MIYAMOTO MUSASHI: on “state of mind”

Miyamoto Musashi on right

… the state of mind should remain the same as normal.  In ordinary circumstances as well as when practicing … let there be no change at all — with the mind open and direct, neither tense nor lax, centering the mind so that there is no imbalance, calmly relax your mind and savor this moment of ease thoroughly so that the relaxation does not stop its relaxation for even an instant.

Even when still, your mind is not still;  even when hurried, your mind is not hurried.  The mind is not dragged by the body, the body is not dragged by the mind.  Pay attention to the mind, not the body.  Let there be neither insufficiency nor excess in  your mind.  Even if superficially weakhearted, be inwardly stronghearted,….  It is essential for those who are physically small to know what it is like to be large, and for those who are physically large to know what it is like to be small;  whether you are physically large or small, it is essential to keep your mind free from subjective biases.

Let your inner mind be unclouded and open, placing your intellect on a broad plane.  It is essential to polish the intellect and mind diligently.  Once you have sharpened your intellect to the point where you can see whatever in the world is true or not, where you can tell whatever is good or bad, and when you are experienced in various fields and are incapable of being fooled at all by people of the world, then your mind will become imbued with the knowledge and wisdom ….

There is something special about knowledge of the art of war, It is imperative to master the principles of the art of war and learn to be unmoved in mind even in the heat of battle.

Miyamoto Musashi, The Water Scroll, The Book of Five Spheres, 1643  from “The Book of Five Rings”, Translated by Thomas Cleary

“It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.”  Miyamoto Musashi

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