BLOG - Grandmaster Gedo Chang
I have been giving you a talk after every rank test. The topics have mainly been about the confidence you receive through Hapkido discipline.
According to the dictionary, confidence means self-reliance. Confidence does not mean that a person is forceful or manipulative. On the contrary, a confident person forgives and loves others with humility.
I have been emphasizing this truth.
To love others and be humble means lowering the self and elevating others. A very famous Sufi sage in the 11th century, called “Ansari of Herat”, once said:
“When you become a pilgrim on the road of love, the first condition is that you make yourself humble as dust and ashes.”
Confucius once was asked by his disciple Ahnfwi: “What is the best way to become ‘Junji’”? (Junji is Chinese - it means “born again” or “enlightenment” in religions.) Confucius replied, “Curb your ego and surrender to Li.” Li means, heavenly law, moral law, and any other laws to maintain this world safe and peaceful.
Curb your ego, means to overcome your selfish ego and obey Li. Practically speaking, it means to love God.
St Augustine, in his confession, said:
“Love God first, and do what you will.”
I believe it means, when one loves God first, his own speeches and actions are naturally correct.
A 17th century Japanese Zen Master, “Buhnan”, also said the same thing:
“While living, be a dead man, thoroughly dead, and act as you will, then everything will be correct.”
Dead man, in this instance, does not mean physically dead - it means, as Confucius said, “Curb your ego”.
Another important factor is that there is no “I” that is eternal or everlasting, unchanging. Without understanding this simple truth, we tend to be attached to self, so we always insist “Me first”.
All sages throughout time have said that this is the main cause of suffering. In other words, we should understand the existence of “I” is only possible when other existences exist. I cannot live even a minute without the existence of others such as you, the neighbors, the sun, water, air, etc….
The only way for me to be able to exist is to have a “You first” attitude, so we love others. This is the truth. Confucius, Plato, and all the other sages of mankind agreed that the person who follows this heavenly law is courageous.
Now we are at the end of 2015. We will close the dojangs between Dec. 23rd and Jan. 3rd of 2016. Around this time every year, very common greetings are “Happy Holidays,” Merry Christmas,” and “Happy New Year”! Frankly speaking, “Happy Holiday” does not come free! We must always think, “My happiness depends on how I have been helping, forgiving, and loving others in the past and present.”
We will reap as we sow!
Good things will happen to good people who help, forgive and love. Stephen Post wrote a book named, Why Good Things Happen to Good People. In that book, he presents very scientific and statistical evidence that good people live longer and have much better health. I would highly recommend this book for you to read.
As Ashley Montagu, a very famous 20th century Anthropologist said:
“Without interdependence, no living group of organisms could ever survive.”
We should keep in mind this wisdom, so we can love more, forgive more, and be humble more. This is the way we can survive, live a happy life.
Master Gedo Chang