Category Archives: Ancient Wisdom

CALM by Miyamoto Musashi

In building a resilient character, being calm is crucial to lead someone to get over adversity and bouncing back from it.

Miyamoto Musashi, the legendary samurai swordsman had explained ‘calm’ in ‘The Book of Water’ from ‘The Book of Five Rings‘ – a classic text on kenjutsu and martial arts (circa 1645).

Let’s see what ancient wisdom from the east had to say about calm;


CALM by Miyamoto Musashi

Both in fighting and in everyday life, you should be determined yet calm.

Meet any situation without tenseness yet not recklessly.

Your spirit settled yet unbiased.

Even when your spirit is calm, do not let your body relax.

And when your body is relaxed, do not let your spirit slacken.

Do not let your body be influenced by your spirit.

Nor your spirit influenced by your body.

Be neither insufficiently spirited.

Nor excessively over-spirited.

Calm is the virtue to not let the enemy see your spirit.

As preventing the enemy to see you put you in a better position to win.

History Channel Documentary of Musashi

The Book of Five Rings Audio Book

Knoweth Thyself

You are a human.

You consist of an outward shape (your body) and an inward entity (the heart, or soul).

The heart does not belong to the visible world, but to the invisible.

You come to this world as a traveler visiting a foreign country.

Soon you will be returning to your native land.

Close your eyes.

Forget everything around except your individuality.

Now you have come into a close idea of the reality of your heart.

An exact philosophical knowledge of the heart is not a necessary preliminary to walking in the path of religion.

It comes rather as the result of self-discipline and perseverance in that path.

Picture yourself, outward and inward, as a government ruling over a country.

Your body is the kingdom.

Your heart is the king.

Your senses is the army.

Your reason is the prime minister.

Your passion is the revenue-collector.

Your anger is the police officer.

In the mode of collecting revenuepassion is continually prone to plunder on its own account, while envy (anger) is always inclined to harshness and severity.

The revenue-collector and the police officer have to be kept in due subordination to the king, but not expelled, as they have their own proper function to fulfil.

But if passion and anger master reason, the ruin of the heart will take place subsequently.

heart which allows its lower faculties to dominate the higher is as one who should hand over an angel to a power of a dog.

Thus, this is where moral discipline comes in, to purify the heart from the rust of passion and anger.

When the heart had been purified by moral discipline, the clear rational heart abounds in, marvel, both of knowledge and power.

By means of it he masters arts and sciences, doing chores in the earth, made invention, made innovation.

His five senses are like five doors opening to the external world.

More beautiful than that, his heart has a window which opens on the unseen world.

This is how the heart (king) dictates how we act on earth.

Purify them always to act more positively.

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