THE UNFETTERED MIND WRITINGS FROM A ZEN MASTER TO A MASTER SWORDSMAN
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This classic samurai-era text fused Japanese swordsmanship with Zen and influenced the direction that the art has taken ever since. Written by the seventeenth-century Zen master Takuan Soho (1573–1645), The Unfettered Mind is a book of advice on swordsmanship and the cultivation of right mind and intention. It was written as a guide for the samurai Yagyu Munenori, who was a great swordsman and rival to the legendary Miyamoto Musashi. Takuan was a giant in the history of Zen; he was also a gardener, calligrapher, poet, author, adviser to samurai and shoguns, and a pivotal figure in Zen painting. He was known for his brilliance and acerbic wit. In these succinct and pointed essays, Takuan is concerned primarily with understanding and refining the mind—both generally and when faced with conflict. The Unfettered Mind was a major influence on the classic manifestos on swordsmanship that came after it, including Miyamoto Musashi's Book of Five Rings and Yagyu Munenori's Life-Giving Sword.
Wolf Haas' Detective Brenner series has become wildly popular around the world for a reason: They're timely, edgy stories told in a wry, quirky voice that's often hilarious, and with a protagonist it's hard not to love. In this episode, Brenner-forced out of the police force-tries to get away from detective work by taking a job as the personal chauffeur for two-year-old Helena, the daughter of a Munich construction giant and a Viennese abortion doctor. One day, while Brenner's attention is turned to picking out a chocolate bar for Helena at a gas station, Helena gets snatched from the car. Abruptly out of a job, Brenner decides to investigate her disappearance on his own. With both parents in the public eye, there's no scarcity of leads-the father's latest development project has spurred public protest, and the mother's clinic has been targeted by the zealous leader of an anti-abortion group. Brenner and God is told with a dark humor that leaves no character, including Brenner, unscathed. Haas tells the story of a fallible hero who can be indecisive and world-weary, baffled and disillusioned by what he finds, but who presses forward nonetheless out of a stubborn sense of decency-a two-year-old is kidnapped, so you find her, because that's just what you do.
The legendary seventeenth-century swordsman Yagyu Munenori was the sword instructor and military and political adviser to two shoguns—and a great rival to Miyamoto Musashi. Despite his martial ability and his political power, Munenori's life was spent immersed in Zen teachings. These teachings formed the framework for his deeply spiritual approach to sword fighting. Munenori saw in the practice of the sword a way to transform the student into a total human being. The Life-Giving Sword is Munenori's manifesto on his approach. His central themes are the "life-giving sword"—the idea of controlling one's opponent by spiritual readiness to fight rather than by actual fighting—and "No Sword," which is the idea that the mind must be free of everything, even the sword itself, in order to get to the place of complete mastery. Munenori's ideas are applicable not only to martial arts but to business and human relations as well.
Author : William Scott Wilson
ISBN : 9780834828513
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 39.40 MB
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Miyamoto Musashi (1584?1645) was the legendary samurai known throughout the world as a master swordsman, spiritual seeker, and author of the classic book on strategy, the Book of Five Rings. Over 350 years after his death, Musashi and his legacy still fascinate us and continue to inspire artists, authors, and filmmakers. Here, respected translator and expert on samurai culture William Scott Wilson has created both a vivid account of a fascinating period in feudal Japan and a portrait of the courageous, iconoclastic samurai who wrestled with philosophical and spiritual ideas that are as relevant today as they were in his time. For Musashi, the way of the martial arts was about mastery of the mind rather than simply technical prowess—and it is this path to mastery that is the core teaching in his Book of Five Rings. This volume includes supplemental material on Musashi’s legacy as a martial arts icon, his impact on literature and film, and the influence of his Book of Five Rings.
Miyamoto Musashi's Go Rin no Sho or the book of five rings,is considered a classic treatise on military strategy, much like Sun Tzu's The Art of War and Chanakya's Arthashastra. The five "books" refer to the idea that there are different elements of battle, just as there are different physical elements in life, as described by Buddhism, Shinto, and other Eastern religions. Through the book Musashi defends his thesis: a man who conquers himself is ready to take it on on the world, should need arise.
Author : Jeffrey Mann
ISBN : 9781462910489
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 78.7 MB
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Uncover the historical truth about Buddhist warrior monks with this informative and enlightening book. Film, television and popular fiction have long exploited the image of the serene Buddhist monk who is master of the deadly craft of hand-to-hand combat. While these media overly romanticize the relationship between a philosophy of non-violence and the art of fighting, When Buddhists Attack: The Curious Relationship Between Zen and the Martial Arts shows this link to be nevertheless real, even natural. Exploring the origins of Buddhism and the ethos of the Japanese samurai, university professor and martial arts practitioner Jeffrey Mann traces the close connection between the Buddhist way of compassion and the way of the warrior. This zen book serves as a basic introduction to the history, philosophy, and current practice of Zen as it relates to the Japanese martial arts. It examines the elements of Zen that have found a place in budo—the martial way—such as zazen, mushin, zanshin and fudoshin, then goes on to discuss the ethics and practice of budo as modern sport. Offering insights into how qualities integral to the true martial artist are interwoven with this ancient religious philosophy, this Buddhism book will help practitioners reconnect to an authentic spiritual discipline of the martial arts.
At once profound, spiritual, and witty, Master of the Three Ways is a remarkable work about human nature, the essence of life, and how to live simply and with awareness. In three hundred and fifty-seven verses, the author, Hung Ying-ming—a seventeenth-century Chinese sage—explores good and evil, honesty and deception, wisdom and foolishness, and heaven and hell. He draws from the wisdom of the "Three Creeds"—Taoism, Confucianism, and Zen Buddhism—to impress upon us that by combining simple elegance with the ordinary, we can make our lives artistic and poetic. This sense, along with a particular understanding of Zen that makes art from the simple in everyday life, has permeated Chinese and Japanese culture to this day. The work is divided into two books. The first generally deals with the art of living in society and the second is concerned with man's solitude and contemplations of nature. These themes repeatedly spill over into each other, creating multiple levels of meaning.
The Complete Book of Five Rings is an authoritative version of Musashi’s classic The Book of Five Rings, translated and annotated by a modern martial arts master, Kenji Tokitsu. Tokitsu has spent most of his life researching the legendary samurai swordsman and his works, and in this book he illuminates this seminal text, along with several other works by Musashi. These include "The Mirror of the Way of Strategy," which Musashi wrote when he was in his twenties; "Thirty-five Instructions on Strategy," and "Forty-two Instructions on Strategy," which were precursors to The Book of Five Rings; and "The Way to Be Followed Alone," which Musashi wrote just days before his death. Read together, these five texts give readers an unusually detailed, nuanced view of Musashi’s ideas on swordsmanship, strategy, and self-cultivation. Tokitsu puts all these writings into historical and philosophical context and makes them accessible and relevant to today’s readers and martial arts students. Tokitsu understands Musashi’s writings—and Musashi as a martial artist—unusually well and is able to provide a rare insight into the man and his historical contribution.
Author : Thomas Cleary
ISBN : 083482308X
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 61.37 MB
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Through the ages, the samurai have been associated with honor, fearlessness, calm, decisive action, strategic thinking, and martial prowess. Their ethos is known as bushido, the Way of the Warrior-Knight. Here, premier translator Thomas Cleary presents a rich collection of writings on bushido by warriors, scholars, political advisors, and educators from the fifteenth century through the nineteenth century that provide a comprehensive, historically rich view of samurai life and philosophy. Training the Samurai Mind gives an insider’s view of the samurai world: the moral and psychological development of the warrior, the ethical standards they were meant to uphold, their training in both martial arts and strategy, and the enormous role that the traditions of Shintoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism had in influencing samurai ideals. The writings deal with a broad range of subjects—from military strategy and political science, to personal discipline and character development. Cleary introduces each piece, putting it into historical context, and presents biographical information about the authors. This is an essential read for anyone interested in military history and samurai history, and for martial artists who want to understand strategy.