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Miyamoto Musashi | The Way of the Ronin (Dokkodo)

The Japanese word ‘rōnin’ describes a samurai without a master, who wanders alone. The status of a ronin varied across different time-periods. In a general sense, being a ronin implied failure. More specifically, a ronin had renounced the act of ‘seppuku’, which is a form of Japanese ritual suicide that was applied to restore honor after defeat. Those who refused seppuku became outcasts that endured a reputation of disgrace.

Walking their own path, some ronin worked as mercenaries and bodyguards, and others became criminals. One of the most legendary ronin is Miyamoto Musashi, who is famed as Japan’s greatest swordsman - undefeated in more than sixty duels. Musashi became a ronin after he escaped death during the Battle of Sekigahara when serving general Hideyori. Aside from being a swordsman, he was also a philosopher, artist, and well-learned Buddhist.

Among other writings, Musashi left us with twenty-one principles for those who walk alone named Dokkōdō, that he wrote down not long before he died. Even though the age of the samurai is long gone, Musashi’s principles are timeless and can inspire us today to live well.

This three-part series elaborates on the twenty-one principles from Musashi’s Dokkōdō. 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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Skulls (1): https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Calaveras_skulls.jpg
Skulls (2): https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Acanthus_frieze_with_Skull,_Cave_of_the_Seafarers_(Cave_212),_Kizil,_c._4th-5th_century_AD,_wall_painting_-_Ethnological_Museum,_Berlin_-_DSC01695.JPG
Skulls (3): https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_skull._Oil_painting._Wellcome_V0042218.jpg
Meditating skull: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Accademia_-_La_Meditazione_by_Domenico_Fetti_1618.jpg
Zen Buddhism chanting: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chanting_The_Buddhist_Scriptures,by_Li_Mei-shu.jpg
Marcus Aurelius: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:L%27Image_et_le_Pouvoir_-_Buste_cuirass%C3%A9_de_Marc_Aur%C3%A8le_ag%C3%A9_-_2.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
Samurai battle: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Samurai_in_a_hail_of_arrows,_sheltering_beneath_a_battle_sta_Wellcome_V0047315.jpg
Dalai Lama: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dalailama1_20121014_4639.jpg
Buddha (1): https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Buddha_meditating,_Tokyo_National_Museum,_Japan_cropped.jpg
Buddha (2): https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tian_Tan_Buddha_by_Beria.jpg
Musashi statue: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Statue_of_Musashi_%26_Kojir%C5%8D_battle.jpg

00:00 - 0) Intro
01:45 - 1) Accept everything just the way it is.
03:41 - 2) Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
05:33 - 3) Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
06:51 - 4) Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
08:21 - 5) Be detached from desire your whole life long.
10:17 - 6) Do not regret what you have done.
11:27 - 7) Never be jealous.

#miyamotomusashi #dokkodo #ronin

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