Tag Archives: Morita

Ijime: Bullying (いじめ) (建設的な生き方)

Here is a translation that I made this evening from a Japanese Constructive Living website. The topic is a dark one that is a persistent problem in Japan: “bullying.”

Here is my translation:

Bullying

Bullying has occurred in every time period. So, it probably won’t go away from now, either. It is a problem not only for children, but for adults, as well. Solving this problem is not simple, but strengthening the family bond with one’s family is a necessary first step. The Spring/Autumn edition of the Nikkei newspaper talks about the connection between bullying, suicide, and mistreatment. One third of parents who were treated badly when they were children, mistreat their own children. Another one-third, mistreat their children as a way to deal with their jobs or their stress. When we put these figures together, we see that these two-thirds are going to inherit the world we now live in.

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Walking Your Path

“Many paths lie before you.
Some paths highlight quiet sitting in peaceful surroundings.
Some paths highlight sharp action and danger.
Some paths are highly visible to others.
Some paths require many hours of isolation.
Your path is individually designed for you.
You discover it only by walking it.
Looking back, the twists and turns make some sense.
But perhaps not now.
Either is fine.”

David K. Reynolds
from Word Showers

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Actualizing (A Constructive Living Approach)

In his book Reality’s Reminders, Dr. David K. Reynolds reminds us, ” For all your hopes and dreams your life now is as it is. Reality responds to what you do and not to what you think or hope or dream. Actualizing involves action.” What this means to me is that goals become actualized through action. That is, Reality responds through your active participation. How often do we map out a plan and fail to enact it? Or, how is what we are doing right now moving us toward our goals, toward where we want to go?

As you read this blog, you could be doing any number of things, but you aren’t – you’re reading this blog. Is reading this blog moving you toward where you need to go in your life? If so, please, keep reading. If not, please get on with doing what you need to do. Too much excess information in your life may overwhelm you to the point of becoming more and more lost in a spiral of overloaded inactivity. You are where you are with help received from a multitude of people and through actions that you have undertaken and solidified. All of the movements and decisions, ever-renewing support and connectedness, have brought you to the reading of this article. Thank you for helping realize this article! Welcome.

Sometimes, doing what you need to do is not the same as doing what you have already done. That is, doing what you need to do may involve doing what you have never yet tried. Try doing something new and see the “you” change into a new “you.” A simple example may be, if you are confused about which restaurant to go to on a Friday night, step back and open your cupboards. Look at all of the food that you bought but have not yet eaten, food that you may end up throwing away because you failed to cook when you told yourself you were going to cook. Make something you have never made before. You were surrounded by food the whole time, but where was the “meal” before you cooked it?

Learn to see and understand your habits, your ways of doing things and thinking about things. For most of us, what we do is not all that we would do, but simply, what we can do, moment to moment. A repetitive job that doesn’t fit your imagined dream doesn’t leave much room for taking action during the day. Don’t waste the time that you do have to do something about your situation. Align yourself through action and active involvement in your situation and enact the goals that you have created. Thinking is important, but I can’t know what you are thinking unless you express them to me in some way that is intelligible to me. That expression is an action.

No matter what you do, Reality will respond. It can’t not respond. Sitting on the sofa watching TV may create more “TV watching” moments, as you find yourself caught up in the re-occurring warmth of familiar actions. But, ask yourself, “Is this moving me toward where I want to go? Is this the actualization that I want to actualize?”

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Constructive Living: Unpublished Texts Series #2

Do the now well.
The following is from David K. Reynolds’s book “Reflections on the Dhammaphada.”
You can read the entire text online here

Chapter 8

Words are gifts, too. Offer your best gifts to others. They are the giftwrap and the gift itself. Truthful gifts that provoke thought are especially valuable. Showy gifts reflect poorly on the giver and recipient. Flowery gifts waste everyone’s time.

You are gifted with life. Use it well. Even as you give yourself away you are merely passing along a gift. The quality of this life gift depends on how it is used. Put your life to good use by working on your debt to the givers of your life. The size of the gift is less important than the quality and the care with which it is put to use.

Chapter 9

Move straightforwardly toward your goals. Distractions are intruding goals. Distractions, like feelings, contain information and so should neither be discounted nor fixated upon.

When you make a mistake, when you do something that by your lights is wrong, immediately turn to your next purpose. What needs doing next? Correcting the mistake or righting the wrong may well be what needs doing next. Keep on doing what is right by your own standards. Thus you accumulate a history of doing right. Thus you develop an upright character.

Sometimes mistakes and evil deeds are rewarded and good deeds are punished. No one guarantees just results. Nevertheless, to flit with any breeze to attain your goals will leave you scattered and dissipated. Whatever the results you are responsible for your actions.

Bad associates don’t cause bad behavior. Bad upbringing doesn’t cause bad behavior. Race or economic conditions or social status or genetic makeup don’t cause bad behavior. You are responsible for what you do.

In the end death happens to us. In the end death happens.

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Constructive Living: Unpublished Texts Series #1


I have received permission and will be periodically posting excerpts from unpublished Constructive Living texts written by David K. Reynolds. Today’s piece is from the “Reflections” section of Reynolds’s book The Ears Have It.

The Ears Have It
David K. Reynolds

You cannot expect to understand the depths of these writings without help. Please don’t misunderstand; it is not my help that you need. It is the same help that inspired the production of these writings that will inspire your understanding of them. Understanding is acquired through donations of a mysterious benefactor. The benefactor goes by many names, none of which is, or even can be, descriptive. It is useless to try to stick gummed labels on air. Too many of us try to do so. Outlines and metaphors are equally futile. So just listen to the air, the space, the silent voice.

Listening is more important than speaking. Some people have the mistaken notion that they create reality with their thinking and speaking. Such ignorant arrogance is immediately exposed by an earthquake or flood or plane crash. Cancer cannot be vanquished by proper thoughts. But you can listen to cancer and what comes along with it. While utilizing proper medical arts learn from whatever comes to you. In order to learn you must listen.

When you know how to listen you won’t be fooled, not even by your listening itself. Proper listening doesn’t permit fooling or being fooled, although it allows becoming a fool. So sit quietly and listen. You may go to a corner of the room and corner yourself. Sometimes you will be “just listening.”

All creative authors practice listening some of the time. So do creative painters and musicians and others. Without listening nothing worthwhile emerges. The difficult part is to avoid imposing yourself on the listening. The trick is to get out of the way, to dissolve into the listening. Can you hear me?

More precisely, we cannot actively listen. Something listens us. Our work is to get out of that “something’s” way. So we cannot take credit for listening. Again, more precisely, we cannot even take credit for getting out of the way. Something gets us out of the way. We have to allow that activity to happen. More precisely, something allows us to allow that activity to happen. Can you see the infinite regress here? Happenings happen.

For a comprehensive list of all of David K. Reynolds’s unpublished books, please visit: Constructive Living.

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While the Coffee Brews: Five Morning Fragments

The following five fragments were inspired by Constructive Living author David K. Reynolds. Thank you for your attention. If these help you or you are interested in reading more CL material, please visit: Constructive Living.

I awake early in the morning, while the world
around me has already awoken. Birds. Insects. Commiting myself
to the task of writing at this early hour is not
easy, does not feel good, but something tells me
it must be done.

Getting out of bed for a short while, while the
coffee brews. I return to bed. This second drifting
is not the same as the first. Sometimes we struggle
to start our day. Making the bed takes effort. A wise
teacher taught me that, “We are always awaking to a situation.”

Waiting for emails to arrive from certain others
puts me in a state of inactivity. Pulling myself
away from the interface of the computer, I wash the
dishes and sweep the floor. The rhythm of the evening
changes. I am no longer waiting.

A rumbling stomach cannot be tamed by thinking about food.

Interacting through the Web, we find that we only know
other people by what and how they say things about their world.
A social networking profile made with care, tells
us about the other person. Through their actions, I have met them.
Thank you for teaching me about you.

Living Constructively: Effort

The productivity of your day depends on you and the effort that you choose to exert as you move toward your goals. The time between when you wake up and when you sink into sleep is limited, is a finite experience. The effort that you exert today will change your life, whether that effort be getting lost in a television program or building a house; you are always in the process of building your life.

The things that we do today produce results whether we like it or not, the results come regardless. You, too, are a result of the efforts of others and the efforts that you, yourself, put forth in your daily life. The food that you eat today may not have been grown by you or was purchased with money that was given to you by performing some task in accordance with the support of others. The connectivity of ourselves to others is like a sticky web, a sticky web of social relations and dependency. The line between self and others is sometimes hard to define.

A conversation occurs between people or between the various voices that one manifests for oneself “in your head.” The voice of the other is influential as it is readily understood. While we hover the surface of a foreign tongue, hearing the peculiar tone or mash of sounds, it is quite difficult for us to turn voices heard in our native tongue into incomprehensible babble. In sharing a language, we share a way of being, a way of perceiving the world and a specific way of interacting with the world. While language seems to emerge naturally “out of us,” it is also one key to our interdependence, our reliance and intertwining with the others in our life. It might be important to take the time to thank those people that taught you what you know, even to thank the the books that you read in your studies. The author may not be present, but the words sink into you, become a part of you and you them as you bring them to life. It is a magical act.

When you wake up in the morning, it is good to get up. It may be time for you to get up, it may be time for you to do something, despite the comforting feeling of the bed. Balance is difficult. Sometimes the things in our life that are most important, are also the most difficult, but also, ultimately, the most rewarding. The productivity of your day depends on you and the effort that you choose to exert as you move toward your goals. It is the moving that is important.

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