Elite Spirit: books about Bushido, Samurai, Art, A. R. Basov

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by Alexey R. Basov

I free my mind
And gaze at the whole Universe.
Wang Wei (701-761)

“When the heart asks” is the secret principle of all arts.
Yamamoto Tsunetomo

“To live before God” is nothing but to live alone with oneself.
Søren Kierkegaard

Emptiness is the greatest mystery of martial arts - it has been passed, by word of mouth, from heart to heart.
Yagyu Munenori

  zen circle

Emptiness is a philosophical doctrine about the ideal state of consciousness.

Art by Qiao Seng  

Originally nothing existed.
Existence emerged from non-existence.

Everything is Emptiness,
And Emptiness is everything.
Emptiness is Form,
Form is Emptiness.
A Buddhist canon

Being and non-being produce each other.

Then you will come to think of things in a wide sense and, taking the void as the Way, you will see the Way as void.
Miyamoto Musashi

The term “Emptiness” in Buddhism and Taoism is extremely difficult to understand due to many unclear and even opposing definitions of it. In Buddhist or Taoist interpretations, the words “emptiness” and “empty” have several dozens of meanings.
Empty means unlimited, free, pure, unblemished or perfect. Emptiness is the essence of the Universe. Emptiness is unimaginable, it embodies everything; it is the completeness of existence, the Utmost Reality of the universe that pre-exists all things without being a substance itself. Emptiness assumes fullness and endlessness. Emptiness is Emptiness because it encloses everything. Emptiness is the whole Universe.

Every night the moon visits the waters of the pond,
And then it departs without lingering,
And without leaving a trace.

Once you deeply comprehend the truth, everything around becomes Emptiness.
Takuan Soho

In the void is virtue, and no evil. Wisdom has existence, principle has existence, the Way has existence, spirit is nothingness.
Miyamoto Musashi

The samurai were called silent warriors because they practiced meditation to train and develop their consciousness. The practice of Emptiness was of an enormous importance in the samurai art of war. Even a professional warrior with a flawless technique remains prone to fear, pain and emotions. His consciousness is blocked by thousands of things that compose the program of a human being.
A warrior who “works” with Emptiness, initially, has to realize the principles of this philosophy, then proceed to master them through meditation, and, sooner or later, all thoughts will disappear, letting him perceive Emptiness…
Having perceived Emptiness, the warrior reaches a qualitatively new level of consciousness freed by it. Such a mortal is afraid of nothing; he is simply unable to feel fear… He is composure personified.
His consciousness soars like a kite, somewhere far away from the body. But it is still to a certain extent… slightly… almost imperceptibly connected to the body.

Emptiness zen monk

Discard all thoughts that limit you and come back to the true Emptiness. Stand in the middle of the Great Emptiness.
This is the secret of the Way of the Warrior.
Ueshiba Morihei

A mind free of material desires, an absolutely tranquil mind can foresee the movements of an opponent and reach the state of being acutely alert and acting on intuition.
Ueshiba Morihei

Think about something that is not a thought.
A Zen saying

On a daily basis a samurai must find the time to block himself from mundane vanity and practice meditation, contemplate Nature to understand himself better.
Look inside yourself,
You will find answers to all questions there.

He who is not possessed by anything possesses everything.
A Zen saying

After I comprehended the Way of the Sword, I had no need to turn to either the law of Buddha or the teaching of Confucius.
Miyamoto Musashi

This is a chapter from the book "Samurai. Spirit of the Warrior"


I will not get lost...
The North Star is shining in the darkness...
The road to Valhalla, straight like a sword, is always in front of me!

Copyright 2000-2016 Alexey R. Basov, Tatiana Basova. All rights reserved.

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