A friend of my friend Leo by the name of Nolan wrote an interesting piece about ikigai. Ikigai is a Japanese concept which means “a reason for living; a meaning for life; what makes life worth living; a raison d’etre.”¹
What’s remarkable is that the diagram often associated with ikigai is also the symbol we in the martial art of Cabal Fang call the Rose of Barachiel.
I don’t think this is a coincidence. If you’re going to find your ikigai — a reason for being that resides at the center of passion, vocation, profession and mission — you’re going to have to ask yourself a lot of questions about what you want and need, what you aspire to and what you’re good at. In Cabal Fang we associate Archangel Barachiel’s rose with prayer, and to pray is to ask.
The ikigai diagram and Barachiel’s rose both contain an eye, literally and symbolically. Both direct you to look within, to self examine, to view yourself truthfully, to ask for insight.
As I I’ve pointed out before, the eye symbol is one of the main characters in the the story of humanity’s spiritual evolution. It shouts out, “pay attention!”
There’s another connection too. In Cabal Fang, we often conceive of Archangel Barachiel as the optimal practitioner of our art, which encompasses being in control of Powers of the Sphinx — “To Know, To Will, To Dare; To Keep Silent.” These four overlapping areas parallel the four zones of ikigai:
- To Know = Profession (a professions requires specific knowledge)
- To Will = Mission (a strongly felt aim is advanced by the power of the human will )
- To Dare = Passion (your passion is what overcomes your fear and makes you courageous a.k.a “daring”)
- To Keep Silent = Vocation (your vocation is what you want to do in your silent heart-of-hearts)
If you thought this was interesting, you’d really like the Cabal Fang Study Guide (especially if you like martial arts).
And now for the workout of the week.
Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #85
- Bear-hug Walks for grappling strength. Set a timer for 3 rounds of 1:30/1:00. Pick up a heavy bag or sand bag, secure it in a bear-hug body lock with a good wrestling grip and pace back and forth until the 1:30 is over. Rest 1 min. and repeat twice more. Use the heaviest bag you can safely manage. If the first round is too easy, add some weight — I strapped dumbbells to my heavy bag to get there.
- Calisthenics pyramid. Complete a full pyramid to 7 (1 rep of each exercise, 2 of each, 3, 4, etc. up to 7 reps, then back down to 1 of each — 49 reps in total) of the following: Handstand Push-ups, Get-ups and Split Jump Squats (x2). Take as few 12-count breaks as you need in order to finish. If you can’t do Handstand Push-ups, do Jackknife Push-ups (basically get into Downward Dog and do Push-ups to your upper forehead).
- Meditation on the eye. Sketch or print an eye symbol — an Eye of Horus, an Eye of Providence, an ichthys symbol, a Hand of Mysteries, a Hamsa, etc. Set up the sketch or image at eye level and settle into your favorite meditative posture. Regulate your breathing, narrow your eyes, and spend 10 minutes meditating on the eye. What is the eye saying to you? What do you think is the central truth of the symbol? Record the results in your training log or journal