Musashi, the greatest samurai, later a deeply feeling student of the Buddha, and much later the subject of the awesome Samurai Trilogy starring Toshiro Mifune…set down 21 Rules to Live by. Here they are.
1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
11. In all things have no preferences.
12. Be indifferent to where you live.
13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
15. Do not act following customary beliefs.
16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
17. Do not fear death.
18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.
21. Never stray from the Way.”
~ Miyamoto Musashi
For much more context and deeper meaning, this blog: “I came across ‘Dokkodo’ recently which is a small book written by Miyamoto Musashi a week before he died in 1645. Based on the date, I was quite amazed at how many of the following rules or principles if you like have stayed with us and are still very relevant today.
The 21 precepts below were written just as Miyamoto was giving away all his possessions in preparation for death and I think many of them still apply to our modern society and lifestyles.”
Also, the Samurai Trilogy, starring my idol Toshiro Mifune, is awesome fun:
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