Four Principles of Spiritual Warriorship for Men
- Care of Body and Spirit-The body is the vehicle of the Soul. In a sense, it is a sacred shrine. You can't defile the shrine and expect everything to remain well. The first way we cultivate this principle is by carefully watching our diet, avoiding junk food and other consumables that serve only to toxify our bodies. It is also important to exercise to stay as fit as one can depending on age and ability. Take a martial arts class, go to the gym two to three times a week, or take a walk each day in your neighborhood; whatever you can do given your age and abilities. It doesn't matter if you're not lifting massive amounts of weight like some others, or that you have a more difficult time learning to coordinate your body for that martial arts class-just do what you can and you fulfill the principle. It isn't a competition, it is the fulfillment of your masculine nature that counts. Likewise, you must care for your Soul daily. You're a composite being of body, mind and Soul, and all three need nourishment and exercise. Daily spiritual reading, meditation, and even prayers of thanks for life and your daily sustenance are all spiritually positive practices that strengthen your spiritual vision. It is also important that men respect the body of women, since it too is a sacred shrine. Don't ever treat a woman like a commodity or as if she is simply there to please you. Illicit or selfish sexual activity, no matter what the scale, defiles both her and you, and demonstrates a wanton disrespect for the divine spark within her. You don't own your body, nor hers. They're on loan, as it were, from nature and Kami. Don't compromise your worth, nor hers! Flex your spiritual muscle by attending a men's meditation group where you can discuss spiritual matters from a distinctly masculine point of view.
- Express Divine Principles-Are your efforts in accord with Love? That is, are you seeking the highest good of both yourself and others, or are you reflecting selfish desires and goals? You have to understand that any effort you put into things that violate the Scheme of Totality, the spiritual and natural laws, will ultimately cause frustration and stunt your spiritual growth. As a leader of your family, it is of utmost importance that you be diligent in keeping yourself aligned with divine principles, and not running off pursuing your own ideas and agenda, since your actions and attitudes impact your family, whether that impact be positive or negative. Every warrior understands and respects his authority structure. If he doesn't, then he can expect those under his leadership to eventually rebel against his guidance as well. Disregard for the temporal authority structure of the home (which includes your wife), and spiritual authorities (the teacher you turn to for guidance) always causes a chain reaction, so be aware, be vigilant in your duty and responsibility to be self-aware. Direct your efforts toward being the sort of man who, when you are gone from the home, you're missed and thought of fondly. And when you return, your family feels joy and knows they are protected. In expressing divine principles, remember that the natural masculine qualities of assertiveness, positive aggressiveness, strength, and a proclivity to lead are all good qualities when guided by higher principles than selfish material desires.
- Express Divine Character-As a man, you're known for your strength and ability to strike fear in the hearts of your enemies. However, you're to be far more than foreboding to those who would inflict harm on your loved ones; you're to bring healing and love in your wake as well. It is the unique character of men that we have the power to take life, as well as the power to heal injury. The spiritual warrior is more than a brutal physical combatant. While it is our responsibility to protect our families, our homes and those who cannot defend themselves, when we find wounded people along the way, who have been battered and bloodied by life's difficulties, we're to pick them up, dust them off, and help them heal, so that they too can bear the standard of truth and fight alongside us. We must exhibit the following divine characteristics: love, joy, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. These qualities are displayed with wisdom, and not at the expense of the natural qualities of masculinity. They should form a complementary expression that doesn't suppress your masculine nature.
- Discernment of Spiritual Dangers-Study sacred literature such that you develop a keen awareness and discernment of spiritual dangers to yourself and your family. Have the wisdom to learn from those men who have gone before you, not only in the previous generation, but in ages past. Don't be arrogant and resent the mentorship or advice of your elders, but listen carefully and apply the truths gained strategically.
These are the four foundational principles of spiritual warriorship for men.