Embrace Easter

Dear and Distinguished SOBBA Board, Masters, Members, Family, and Loved Ones,
Gassho -
On behalf of my wife, Victoria, my family, and I, your servant, we extend to each of you and your loved ones our heartfelt blessings and peace for Easter. 
Despite the uncertain times we all face as one human family; I encourage all of us to remain in God’s peace.  COVID 19 has demonstrated the frailty and limits of our human institutions.  Consequently, the circumstances challenge each of us to seek peace and perseverance within.
At our last SOBBA gathering, the characteristics of the Earth Elements were discussed and practiced.  We were encouraged to allow for roots to set and for grounding to occur.  Good stance and proficient footwork make martial artists stable and available to focus and address any threats before them and sometimes, able to pre-empt them, too.  As it is with these times, our spiritual lives are the most critical and essential practice to improve.  Through genuine spirituality, our mental and emotional footing transforms the place we stand in and on holy, safe, secure, and peaceful. 
I am aware that not all my SOBBA brothers and sisters identify with Christianity.  But we all can gather around the timeless archetypes of life, birth, death, and life everlasting.  This is the nature of Dharma, of the Torah, of the Quran, the Vedas, and the Gospel.  As when we are struck and we rise again, the sacred teachings illustrate the principles that all is cyclical, and all happens in the perfect time for which it was written to unfold.  When we fall, we are to rise to the occasion and find within ourselves both the Divine within and the call to action that transcends fear, ignorance, and complicity. 
SOBBA has undergone two brutal years of loss of members due to death.  Prolonged illnesses and complications have taken from our sides Masters and Mentors whose presence will be sorely missed.  We know that no one is lost to God and all have a place in the Celestial Home God prepared for us – even before we knew our mothers’ wombs.  We shall return despite the separation from this reality, we will continue to enjoy life perfected and strengthened for purposes beyond that which any one of us can conceive of. 
We do not speak of these matters to make light of death, but rather to realize that as we engage the reality of death, we are able to live with greater purpose, joy, and meaning.  We make each day and each moment within those 24 hours a significant act of thanksgiving because we are so acquainted with the reality of life’s fleeting constitution and composition.
In closing, my dear sisters and brothers, practice Mindfulness.  Practice the awareness and alertness of each moment and let that be enough for today.  Let the worry of tomorrow take its place among the occasions of the future, but do not let it interfere with your present.  Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather it is doing the right thing in its very presence.  Practice forgiveness, and do not let the pain of yesterday continue to have the unwarranted power it has over you today.  Practice gratitude and practice patience.  Be thankful for what you have and wait for what you believe you may need for you may find that it was a blessing never to have received it after all.  Truly, the best warriors are the wounded healers. The great Joseph Campbell is remembered for having said that mystics swim in the same waters that the anxiety ridden drown in. 
May the waters you find yourself in be as the ones the Master walked over and may His hand lift you and your loved ones up at this time and always.  God is with you even when His presence is unaccounted for.  Embrace Him now.
Peace and love to all – and may the love of God, the grace of Christ, the power, presence, and companionship of the Holy Spirit, be with each of you, your families, and loved ones – now and always,
Padre Daniel Medina


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