Miyamoto Musashi is one of the most legendary samurai and famed as Japan’s greatest swordsman - undefeated in more than sixty duels. After he escaped death during the Battle of Sekigahara, Musashi became a ronin. Aside from being a swordsman, he was also a philosopher, artist, and well-learned Buddhist. Before he died, Musashi left us with twenty-one principles named Dokkōdō. These are timeless rules that can inspire us today to live well. The majority, if not all, of these rules, help us to establish one thing: ‘focus’.
Focus is the quality of having a concentrated interest or activity on something. Needless to say, ‘focus’ was a crucial component in Musashi’s life, or, what he called ‘the way’, which is a life of ongoing practice. His writings reveal that his lifestyle revolved around restraint, sacrifice, discipline, and not being swayed by pleasure. These virtues were all established by or in support of being able to ‘focus’. Especially when he spent time apart from society, Musashi was only concerned with perfecting his skill, while aiming for enlightenment by the Way of the sword.
This three-part series elaborates on the twenty-one principles from Musashi’s Dokkōdō. The first part explored the first seven principles. This second part will explore how to live a life of ultimate focus, based on the next seven principles. Please note, the elaborations in this video are based on existing philosophies, the author’s interpretations, and reasoning, and are intended to be an inspiration for present-day life.
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Creative Commons (attributions):
Musashi statue: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Statue_of_Musashi_%26_Kojir%C5%8D_battle.jpg Japanese horsemen: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kobe-keiba6380.JPG Dokkodo: https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/musashi.html Go Rin no Sho: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Book_of_Five_Rings#/media/File:Go_Rin_No_Sho.gif Skull: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_skull._Oil_painting._Wellcome_V0042218.jpg Buddha painting: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Buddha_Fresco_Painting.jpg Marcus Aurelius bust: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MarkAurelFront.jpg Abstract painting dinner: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dinner_Party_(SM_lg32).png Battle of Sekigahara: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tokugawa_Vassal_Fortification_at_Battle_of_Sekigahara_(1600).jpg
00:00 - 0) Intro 01:57 - 8) Never let yourself be saddened by a separation. 04:03 - 9) Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself or others. 05:48 - 10) Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love. 07:25 - 11) In all things have no preferences. 08:34 - 12) Be indifferent to where you live. 10:02 - 13) Do not pursue the taste of good food. 11:51 - 14) Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.