Saturday, December 15, 2007

Musashi's 9 Tenets

Japan's most famous Samurai is Musashi. He is believed to be one of the most skilled swordsmen in history. Musahsi's book on strategy, tactics and philosophy, entitled The Book Of 5 Rings, is studied by an unlikely combination of Humanities students, military cadets, martial arts enthusiasts and businessmen today. Musashi left his body peacefully one week after completing another volume, The Way Of Self Reliance in 1645 at age 62 (considerable for a warrior of his stature).

In the Book Of 5 Rings, he defined 9 principles...

Do not think dishonestly.

The Way is in the training.

Become acquainted with every art.

Know the ways of all professions.

Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.

Develop intuitive judgement and understanding for everything.

Perceive those things which cannot be seen.

Pay attention even to trifles.

Do nothing which is of no use.

-Miyamoto Musashi

Musashi is one of the great men that my husband studies. Others include Gandhi, Founding Fathers such as Jefferson, Franklin and Payne, as well as modern men such as Deepak Chopra, Bruce Lee, the Dali Lama and his father, Chauncey Bell.

Since the first years of our being married, Doug has carried the 9 Tenets of Musashi with him in his planner. He speaks of them so often that I can recite several of them without having ever read Musashi's book. Doug refers most often to "Do not think dishonestly" and "Do nothing that is of no use". My friend, Michael Sullivan, has recently reminded me that the thoughts and movements of this martial arts Master are worth revisiting. My husband, Doug, is my inspiration and my teacher.

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