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Books about Bushido, Samurai Art, A. R. Basov

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by Alexey R. Basov

Landscape painting by Miyamoto Musashi

Out of sheer luck, a young samurai had survived a series of battles where he fought for glory, money, and simply because that was the rule; everybody he knew was doing it.
Once, he had regained consciousness in a pile of dead bodies after being heavily wounded. He contemplated the stars for a long time. Soon he felt the life leaving his body, but did not loosen the grip of his cold hands on the sword hilt.
Suddenly a thought struck him – What good were all those ambitions and worthless desires…? And for some reason he did not die.
He became a ronin, renouncing all authority. As an outlaw, he acquired his own Law. They were trying to kill him like a wild beast for many years. So every night when he lay down on the forest leaves, he was not sure if he would wake up alive. He turned over his empty tea cup not knowing if he would use it again.
He tried to be sincere in every moment, knowing that his dream-like life could end anytime. Gradually his instinct for danger became so great that only a madman would dare disturb his repose.
He retired from the human world full of blood and violence and tried to avoid all aggression. It was not an easy thing to do.
He converted into a philosopher, a man of poise. He started selling Buddha figurines and paintings he had unexpectedly learned to create. He lived in a shack at the shores of a spring where he admired Nature and wrote verses in the splendid state of philosophic non-action and improved on the Art of the Sword which had become a spiritual practice.
Once, during tea ceremony, his disciple said that he saw the master treading on slippery stones in the water and suggested that they build a small bridge for him.
Musashi frowned. “Why should I need it? It is useful to overcome difficulties… Who knows if I am destined to cross this bridge in the first place? There is no sense spending your life on things you can do without,” he said as he took the last sip of tea and turned his cup upside down.

Miyamoto Musashi. Meditation (ink, watercolor)

This is a chapter from the book Samurai. Ascension

Torii art

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!

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