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The 21 Precepts of Miyamoto Musashi

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Saw this on Cook Ding's Kitchen.


The Dokkodo (独行道 Dokkōdō; "The Path of Aloneness" or "The Way to be Followed Alone" or "The Way of Walking Alone") was a work written by Miyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵) a week before he died in 1645. It is a short work, consisting of either nineteen or twenty-one precepts; precepts 4 and 20 are omitted from the former version. It was largely composed on the occasion of Musashi giving away his possessions in preparation for death, and was dedicated to his favorite disciple, Terao Magonojo (to whom the earlier Go rin no sho had also been dedicated), who took them to heart. It expresses a stringent, honest, and ascetic view of life.


The precepts


1. Accept everything just the way it is.

2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.

3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.

4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.

5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.

6. Do not regret what you have done.

7. Never be jealous.

8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.

9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.

10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.

11. In all things have no preferences.

12. Be indifferent to where you live.

13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.

14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.

15. Do not act following customary beliefs.

16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.

17. Do not fear death.

18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.

19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.[1]

20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.

21. Never stray from the Way.

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These precepts.. are they really appropriately recommended for those who choose to walk the path of aloneness? Except for two or three, the rest are like ethical guidelines towards interacting with others.

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I believe Musashi called this "The Way to be Followed Alone" (I prefer this translation) because no one but you can do it.


Musashi was quite a solitary person, from what I've read about him.

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