Tag Archives: precepts

21 Precepts on Self-Discipline by Miyamoto Musashi


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


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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Toltec Wisdom: Four Practical Steps Towards Personal Freedom

Considering the huge challenges and difficulties facing the world in the present day, not to mention the personal anxiety that some people are now experiencing, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you the following four steps, or more-so, four agreements taken from the book The Four Agreements: Practical Guide to Personal Freedom written by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Rooted in traditional Toltec wisdom beliefs, four agreements in life are essential steps on the path to personal freedom.

The Toltec culture created these simple precepts of wisdom for the people to adopt daily towards helping them to liberate the mind from ignorance, improve relationships and avoid any self-imposed difficulties.

Ultimately, the agreements provided guidance for one to negotiate life with a more wise, practical and common sense approach. The Toltec perhaps hoped that these precepts would not only benefit the individual in their lifetime but would also produce peace and harmony within the community as a whole.

However, there is nothing stopping the rest of us, in these uncertain times, learning something of worth from these agreements, and perhaps adopting them for the betterment of our own lives and securing a more wiser, peaceful and stress-free future globally.

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Wisdom Books: Lectures and Fragments by Musonius Rufus “The Roman Socrates”

Papyrus fragment P.Harr. I 1, Col. 2, Z. 25–50; showing a section of Diatribe 15 of Gaius Musonius Rufus.

Musonius Rufus (c. AD 30–100) was one of the four great Roman Stoic philosophers, the other three being Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Musonius’ pupil Epictetus. During his life, Musonius’ Stoicism was put to the test, most notably during an exile to Gyaros, a barren island in the Aegean Sea. Because Stoicism was, for Musonius, not merely a philosophy but a prescription for daily living, he has been called “the Roman Socrates.” MUSONIUS RUFUS: LECTURES AND FRAGMENTS will therefore be welcomed by those who seek insight into the practice of Stoicism.

The Suda states that there are “speeches about philosophy bearing his name,” and mentions letters to Apollonius of Tyana.[1] The letters that survive[8] are certainly not authentic.[9] It is unknown whether Musonius wrote anything for publication. His philosophical opinions were collected by two of his students. One collection of Discourses, by a certain Lucius, form the basis of the 21 lengthy extracts preserved by Stobaeus.[10] A second collection was compiled by one Pollio; it has been lost, but some fragments survive in quotations by later writers.[11]

The titles of the 21 discourses (Cora Lutz edition) are as follows:

  1. That There is No Need of Giving Many Proofs for One Problem
  2. That Man is Born with an Inclination Toward Virtue
  3. That Women Too Should Study Philosophy
  4. Should Daughters Receive the Same Education as Sons?
  5. Which is more Effective, Theory or Practice?
  6. On Training
  7. That One Should Disdain Hardships
  8. That Kings Also Should Study Philosophy
  9. That Exile is not an Evil
  10. Will the Philosopher Prosecute Anyone for Personal Injury?
  11. What means of Livelihood is Appropriate for a Philosopher?
  12. On Sexual Indulgence
  13. What is the Chief End of Marriage
  14. Is Marriage a Handicap for the Pursuit of Philosophy?
  15. Should Every Child that is Born be Raised?
  16. Must One Obey One’s Parents under all Circumstances?
  17. What is the Best Viaticum for Old Age?
  18. On Food
  19. On Clothing and Shelter
  20. On Furnishings
  21. On Cutting the Hair

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The Ten Wise Commandments of Moderation For Christmas and Beyond

As much as I love the Christmas period with all the food and drink you can consume, as well as spending quality time with loved ones, there are times when it can all become a stress-filled, conflict-ridden and decadent exercise which can do more harm than good to one’s mind, body and spirit.

Everyone, I guess, is entitled to self-indulge (within reason, mind) at least once a year, but we must be careful not to enter the new year carrying too much weight, anxiety and damaged relationships.

Christmas should be a time to reinvigorate ourselves and to reconnect with friends and family who we have, directly or indirectly, long since neglected.

Surely, we’re not too busy for the important things in life?

Just to let you know that I don’t belong to any religious faith whatsoever, but felt the need to propose the following ten commandments (with a bit of humour thrown in for good measure) of my own for you to adopt towards having a happy Christmas of moderation.  So no belief in God or morality are required.

These precepts or maxims may or may not  help you to negotiate life more wisely, as well as put you in very good stead for the coming New Year and beyond.  Just remember to have fun along the way.

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