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Spending time in nature this weekend got me thinking about the cycle of life and death. It made me remember that Death’s greatest gift to us is Life.

In the warrior traditions of Japan, there’s an art called sakkappo no jutsu (the art of killing and¬†resuscitation). This art teaches the warrior how to kill with a single strike, and how to revive someone from death, as if by magic. Although there are many dark aspects within this art, learning it didn’t turn me into some kind of crazed psychopath, instead, it developed within me a deep appreciation for life.

Seeing how delicate the human body is and how easily that delicate spark of life can be extinguished forced me to think about what was really important to me and gave me the strength to tear down the self imposed barriers and limitations that would have otherwise stopped me from truly living instead of simply existing.

As we think about death, our mind becomes incredibly clear. Coming to terms with our own mortality really does wake us up to life. 

When walking the path of the warrior, we must constantly think about death. The warrior, reminding him/her self that each breath taken may be their last, lives every moment in the present, without fear, ready to face and overcome every challenge placed in front of them. This is is Death’s greatest gift to us.

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