If you have been following me for any length of time, you will know that I have a passion to share what I have learned about the Japanese culture and how it has helped me in my personal and professional journeys.
One of the philosophies that I have personally found a lot of growth from is the philosophy of kokorozashi 志. Kokorozashi when interpreted in the English language can be thought of as “the heart of a samurai”. It can also be thought of in a modern sense as your professional pursuit or pursuing meaning in business. Some of you might know this. Perhaps you are just learning this for the first time.
I have made a decision and wanted to share that with you all. I am going to be going on a personal journey of discovery for the month of March and my posts will reflect that journey that I will be going on.
My plan is to study the Dokkōdō (獨行道) by Miyamoto Musashi, arguably one of the most prolific samurai to have ever lived. He was not only a skilled swordsman and sensei of the art of the sword but also a writer and calligrapher.
The Dokkōdō was written in 1645 very close to the time of his death and in it were 21 principles for living. Dokkōdō when interpreted in the English language could be thought of as “The Path of Walking Alone” or “The Way to Be Followed Alone”. Not suggesting that we all need to become hermits and live by ourselves but rather how to move through the world in such a way that doesn’t cause a lot of trouble for ourselves or others.
I will be unpacking the original text as translated by Kenji Tokitsu and applying that to my understanding of ikigai and kokorozashi. So I will share the original Japanese, the interpretation and then my added thoughts and interpretation based on the original context and then what it means to me in 2022 almost 400 years after it was written.
I don’t think that we sit with our thoughts enough these days, I certainly could do more of that, and plan to for the next month. My hope with doing this study is that I develop new habits and behaviors and enhance old ones so that I can continue to evolve into the person that I want to become.
Ultimately I want to create more alignment with myself and the kaki-zome that I have for 2022, which is wa 和, and can be interpreted as “harmony” or “to find more peace & harmony in the world around me”. Ultimately to embrace principle #1.
Here are the 21 Principles of the Dokkōdō:
- 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.
- 20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honor.
- 21. Never stray from the way of strategy.
Over the next month I will be unpacking each of these principles for what it means to me and the journey I am on. If you’d like to join me on my journey of walking alone please do.
#ikigai #kokorozashi #theobviousroute #flow #personalgrowth #thewayofthesamurai #worklifeharmony