Lengthen Your Way
(and do not shorten it for others)

bushido. The way of the samurai books

  • samurai katana art

    A genuine martial art is not meant to kill the rival, but to protect people from aggression and exterminate evil.

    The sword raised for attack is death-dealing; the sword in defensive position is life-giving.
    Yagyu Munenori

    Martial arts are a method of bringing to realization, on this earth, the love and destiny of all things as woven by the Universal.
    Ueshiba Morihei

    A samurai must remember: after settling their destiny and illusions, all beings will eventually become Enlightened Buddhas.
    Good and evil are subjective. A wise man rejects evil but is also indifferent to good. He is above them for he understands that they are relative; he comprehends the interconnectedness of all things, has obtained equilibrium, and nothing can sway him. A wise man realizes his mission and follows his own Way.

    Praying zen samurai buddhism buddha art priint
    Painting "Like Sakura Petals" by Tatiana Berg

    A man who sees his true nature is always free wherever he goes.
    He meets the situation and matches response to the issue.

    The Yin and Yang symbol illustrates that within light there is darkness and within darkness there is light. Goodness partly incorporates evil, and evil partly incorporates goodness. Life is a constant interplay of both; to come to a standstill means death.
    A Warrior should be tolerant. He must understand the Taoist principle that the world is an entity of many opposites existing harmoniously, and each is important and plays its own role in the Universe. A warrior should treat all things with care. Nature favors those who abide by her laws. If you are violent towards nature she will return it and destroy you. Love nature, and she will love you back.

    Martial arts are aimed at sustaining life, their real objective is to mold a person’s character.
    Oyama Masutatsu

    masutatsu oyama art
    Art of Masutatsu Oyama by T. Berg

    A thoughtless killer cannot be a samurai because his behavior is that of an inadequate person. Having compassion for all living creatures melts the aggression of a warrior’s soul. A samurai does not rush to draw a sword, but once he has, he charges ahead but with full control of his rage. Remember, anger is hell!
    It is wise to understand various Ways but only follow your own.

    Even though the samurai shared the Buddhist ideal of compassion, they did not accept the Buddhist canon of nonresistance to evil. This is because they believed that a warrior must be humble but not soft, patient but not lenient. A warrior’s mercy is in his stamina, in other words, having strong moral principles, an unwavering spirit, and unflinching courage.
    Compassion (ninjo) in the samurai code of honor differs from the Buddhist interpretation. According to samurai ethics, the highest compassion is performing one’s duty to society faultlessly. To a true warrior’s dismay, war is a necessary evil because he understands that through war we achieve peace. He is by no means a killer, but a noble person who practices the Way of Bravery and Valor. He is capable of destroying evil, maintaining peace, and, if needed, sacrificing his life for the love of humankind.

    ~A. R. Berg, Spirit of the Warrior

    Read further in Samurai: Spirit of the Warrior

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    This an abstract from the chapter "Lengthen Your Way" from Spirit of the Warrior by A. R. Berg

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