Ninja Magic Presence
Many years ago, I used to tell students of an interesting comment once made by ninjutsu teacher on one of our walks late at night after training. I was continuously probing with questions about what a ninja really was. I wanted to move on from my Western stereotype ideas, and closer to the authentic truth as to who the ninja were from the grandmaster’s view of history.
He told me that historically, the ninja was a bringer of good luck. Just being in an allied samurai general’s presence was the major benefit the ninja offered.
I did not know what to make of that.
I thought of ninja as spies, underground resistance fighters, intelligence gatherers, but as “bringers of good luck?”
Logically, a ninja could give you the power and vision and resources of every other person in his or her network. Subsequently he or she would have all the combined knowledge of what was happening in the world “behind the curtains” of public vision.
A ninja could also have a bigger approach to solving your problem. He or she would be outside the restraints of conventional problem solving, being outside of the workings of authorized political power.
A ninja would be straightforward in giving you what you need to know. Others in your organization might out of fear of political consequences only tell you what they think you want to hear.
Obviously that is all true. but Hatsumi Sensei was talking about something on beyond the conventionally reasonable expected answers when he spoke of his teacher’s revelations to him.
There is a “beyond logic” way the ninja’s friendship would bring good fortune. The ninja teacher said that just being there at ones side was the ninja’s benefit. Some people are just magically powerful and helpful to have around. Their presence alone is a gift and a blessing.
Could you imagine a person so special in your eyes, whose presence like an angel would enhance your life and assist you to get to your goals if only you got to spend more time around him or her?
I certainly have a few such people in my life, I am fortunate to say. I like to set up life so that I have good access to such people whose knowledge, care for me, understanding of my goals, and personal big vision helps spur my progress in life. Just being with them seems to encourage magically the advancements I need in my life.
How about you? Is there a ninja angel in your life?
This begs the question: what training do you need to focus on as a practitioner to become or increase the amount of that “magic presence”?
Great topic! Should remind us all that within each moment, experience is the wonderous lessons to cultivate that “Magic Presence” in our lives as well as others.
Thanks for sharing these experiences! There is a saying, “Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity.” If I understand you, you prepare yourself and become the kind of person you’d want to have in your life, and magically, Ninja Angels appear seemingly, out of nowhere.
To illustrate the opposite, if we take a liking to someone we admire but don’t know, and instantly try to flatter them or boast to win them over, at best, they may politely acknowledge us and move on.
It seems to me, the Ninja Angels in my life are the ones that share my passion. These are the people that protect, explore, mentor, study, politely disagree, and empathize with me.
I definitely do!
This makes me think of my research into the court jesters of old: often the intelligent men and women that would choose to be a court fool as a job would be expected to bring just this kind of thinking outside the box, honest smarts, and even merely a presence that would light up a room and they certainly were thought to bring luck.
In 1780 Luigi Galvani made an interesting observation. He was dissecting a frog while his assistant was experimenting with an electrical friction generator nearby. When Galvani touched one of the main nerves running down the spine, the dead frog’s legs twitched. He touched the nerve a second time, but noticed no response. For decades scientists had difficulty explaining how a machine could make a dead frog’s leg move without a physical connection. Today we understand that muscles, especially when injured building up small electric potentials. Nerves are electrical conductors, and have a smaller potential energy. Thus, touching a nerve to a muscle can release excess electricity, causing the limb to move. Modern medical equipment such as the electrocardiogram and the electroencephalogram operate on these principals. Today, no one would even question the usefulness or even the existence of these machines. Yet, Galvani died poor and without distinction – because he could not explain what he had observed.
Why the science lesson? Well, if Hatsumi Sensei contends that, ‘historically, the ninja was a bringer of good luck’. I am cautious about dismissing his claim simply because current human understanding fails to explain the specific cause and effect of ‘ninja luck.’ We can’t directly see gravity, electricity, magnetism, and many other forces of nature, yet we believe in them because scientists have found a way to justify or prove their existence. But those forces existed long before 1800 – or whatever year ‘modern man’ decided it was acceptable for those forces to be in vogue. I see no reason to discount ancient martial arts lore simply because a PhD has failed to write up a paper on it.
I met such a ninja person a couple of years ago. He instantly became my mentor and friend. My life has been pretty remarkable since and has lead me here, to read you as well.
One thing that I enjoy the most about this friendship is he doesn’t give me all the answers, but enables me just enough to find them. I learn the lessons I need to better that way.
I was once talking about my training to a friend of mine (more of an acquaintance) and she commented that it “sounded like I spent a lot of time and resources on something that I would probably never use”. I didn’t say anything to defend my training. It’s for me and no one else and she is also entitled to her opinion. It wasn’t till much later, however; that I realized something. Her words popped into my head again and I saw that she was only talking about the fighting. If I had to do over again, I would have replied, “but I use it every day”. That is what is so enamoring about this art form we train in. It goes so far beyond the “physical self defense aspect” that I have only just glimpsed the beginning of the road. I believe this could be considered, in part, the source of the ninja’s “luck”. The fact that his art permeates his life, and the energy, confidence and unorthodox ways of thinking that is produced from that, affects all he interacts with.