A gift from my teacher 9-18-2009

I recieved a painting from Nagato Sensei. Sensei wrote the words “平常心是道。” Heijoushinkoremichi. I found a basic translation on line. Please see  below:

“Normal state of mind is a Road”

“One’s normal state of mind is the correct path”

“One’s normal state of mind is the true path”


 This is a zen saying, and I believe it can be read in many ways. One question is what is one’s normal state of mind? Is everyone’s state of mind the same? How often are we in this state of mind? Can we change this state of mind?


I had asked Sensei a few questions in my letter to him earlier this month. Even though he returned my mail along with this drawing, I felt that all my questions were not answered. However, now that I have been researching the words in the painting, I feel that he has given me the answers. I feel that all the answers to my questions lie within. However, sometimes we need a push or shove in order for these answers to come out. Budo is war, and war and peace are connected. Sometimes we have to make decisions that will significantly change our lives, and the lives of others.

“Normal state of mind is a road”

It is interesting that the state of mind is referred to as a road. I believe that those with the same or similar state of mind will come across each other on this road. As you know, there are many interesections and turns found in the street. This to is why we meet other states of mind as well. However, each road has an end, and others are windy. We need to reflect on our own state of mind. I believe that this will help us choose the correcet road, or way in our training as well as our life.


Chris Carbonaro 

Bujinkan Shihan

www. bjkninja.com

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