson, now eat vegetables!”.
We often forget the foundation upon which our Ninpo is based. A healthy body/mind organism. In his very first books on Ninpo, Hatsumi Sensei stresses the importance of proper nutrition and exercise. Yet often we are controlled by our senses, eating and partaking in activities solely to please the greedy senses. My yogi teachers would say, “you are eating donuts to please the tongue while the liver dies in silence.”. These words I can never forget. If you look deeply at this one sentence, you may grab the essence of the Rokon Shojou 六根清浄 (禄魂笑浮）teachings of several years ago as well.
I train a small Bujinkan group in Yokohama and have had the good fortune to meet Matthew Dons who became an ardent supporter, student and good friend. Matthew was recently diagnosed with stage four cancer having spread to many systems in his body. He is 36 years old with two small children. The prognosis is that he most likely has only a few months to live. We live our life as if we have an unlimited amount of time. Once I was speaking with Hatsumi Sensei about the later years of life. He said, “Don`t think about the later years, right now, these are the later years of your life. live now. this is naka ima! (中今).”. Be in the middle of right now. The Buddha once said, “life is but a single breath.” How deeply can we live and love in this moment. Often we think, when I get there, I will be happy then. Remember, there and then are fictions. Here and now are the only realities.
If you are able and would like to help, please click the link below to help Matthew fund his treatment and other expenses in this difficult time. We are hoping to extend his life for a few more precious moments to be with his family. Wishing you all health and happiness, Now!
A side note. We once announced an opening party for Kasumian Study Center a year and a half ago, Matthew is the only one who showed. He came all the way from Yokohama to support us. I am very grateful for the time we spent together. Thank you for being there Matthew. Buyu 武友、武祐、武勇。All are pronounced Buyu. Martial friend, martial divine help, martial courage. They are all of them you and may they continue to be with you!