atma: ([FFT] Agrias - Stern)
This morning, I read The Unfettered Mind, a series of 3 short essays by a Rinzai Zen Buddhism monk named Takuan Soho. He was adviser to Musashi and some of the other big swordsman, shogunate, emperors, and daimyo of his era. If you'd like to read it, there's a PDF at the link. This was recommended to me as essential reading for my Samurai arts by my sensei.

It's a book about applying Zen Buddhist philosophy to martial arts, particularly swordsmanship. The great samurai of the era, particularly the style founders, felt there was something lacking still in their work. Soho, who never once used a sword, watched them practice and saw their minds would grow stuck and frustrated. So he wrote these treatises and a new way was born.

I'm not Zen nor Buddhist myself; I do admit it has influenced me, but I'm always Shinto through and through. However, it did reinforce a lot of what I knew and am figuring out as a swordsman myself.

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The Sunset Samurai

July 2017

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