All Perfect


A samurai stood at the head of his troops, on the edge of the field of battle. He was at the height of his power, a master of the arts of the sword and strategy, a general, a poet. It was April. The cherry blossoms fell from the trees, and with every breeze, clouds of blossoms filled the air.  He watched them fly from the trees. He watched them fall.


He said to his friend, “You could spend your entire life searching for the perfect one and never waste a moment.”  He lived a life in the endless pursuit of perfection.


Later that day a sword cut into his body. The blood flowed down in trickles and streams into the earth. His life ebbed away. He spoke again to his friend, who kneeled beside him. The clouds of cherry blossoms swirled around them, for a moment hiding the land and the sky, concealing the dead and dying men around them on the field.

The samurai looked at the cherry blossoms, as if he had never seen them before. He said, “All perfect!”


What had changed? The quality of the falling cherry blossoms had not changed, from the beginning of the battle to the end of it. But the man’s mind had changed. He understood something in the moments before his death that he had missed all his life. He glimpsed for the first time that the possibility that right here, right now, all we see, all we are, is perfect. There is nothing extra, nothing lacking. Nothing but this moment, perfect as it is.


Post by J. Michael Brooks

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