The Power of Selflessness

power-of-selflessness.jpgMugah Muchu means “the power of selflessness”, and highlights the great satisfaction and deep happiness that is a part of being focused on helping others.

Mugah Muchu (夢中無我) is pronounced “Moo-gah Moo-chew”

Even the kanji components of muga muchu drive home the fundamental point inherent in this concept: 夢中 means “infatuation” and 無我 means “selflessness” — therefore, mugah muchu is quite literally an infatuation with the beauty of selflessness. And even more, in colloquial Japanese, the phrase muga muchu is often translated to mean “ecstasy” — the highest and deepest kind of happiness.

We often search for deeper purposes in our lives, and often seek a “higher” meaning to life itself, and our place in it. Serving others, meeting their needs, and being a strong contributor to our local and global communities represents an incredibly effective and wonderful way to find that deeper purpose, define the higher meaning in life, and to create happiness for ourselves.

History is replete with the heroes that put their own short-term needs aside in favor of grand goals that served their greater cause; however, we do not need to look so far, or so high, to see muga muchu in our own lives. 

Every time that we care for others, whether family members, close friends, or even total strangers, we are tapping into that essential power that comes from working at goals bigger than ourselves, outside ourselves. Every time that we sacrifice our time, our resources, our energy, and our attention, we are repaid with a greater, more valuable dividend in satisfaction and pride that comes from being our own personal hero to those around us.

As karateka, we are uniquely positioned to be the heroes in the lives of those around us — we practice our strong spirit, our sharp focus, our determination and awareness every day on the dojo floor. And we take those powerful tools with us into the greater world. It is our choice, and in fact, our highest privilege, to put our karatedo at the service of others. In doing so, we practice muga muchu, and we gain great joy and happiness for ourselves.