Dokkōdō – The Path of Aloneness

Dokkōdō - The Path of Aloneness


In the last days of his life, the mythical Japanese samurai Musashi Miyamoto retired to a cave called Reigandō. (Spirit Rock Cave) In that cave he spent the last months of his life meditating and writing his views on the world. While he was secluded in the cave, he wrote two works. The Go Rin No Sho (Book of the Five Rings) and the Dokkōdō. The Go Rin No Sho taught with all of his samurai martial arts. The Dokkōdō contains his own soul. Each of these books is the result of years of his life as a samurai and ronin. While the works themselves speak of Japanese culture and sophistication, especially in the warrior class, they also speak of strategy, combat, and the arts.

Both works are dedicated to his favorite disciple Terao Magonojo.

Wisdom lines

The Dokkōdō means “The way of solitude” or “The way to go alone”. Musashi wrote this work a week before his death. It is 21 lines long, each line contains a different idea that one would live with.

1.Accept everything as it is.

Beautiful advice. Instead of worrying or perturb about what’s going on around you, accept it. The time you’ve spent dwelling on it is better spent improving yourself.

2.Don’t seek pleasure for its own sake.

I have seen many men who do not heed this warning; You just have to go to the MGM lobby. Anyone who has lived a few years understands the pains of losing friends to addictions and seeing the problems that come with them. If it makes you happy; Go for it. Just make sure when the feeling wears off, you’re a couple of steps ahead.

3.Do Not, Under Any Circumstances, Depend On A Partial Feeling

Be sure where you put your foot before taking a step. The meaning here is not to get confused, keep your head clear, and act only when you are safe.

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

Be humble. How can you listen to wisdom if you only listen to yourself? If you only walk with around with eyes for yourself, you will miss the details of the world around you. Paying attention to the world allows you to better appreciate the results of your actions, as well as giving you insight into things that you would otherwise miss.

5.Stay separate from desire throughout your life.

If you spend your life chasing a dream, you may be running forever. Live your life to be content, have goals but don’t let them rule you. Don’t worry about what others have when you can make yours.

6.Do not regret what you have done.

Understand your actions. If you refute who you are, do not constantly regret the past or become bitter. Work to understand yourself, leave it behind, and live your life as you should.

7.Never be jealous.

It’s a waste of time. Spend your energy productively. All that time scheming could accomplish many other things.

8.Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.

Just by living life, people will come and go. It is not the distance that matters, but how you remember them. Keep them close to your heart and they will always be living in your footsteps.

9.Resentment and complaining are not appropriate for oneself or for others.

Better to focus your energy on improving yourself or them. then causing useless pain. Pissing and moaning at the world doesn’t make it spin any faster

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

Act with respect to yourself. Love comes and goes, don’t do something for someone that you wouldn’t do for yourself. Don’t burn down a bridge you’ve been building for years.

11.In all things they have no preferences.

Have an open mind, be prepared to try all things and wish for none. If you always act a certain way, you will never experience anything new.

12.Be indifferent to where you live.

Living is living. If you are not satisfied with where you are, move on, but in time you will realize that it is not where you live, but how you live. A palace or a parking lot; be happy with shelter and warmth.

13.don’t chase after the taste of good food.

You can see this in evidence today. Eat to be nourished and eat to be full. Living the life of a ronin Mushashi learned the value of appreciating a full stomach. The taste for good food can be as damaging as any addiction

14.Don’t hold onto possessions you no longer need.

If it no longer benefits you, dispose of it freely. Give it to someone who can appreciate it. It’s easy to get a bunch of junk that will just overwhelm you. Have a garage sale and hit the beach. You will feel better about it.

15.Don’t act on habitual beliefs.

Think and act for yourself. Act how you think you should, not how others say you should. You only get one chance to decide for yourself.

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

A tribute to his time but a good piece of advice depending on how you apply it. It is better to be a master swordsman than an apprentice in many weapons.

17.Do not fear death.

This may be the most difficult for some to do. Easier as the years past by for some, harder as they do for others. Everyone dies, everyone comes to terms differently. The best way to do this is to identify what scares you the most and work from there.

18.Do not try to own property or fiefdoms for your old age.

What good will they do when you’re gone? Do you want the wine to wet your bones? Apt advise too, live usefully and collect what is useful. Don’t waste your time when you can spend your time improving

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

Count on yourself, don’t count on luck or gods to pull you through. Tackle the endeavours you know are within your capabilities. If you pray to them for strength, then they will put you in situations to find it

20.You can leave your own body, but you must preserve your honor.

Don’t do anything that you can’t live with for the rest of your life. Your actions make you. If you get old and weak, not far from drinking; live still with actions and character that made men respect you.

21.Never stray from the path.

If you live a certain way, either you dedicate yourself completely to it or you put it aside. If you don’t dare to place complete conviction in your actions, why do you do them?


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