One of the movies most surprisingly illustrative of Serenity and Mindfulness is The Last Samurai. Regardless of its historical accuracy or political statement, The Last Samurai beautifully depicts the process of Surrender and Recovery. One of the many subtle references to Acceptance and Surrender comes when the leader of the Samurai village, Katsumoto, informs Captain Algren that “in Spring, the snows will melt and the passes will open. Until that time, you are here.” With this short phrase, Katsumoto imparts a small bit of his Samurai Wisdom as to what Algren can and cannot change.
Whether from this statement, or from his immersion in the Samurai lifestyle, Algren accepts his fate and emerges from his addiction and PTSD experiencing Life once again. Had he resisted his captivity, nothing would have changed. However, as he embraces his captivity and engages with his captors, he learns the ways of the disciplined and spiritual Samurai. Through his journal entries, Algren relates his transformation from being trapped in the past to becoming aware of his present. His change from a drunken, arrogant, depressed alcoholic to a loving, sensitive, understanding warrior is quite remarkable, and fully comprehensible.
Serenity is being mindful of that which is of Real importance: Positive Energy, Life, purpose, our relationship to others. These may change in priority from time to time, but they do not lessen in significance. At times, our relationship with others must bow to our purpose and destiny. Occasionally, a particular Positive Principle, such as Justice, Mercy or Love, must be considered above the others in order to address a particular circumstance. Whatever the case, the recognition of Life and its Principles is always present and revered.
Serenity also partakes of that which Life gives. The Joy of a sunrise, natural beauty, engagement in daily activities, interacting with others, learning, growing, expanding are all acknowledged and appreciated through Mindfulness. However, these are viewed as fleeting and temporary; to be enjoyed, engaged and completely understood, but neither controlled nor owned. One who is mindful is also aware of the temporal nature of his own physical existence as well as his place in the Universe. Nothing is ours to own; we simply share space as we make the journey.