I just wanted to share this great picture of Cougarsamurai drawn by Rosie (aged 11). I'm really glad you liked the morals in the stories Rosie. Thank you so much for this awesome picture. I'm sure Cougarsamurai would love it!

The Cougarsamurai Chronicles

Just a quick heads up to remind everyone that The Cougarsamurai Chronicles - Books 1-6 are available to download from Amazon. Also available in paperback from Amazon UK , Amazon USA or your respective Amazon site. Read short tales in the travels of Cougarsamurai (sample below). Hope you enjoy!

Also available is an online course for parents and children based on the ideals and stories of Cougarsamurai: Introduce Your Child to Spirituality

You can also follow Cougarsamurai on Facebook and Twitter.


Daily Enlightenment

You might find it helpful to have a few words of enlightenment/inspiration placed around the place. It doesn't have to be much, perhaps a post-it note on the fridge door or bathroom mirror. These are great as a means to stop the 'monkey mind' going rampant all day long as they serve to make you pause for thought and centre. As part of the exercise you could make a point of changing them once a week; this way you will have to research fresh ones, stopping you taking the existing ones for granted. Here are a few I have borrowed to help you on your way.....


Lead, Follow or get out of the way!
Be kind as everyone is fighting a hard battle.
Strangers are just friends you haven't met yet.
Don't Panic!
Don't sweat the small stuff....it's all small stuff.
Life is not a dress rehearsal.

Make Everything O.K.

Dan Millman posted this on Facebook to help with the holiday season. I hope you like it! It bought a smile to my face. Thanks Dan.


Make Everything OK

Flexibility is the key!

If we can allow our minds and bodies to stay flexible then we are better equipped to cope with the rigours of life. As we get older we need to maintain flexibility in our bodies because we often have more sedentary lifestyles. Yoga or Tai Chi are excellent for this as they are non-competitive, require no or little equipment and are often practised in a group setting. I try and do at least half an hour's Yoga a day.
Equally important is that we remain flexible in our minds.When life doesn't go the way we had planned it is important that we don't overreact and explore other possibilities. Sometimes it is better not to have such a rigid plan so that we have flexibility built in. 
Examine your life and see if having more flexibility would really benefit you.

The answer to life's biggest question.

Ever since the development of language it is probable that mankind has searched for the meaning of life. Why are we here, what is our purpose and to quote the author  Douglas Adams: 'Does it cosmically speaking matter if I don't get up and go to work this morning?'
This is of course life's biggest question. I would like to suggest that there are a couple of ways we could respond to this. Some have said that the main priority is procreation and the perpetuation of the species. At the other end of the spectrum I have heard it said that we are here simply here to have a good time. Richard Leider said: 'The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose.' It's entirely possible that every living person has a completely different viewpoint, so here is mine.


Firstly I think it is important not to get too caught up in this question. I honestly believe that the human mind does not have the capacity to understand the universe at this time. Therefore I think everybody should give some thought to what they want their life to be about. It could be service to others, or it could simply be complete altruism. Whatever we decide I would like to suggest two simple rules. Firstly that nothing you do causes harm to others, physically or emotionally. Secondly that you give yourself a life of 100% and no less. If you are resting then rest completely. If you're engaged in conversation with another person then give that person all of your attention.


Finally I think it is important to be happy more than you are not. How you achieve this happiness is up to you.


You might like :The Life You Were Born To Live by Dan Millman
I thought you might like to take a look at one of the stories from Book 3 of The Cougarsamurai Chronicles.


The Test
Cougarsamurai sat cross-legged in the large dojo (training hall). Today was the day he would put his three most worthy students to the test. Above the doorway to the training hall he had placed a large bag of sand in such a way that as the door opened the bag would fall onto the head of whoever entered. He would summon his three students one at a time.

Kanji, friend of Hisoka, was the first to be called. After a few minutes Cougarsamurai heard a knock at the doorway and called for Kanji to enter. Kanji opened the door and stepped forward just as the bag of sand fell towards his head. At the last instant, sensing the bag, Kanji stepped to the side and the bag fell harmlessly to the ground with a thud. 

Cougarsamurai instructed his student to replace the bag and come to sit next to him. Kanji carefully placed the bag back above the doorway and moved to sit next to his master. A few minutes later there was a knock at the door. It was the second trainee to be called for.

The Samurai was particularly interested to see how this trainee would deal with the scenario. It had been a while since their encounter during a one-on-one archery contest (see the Cougarsamurai Chronicles book 2), and he was interested to see exactly how much progress had been made.

Denjiro opened the door and stepped forward. The bag of sand came crashing down toward his head. Calmly and swiftly he stepped aside, drew his sword and split the bag straight down the middle, so that it landed in two halves at his feet. Kanji could not contain himself and started to clap vigorously. Cougarsamurai said nothing except to instruct Denjiro to place a new bag of sand above the door and then come and sit next to him, to wait for the final student.

This was the one Cougarsamurai was especially interested in. Hisoka had been a challenge for a long time; rarely did he learn the lesson until it was repeated. Nonetheless he had high hopes for him and sat up expectantly when he heard a knock at the door. He called for the Hisoka to enter.

Hisoka opened the door and was about to step forward when he sensed something was wrong. Instead of stepping forward he merely stood still and observed. Sure enough a bag of sand fell to the floor in front of his eyes. It was only then that he stepped forward toward his teacher. Cougarsamurai and the other two students grinned broadly at Hisoka.

His teacher asked him why he had not entered. Hisoka said that one lesson he had learned was to look before you leap. Or in this case before you enter the dojo, with your teacher and two friends looking mischievously on.  All four burst out laughing. Cougarsamurai said that he was pleased with his students’ performances. No one had failed the test.


If you enjoyed this more can be found at: The Cougarsamurai Chronicles

Self Worth

Watching the news I was amazed to see a segment about a footballer who is paid over £300,000 a week! This really got me thinking about how this would make that person feel, especially with regards to their self worth. As a footballer this person is certainly worth more than someone who does not have his particular skill. However as human being he is surely worth no more than anyone else. I think part of the problem that most of us have in our lives, is that we compare ourselves to others continually and rate our sense of self-worth accordingly.  We use status, power and money as often the yardsticks by which we measure our self-worth. When a newborn infant we all are of equal value. It is only by comparing ourselves to others as we grow that we start to devalue ourselves. Society and schooling are constantly re-enforcing this.
I would like to suggest that you treat yourself and everyone you meet as if they were newborn. Rate everyone, including yourself, with a self-worth rating of 100%. If you have made mistakes in your life it doesn't mean you're self-worth rating should decrease. Everyone makes mistakes. It is part of being human. Importantly, you should not rate yourself higher than anyone else either. Everyone should be allowed to have equal self-worth.

Meditation

To many people, meditation conjures up images of Buddhist monks sitting cross-legged while gently rocking backwards and forwards chanting a special word or phrase.  If we take a different view of what meditation is, it is  possibile that we can all experience the benefits of this simple exercise in mindfulness.
The art of meditation lies in one pointed attention. Focusing your mind on just one thing at the exclusion of absolutely everything else. This has a wonderful effect of clearing the mind and it is this clarity which brings peace. In my experience of many years in many different sports, but most notably in the martial arts, it is during intense physical activity than you are able to enter what is known in the West as the 'zone'. Or to the Japanese Samurai as 'satori'.
I can distinctly remember how, when practising judo, I found it impossible to think of anything else when someone was trying to strangle me into unconsciousness. Perhaps this is an extreme example of meditation and I by no means suggest it as a way to achieve clarity of mind. However, if we remember throughout our day to give everything our undivided attention, then we are in essence living a kind of moving meditation. 
Whatever you have to do throughout your day, even something as simple as washing the dishes, gives you a wonderful opportunity to practice this one pointed attention.

Cougar Cat

After much discussion, Mrs CS and I finally decided to get a kitten. As you can see in the picture below he is gorgeous. Although I had to take him to the vet's immediately because he had a slight flea problem. One of the great things about having pets is that they really teach you to live in the moment. 


Oh, in case you are wondering; we called him COUGAR!   

Pray for What You Already Have

An Excerpt from One-Minute Mindfulness
The next minute is not what we think it will be — not even close. But it can be what we decide to focus on. If we constantly look for what’s missing from our lives — that big house, dream car, perfect relationship, ideal job — then the upcoming minute might be filled with regret, remorse, sadness, frustration, and hopelessness. If we consistently appreciate what is currently before us and available in our lives — the car that runs, the roof over our head, the job that provides resources, and the relationships we do have, most importantly with ourselves — then we spare ourselves disappointment.

I love this....

POWER THINKING THOUGHT OF THE DAY—There’s a Native American tale of a grandfather telling his troubled grandson that inside every person there are two wolves that are always fighting. “One wolf is evil—he is anger, greed, envy, resentment. The second wolf is good—joy, peace, love, truth and faith.” The grandson asked, “Which wolf wins?” The grandfather replied, “The one you feed.
~ Dr. Joe @ M3 Lifestyle



Thanks Dr. Joe