Friday, September 23, 2011

The frame of mind for the martial arts and everyday life...

"Sharpen your wisdom, distinguish principle and its opposite in the world, learn the good and bad of all things, experience all the arts and accomplishments and their various Ways, and act in a way so that you will not be taken by anyone.  This is the heart of the wisdom of the martial arts." - Miyamoto Musashi



Written on the Twelfth Day of the Fifth Month, Second Year of Shoho....by Shinmen Musashi  

....Mushashi wrote this just one week before his death.

......Do not let your mind stand still even when you are in repose, but do not let it speed up even when you are in repose, but do not let it speed up even when you are involved in quick actions.  The mind should not be distracted by the body, nor the body distracted by the mind.  Be very watchful of the mind, but less so of the body; let the mind be replete without being the least bit overloaded.  Though the mind appears weak on the surface, it should be strong at the bottom.  Act so that your opponent cannot understand your mind.  

The man whose body is small should bear everything in mind about the man whose body is large, and the man whose body is large should bear everything in mind about the man whose body is small. But whether the body be large or small, keep the mind straight and in a way that it will allow no personal preferences. All these things are essential.  

Do not let the mind become clouded inside; keep it broad, and place your wisdom in that broad place.  It is very important to polish both wisdom and mind earnestly.  

Sharpen your wisdom, distinguish principle and its opposite in the world, learn the good and bad of all things, experience all the arts and accomplishments and their various Ways, and act in a way so that you will not be taken by anyone.  This is the heart of the wisdom of the martial arts. 

There is something particularly unique in the wisdom of the martial arts.  Even when the action is extraordinarily lively on the battlefield, you should take the principles of the martial arts to the extreme and keep your mind unmoved. You should investigate this thoroughly.  

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