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Ideal Is the Guiding Star

by Alexey R. Basov

The Great Tranquility of a Warrior, his psychological invincibility and inner equilibrium have always been the most critical criteria of personal development in Bushido. Only the Warrior who never complains, is indifferent to hardships and pain, is ready to overcome any obstacle, and who faces challenges of Fortune calmly, is constantly composed and strong-spirited, perfectly imperturbable - can be called a true Warrior.


Such an ideal state is hard to achieve. But it is absolutely essential for an individual seeking Perfection.

An Ideal is immensely important for the development of consciousness, since it becomes a guiding star whose light permeates the obscurity of caused by the ignorance and chaos experienced in everyday life.


It is vital for a Warrior to be able to harness his willpower, enabling him to generate flash-like energy outbursts in the moment of action. The philosophy of Bushido is designated for developing such a capability that is achieved by reaching the state of tranquility of the Spirit. The path to this state consists of a blend of practicing meditation and a multiannual, scrupulous training for the body and mind.


The definition of the European term 'meditation' is quite vague and loses some of the essence of the true meaning of the word. A more accurate interpretation of 'meditation' is 'exercising a vigilant spirit' through a triune combination of different elements: attention, concentration, and wisdom.

'Exercising a vigilant spirit,' the state of complete awareness of occurring events is precisely Bushido's objective. Precisely this type of person who reached a diamond-hard Spirit not dimmed by illusions, was becoming a Buddha-Warrior, an enlightened Warrior.


Practicing with and without weapons was considered by warriors as a dynamic meditation allowing to strengthen the body while also helping the Warrior achieve a harmony between body, willpower and the spirit. Extended, stationary meditation destroys the body, and a feeble person is not capable to protect neither himself nor others. Only a Warrior has the capacity to protect virtue and the Dharma by becoming its sword, if necessary, while never becoming an aggressor. A well-known Bushido rule is based on the principle: do not be first to attack, but be first to strike!


The philosophy of Martial Arts dictates that a Tranquil Warrior who has purged himself of desires, fear, and aggression has a vast advantage, because the fear of death is not a part of the Tranquil Warrior's nature and does not hamper the instinctive reactions of the body. Nothing distracts a Tranquil Warrior. That is why his reactions are instantaneous, like in a mirror reflecting external events while staying out of their reach. In the esoteric aspect an imperturbable Warrior had a bio-energetic advantage because His mental power, 'the bowl of energy' was not wasted on emotions and unwanted distractions. By keeping his consciousness in the state of Tranquility, a Warrior avoided the influence of Nature's cycle of contrary forces (Yin and Yang) that is typically ripping apart biological energy of ordinary people, making them weak.


Due to his moral and spiritual perfection, a Warrior in the state of Tranquility was aligning himself with the Eternal Cosmos and its all-penetrating energy Yi. The Warrior became a channel of the Cosmic Yi energy that could give the Warrior Power incommensurable with an ordinary physical strength (Li). That explains the existence of the following canonical expression: the more enlightened a Master is, the less he uses brute physical force (Li), relying more on inner energy (Qi) which is sustained by Yi.


It is impossible to follow the Way without the Warrior's Tranquility and a calm consciousness.

This kind of Tranquility is well reflected in the parable about a rope-walker crossing an abyss. If he casts a glance down, he allows doubts to crawl into his mind that would lead him to lose his composure and inevitably fall. It is possible to walk above an abyss only in the state of an absolute Tranquility, when no thoughts clutter your mind. This is exactly the Spirit of intense awareness that a true Warrior experiences every moment, following the Way.

This is what the Ideal is. The ever-shining guiding star of the individual following the Way of the Warrior.

Every time when tranquility is ready to abandon the heart, a Warrior should glance at his guiding star and return himself into the true Sanctuary of the Might of the Buddha-Warrior Tranquility.




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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