Musashi's Dokkodo - Principle 3.
 
 In this series of posts, I offer modern insight into the principles of living espoused by Miyamoto Musashi (author of The Book of Five Rings), a Buddhist and master samurai from 17th century Japan. This work is entitled Dokkodo (The Way to Be Followed Alone) and consists of 21 rules for living a fruitful life. Despite his notoriety as a swordsman, Musashi was devoted to the goddess of compassion, Kwan-Yin. His principles reflect living a life of present-centeredness and calm attention to the here and now. This post concerns principle 3 of 21.

Principle 3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling. This one is a little tough to wrap one’s head around. What could Musashi mean by a partial feeling? As a samurai and master duelist, Musashi’s life depended on his ability to focus clearly and single-pointedly in the present moment. To do otherwise would have cost him his life. He had to commit to a course of action, adapting it instant by instant, as needed during a duel. Indecision or a split motivation would have been out of the question. What can we take from this regarding spiritual development? Single-pointed focus on advancement, learning through acceptance of the present moment, and moving undivided through it will be the factors that bring the greatest reward. A halfhearted approach brings only failure, as we spin our wheels trying to go in multiple directions at once. What if you are genuinely stuck, unable to generate a full feeling for a course of action? It would seem best to accept and be in the present moment, observing with the soul, not with the ego. Then you can know your true course, as it will be revealed to you by your highest self.

Comments are always welcome . . .