This will be a short post, but I thought it was important to share with you all some wisdom that has done me well over the years. Below are the 21 rules to live your life by according to Miyamoto Musashi, one of the most influential warriors and thinkers in Japanese history.
Miyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵, c. 1584 – June 13, 1645), also known as Shinmen Takezō, Miyamoto Bennosuke or, by his Buddhist name, Niten Dōraku, was an expert Japanese swordsman, martial arts philosophy writer and rōnin. Musashi, as he was often simply known, became renowned through stories of his excellent and unique double-bladed swordsmanship and undefeated record in his 61 duels (next is 33 by Itō Ittōsai). He was the founder of the Niten-Ichi-Ryû-School or Niten-ryū style of swordsmanship and in his final years authored The Book of Five Rings (五輪の書 Go Rin No Sho), and “Dokkôdô”The Way I Go Alone. Both documents were given to Terao Magonojô, the most important of Musashi’s students, seven days before Musashi’s death. Go Rin No Sho deals primarily with the character of his Niten-Ichi-Ryû-School in a concrete sense e.g. his own practical martial art and its generic significance; the Dokkôdô on the other hand, deals with the ideas that lie behind it, as well as his life’s philosophy in a few short aphoristic sentences.
21 Rules To Live Your Life By
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 or 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
While some of these rules may have changed in meaning over the years, the core principals behind their creation remain the same. It is wise to read through this list and reflect on some of these rules and how they may work to better your own life.
If you’re interested, I wrote and article some time back called Jealousy: Why You Shouldn’t Hate The Player Or The Game, which is based on rule number seven. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these rules down below in the comments.
Until next time, friends. Keep on reading and we’ll keep on writing.