Tag Archives: Eastern Philosophy

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.

Wisdom Books: The Word of The Buddha by Nyanatiloka Thero

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The Word of the Buddha, published originally in German, was the first strictly systematic exposition of all the main tenets of the Buddha’s Teachings presented in the Master’s own words as found in the Sutta-Pitaka of the Buddhist Pali Canon.

While it may well serve as a first introduction for the beginner, its chief aim is to give the reader who is already more or less acquainted with the fundamental ideas of Buddhism, a clear, concise and authentic summary of its various doctrines, within the framework of the all-embracing `Four Noble Truths,’ i.e. the Truths of Suffering (inherent in all existence), of its Origin, of its Extinction, and of the Way leading to its extinction. From the book itself it will be seen how the teachings of the Buddha all ultimately converge upon the one final goal: Deliverance from Suffering.

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Quotes of Wisdom: Chuang Tzu on the Wisdom of Tao

Who can free himself from achievement, and from fame, descend and be lost, amid the masses of men? He will flow like Tao, unseen, he will go about like Life itself with no name and no home. Simple he is, without distinction. To all appearances he is a fool. His steps leave no trace. He has no power. He achieves nothing, has no reputation. Since he judges no one no one judges him. Such is the perfect man. His boat is empty.

~ Chuang Tzu

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Wisdom Books: The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts

THIS BOOK explores an unrecognized but mighty taboo—our tacit conspiracy to ignore who, or what, we really are. Briefly, the thesis is that the prevalent sensation of oneself as a separate ego enclosed in a bag of skin is a hallucination which accords neither with Western science nor with the experimental philosophy-religions of the East—in particular the central and germinal Vedanta philosophy of Hinduism.

This hallucination underlies the misuse of technology for the violent subjugation of man’s natural environment and, consequently, its eventual destruction. We are therefore in urgent need of a sense of our own existence which is in accord with the physical facts and which overcomes our feeling of alienation from the universe. For this purpose I have drawn on the insights of Vedanta, stating them, however, in a completely modern and Western style—so that this volume makes no attempt to be a textbook on or introduction to Vedanta in the ordinary sense. It is rather a cross-fertilization of Western science with an Eastern intuition.

Particular thanks are due to my wife, Mary Jane, for her careful editorial work and her comments on the manuscript. Gratitude is also due to the Bollingen Foundation for its support of a project which included the writing of this book.

Sausalito, California

ALAN WATTS January, 1966

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Enlightening Documentaries: Zen: The Best of Alan Watts

“But the transformation of consciousness undertaken in Taoism and Zen is more like the correction of faulty perception or the curing of a disease. It is not an acquisitive process of learning more and more facts or greater and greater skills, but rather an unlearning of wrong habits and opinions. As Lao-tzu said, “The scholar gains every day, but the Taoist loses every day.” ~ Alan Watts

Alan Watts (1915-1973) who held both a master’s degree in theology and a doctorate of divinity, is best known as an interpreter of Zen Buddhism in particular, and Indian and Chinese philosophy in general. He authored more than 20 excellent books on the philosophy and psychology of religion, and lectured extensively, leaving behind a vast audio archive. With characteristic lucidity and humor Watts unravels the most obscure ontological and epistemological knots with the greatest of ease.

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