Many years ago, and under a pseudonym, I wrote a series of novels about ninjas. To prepare for writing the books I did considerable research. One thing that stuck with me was that when a ninja walked into a room, he was supposed to look for–and see–10 ways to kill a person. The ninja did not necessarily act on that information, but he felt safer with that knowledge. After a while the practice became automatic.
In a similar manner, the spiritual ninja can train himself to walk into a room and observe 10 things he appreciates and acknowledges for what they are (in the moment, without significance or labels). This “mindful” spiritual practice trains the “spiritual ninja” in the habit of observing and acknowledging “what is” in any environment, in any situation. The spiritual ninja orients himself perfectly in the moment, prepared to act (not react), to listen and understand, to be present and not defensive. In this state he expects an outcome based on presence and clarity rather than fear or wishful thinking.
An important aspect of this exercise is not only observing and acknowledging, but also “allowing.” In other words, allowing “what is” to exist. On the surface this seems logical and obvious. However, an example may explain the subtleties of what I’m saying. If I’m sitting opposite someone at a meeting, I may be completely oriented in the room, but I may still feel uncomfortable. When I feel uncomfortable I’m resisting something. But what? In this example, I may find that I’m not resisting a “thing” but rather an outcome. That is, a scenario is playing out in my head—not in the physical environment—that I don’t want to happen. For example, I may want a particular outcome from the meeting and as I sit there I’m focused on and resisting what I don’t want to happen.
I realize now that not only is it desirable to acknowledge and allow physical and obvious aspects of a situation to exist, but it is also desirable to allow (the possibility that) all possible outcomes could happen: the ones I prefer and the ones I don’t prefer. This is not to say that I create those outcomes by resisting them—though that could happen—I’m just saying allow the possibility of any outcome. When I’m in a state of allowing “what is” (and not resisting and fearing what could be) I have a much greater chance of achieving (seeing and drawing to me) the most desirable outcome.
Furthermore, I’ve noticed that my discomfort in such situations doesn’t actually exist in the “real world.” It exists in my head. I could not hold it in my hand and give it to someone or put it in a box. It isn’t real. It’s just “mind foam,” often born of fear and resistance. This does not mean you shouldn’t prefer one outcome over another. It just means that resistance and discomfort serve no purpose. As stated before, being present, allowing “what is” to be, provides the very best opportunity to create a preferred and desirable outcome.
So the spiritual ninja must be aware of not only acknowledging and allowing physical aspects of a situation, but also acknowledging and allowing mental/emotional aspects of a situation (your own and others’) to exist. When you are “present and in the moment” you will know and feel it. Others will sense it too. And “preferred outcomes” will occur more often. You will see and draw to you those desired outcomes because you are increasingly present in all aspects of your life.