Category Archives: General Articles

21 Precepts on Self-Discipline by Miyamoto Musashi

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Dokkodo or “21 precepts on self-discipline to guide future generations”, also called “The Way of Walking Alone” or “The Way to be Followed Alone”

This work of Miyamoto Musashi was written in 1645, a week before his death, and was dedicated to his favourite student, Terao Magonojo.

  1. Accept everything just the way it is.
  2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
  3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
  4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
  5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
  6. Do not regret what you have done.
  7. Never be jealous.
  8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
  9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself or others.
  10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
  11. In all things have no preferences.
  12. Be indifferent to where you live.
  13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
  14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
  15. Do not act following customary beliefs.
  16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
  17. Do not fear death.
  18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
  19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
  20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.
  21. Never stray from the Way.

Enlightening Articles: 82 Maxims About Life by Alejandro Jodorowsky

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In his book The Spiritual Journey of Alejandro Jodorosky, the Chilean director details his experiences while on a spiritual journey that lead him to “discard his emotional armor,” namely one encounter with Reyna d’Assia, daughter of famed spiritual healer George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, in which she imparted her father’s many axioms about life.

This list, though clearly not directed at filmmakers specifically, certainly will reverberate with the artist in us all, as it did with Jodorowsky. Looking at each one through the eyes of a creator, you’ll start to learn a lot about yourself not only as a human, but as an artist.

Ground your attention on yourself. Be conscious at every moment of what you are thinking, sensing, feeling, desiring, and doing.

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Enlightening Articles: 10 Things The Stoics Can Teach You About Being A Happier Person

Zeno of Citium

Zeno of Citium was the founder of the Stoic school of philosophy

After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, his giant empire broke into pieces and descended into a long period of political turmoil with rulers constantly jockying for power. This period, known as the Hellenistic Age, saw the rise of multiple schools of philosophy, all of which had at their core the task of trying to quell the anxiety caused by the political events that they had no control over. Stoicism was one of these schools.

Stoicism was for everyone. If you were making a late night infomercial trying to convince people that Stoicism was right for them, no matter which walk of life they came from, you couldn’t ask for three people with more diversity between them than Seneca, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius to plead your case. Known as the three “crown jewels” of Stoicism, these men dedicated their lives to applying Stoicism to the adversity that faced them, and their brilliant insights and techniques can teach us all something about the human condition.

1. Don’t Enslave Yourself to Annoying People

There aren’t many people more qualified to talk about feeling enslaved than the Stoic Philosopher Epictetus; he spent his entire childhood as a slave in the city of Rome. For most people, the thought of being enslaved is the kind of thing that makes you want to curl into the fetal position. To be forcefully put to work and treated as the property of someone else is one of the worst things that could ever happen to you. This is why it baffled Epictetus that everyone around him voluntarily puts themselves into slavery dozens of times per day. Epictetus said:

“If a person gave your body to any stranger he met on his way, you would certainly be angry. And do you feel no shame in handing over your own mind to be confused and mystified by anyone who happens to verbally attack you?”
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Enlightening Articles: The Way of the Monastic Warrior: Lessons from Major Dick Winters

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Few masculine archetypes are as mysterious and compelling as that of the monastic warrior. From the Shaolin monks to the Knights Templar, such men withdrew from worldly distractions and sacrificed common pleasures in order to develop both their spirituality and their martial prowess. Through study, contemplation, and physical exercise/training, they disciplined body, mind, and soul to a keen edge.

Throughout history only a small percentage of men have been capable of making such a commitment, and today, communities of martial monks have all but disappeared. Yet introspective and iron-willed men have followed the way of the monastic warrior in every age — finding outlets to seek solitude amidst even the noisiest throng.

Perhaps the best example of this determination in more modern times can’t be found in some exotic temple or tucked-away monastery, but in a rather less likely place: The skies above Normandy, June 6, 1944.

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