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MY WRITERS SITE: Miyamoto Musashi

MY WRITERS SITE: Miyamoto Musashi: Miyamoto Musashi (c. 1584 – June 13, 1645) was an expert Japanese swordsman and rōnin. Musashi, as he was often simply known, became...

There’s a responsibility in being a person

“There’s a responsibility in being a person.

 It’s more than just taking up space where air would be.” 

                                                                                                                    John Steinbeck









Miyamoto Musashi

Musashi ts pic.jpg


Miyamoto Musashi (c. 1584 – June 13, 1645) was an expert Japanese swordsman and rōnin. Musashi, as he was often simply known, became renowned through stories of his excellent swordsmanship in numerous duels, even from a very young age. He was the founder of the Hyōhō Niten Ichi-ryū or Niten-ryū style of swordsmanship and the author of The Book of Five Rings a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy that is still studied today.


There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.”


“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”


“You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain”


“Do nothing that is of no use”


“from one thing, know ten thousand things”


“If you wish to control others you must first control yourself”


“It is difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet”


“Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye.”

“Get beyond love and grief: exist for the good of Man.” 

“Do not regret what you have done” 

“Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.” 

“If you do not control the enemy, the enemy will control you” 

“All man are the same except for their belief in their own selves, regardless of what others may think of them” 

“Whatever the Way, the master of strategy does not appear fast….Of course, slowness is bad. Really skillful people never get out of time, and are always deliberate, and never appear busy.” 

“The only reason a warrior is alive is to fight, and the only reason a warrior fights is to win” 

“To know ten thousand things, know one well” 

“Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help” 

“You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.” 

“Know your enemy, know his sword.” 

“The important thing in strategy is to suppress the enemy's useful actions but allow his useless actions” 

“The true science of martial arts means practicing them in such a way that they will be useful at any time, and to teach them in such a way that they will be useful in all things.” 

“To become the enemy, see yourself as the enemy of the enemy” 


“It is difficult to realize the true Way just through sword-fencing. Know the smallest things and the biggest things, the shallowest things and the deepest things.”


“When you decide to attack, keep calm and dash in quickly, forestalling the enemy...attack with a feeling of constantly crushing the enemy, from first to last.”

“No man is invincible, and therefore no man can fully understand that which would make him invincible” 

“Never stray from the Way.” 


“When in a fight to the death, one wants to employ all one's weapons to the utmost. I must say that to die with one's sword still sheathed is most regrettable.”

“Whatever the Way, the master of strategy does not appear fast.” 


“It is said the warrior's is the twofold Way of pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both Ways. Even if a man has no natural ability he can be a warrior by sticking assiduously to both divisions of the Way.”

“Step by step walk the thousand-mile road.” 

“When your opponent is hurrying recklessly, you must act contrarily and keep calm. You must not be influenced by the opponent.” 

“Immature strategy is the cause of grief".” 

“When you attack the enemy, your spirit must go to the extent of pulling the stakes out of a wall and using them as spears and halberds.” 


“It is said the warrior's is the twofold Way of pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both Ways.”

“You should not have a favourite weapon. To become over-familiar with one weapon is as much a fault as not knowing it sufficiently well.” 

“If you are not progressing along the true way, a slight twist in the mind can become a major twist. This must be pondered well.” 


“A thousand days of training to develop, ten thousand days of training to polish. You must examine all this well.”

“guard. It is in this sense that I recommend the guard without a guard. Whatever the situation is, you hold the sword so that you can slash your opponent.” 

“The essential is to think that anything you are doing has to become the occasion for slashing. You must examine this well.” 

“In sum, it is not good to let the hand or the sword become fixed or frozen. A fixed hand is a dead hand; a hand that does not become fixed is alive. It is necessary to master this well.” 


“It is necessary to know ten thousand things by knowing one well. If you are to practice the way of strategy, nothing must escape your eyes.54 Reflect well on this.”

“Know that there are no other forms apart from these five in the School of the Two Swords.” 

“This is a truth: when you sacrifice your life, you must make fullest use of your weaponry. It is false not to do so, and to die with a weapon yet undrawn.” 

“By knowing what exist, you can know that which does not exist. That is the void. People in this world look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do not understand must be the void. This is not the true void. It is confusion.” 

“Then you will come to see things in an all-encompassing sense and, taking the void as the Way, you will see the Way as void.

In the void is virtue, and no evil. Wisdom exists, principle exists, the way exists. Spirit is Void.”


You will never be able to experience everything

 “You will never be able to experience everything. So, please, do poetical justice to your soul and simply experience yourself.” Albert Camus, Notebooks



Available June 2015

Chögyam Trungpa

“Delight in itself is the approach of sanity. Delight is to open our eyes to the reality of the situation rather than siding with this or that point of view.” (In other words, BE HAPPY)

“Becoming awake involves seeing our confusion more clearly.”

“Enlightenment is ego's ultimate disappointment.”

“The essence of warriorship, or the essence of human bravery, is refusing to give up on anyone or anything.”

“A great deal of the chaos in the world occurs because people don't appreciate themselves.”



Chögyam Trungpa (February 28, 1939 – April 4, 1987) was a Buddhist meditation master and holder of both the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages, the eleventh Trungpa tülku, a tertön, supreme abbot of the Surmang monasteries, scholar, teacher, poet, artist, and originator of a radical re-presentation of Shambhala vision.

Recognized both by Tibetan Buddhists and by other spiritual practitioners and scholars as a preeminent teacher of Tibetan Buddhism, he was a major, albeit controversial, figure in the dissemination of Tibetan Buddhism to the West, founding Vajradhatu and Naropa University and establishing the Shambhala Training method.

Among his contributions are the translation of a large number of Tibetan texts, the introduction of the Vajrayana teachings to the West, and a presentation of the Buddhadharma largely devoid of ethnic trappings. Regarded as a mahasiddha by many senior lamas, he is seen as having embodied the crazy wisdom (Tib. yeshe chölwa) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
Trungpa had a number of notable students, among whom were Pema Chödrön, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Anne Waldman, Diane di Prima, Peter Lieberson, José Argüelles, David Nichtern, Ken Wilber, David Deida, Francisco Varela, and Joni Mitchell, who portrayed Trungpa in the song "Refuge of the Roads" on her 1976 album Hejira.

 Ginsberg, Waldman, and di Prima also taught at Naropa University, and in the 1980s Marianne Faithfull taught songwriting workshops. Lesser-known students Trungpa taught in England and the US include Alf Vial, Rigdzin Shikpo (né Michael Hookham), Jigme Rinzen (né P. Howard Useche), Ezequiel Hernandez (known as Keun-Tshen Goba after setting up his first meditation center in Venezuela), Miguel Otaola (aka Dorje Khandro), Francisco Salas Roche, and Francesca Fremantle. Rigdzin Shikpo promulgated Trungpa's teachings from a primarily Nyingma rather than Kagyü point of view at the Longchen Foundation.
In his view not only was individual enlightenment not mythical, but the Shambhala Kingdom, an enlightened society, could in fact be actualized. The practice of Shambhala vision is to use mindfulness/awareness meditation as a way to connect with one's basic goodness and confidence. It is presented as a path that "brings dignity, confidence, and wisdom to every facet of life." Trungpa proposed to lead the Kingdom as sakyong (Tib. earth protector) with his wife as queen-consort or sakyong wangmo.

Shambhala vision is described as a nonreligious approach rooted in meditation and accessible to individuals of any, or no, religion. In Shambhala terms, it is possible, moment by moment, for individuals to establish enlightened society. His book, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, provides a concise collection of the Shambhala views. According to Trungpa, it was his intention to propagate the kingdom of Shambala that provided the necessary inspiration to leave his homeland and make the arduous journey to India and the West.



Chronology

1940: Born in Kham, Eastern Tibet. Enthroned as eleventh Trungpa Tulku, Supreme Abbot of Surmang Monasteries, and Governor of Surmang District. Some put his birth in 1939.

1944–59: Studies traditional monastic disciplines, meditation, and philosophy, as well as calligraphy, thangka painting, and monastic dance.

1947: Ordained as a shramanera (novice monk).

1958: Receives degrees of Kyorpön (Doctor of Divinity) and Khenpo (Master of Studies). Ordained as a bhikshu (full monk).

1959–60: Follows the Dalai Lama to India during the 1959 Tibetan uprising, which failed to overthrow the Chinese government

1960–63: By appointment of the 14th Dalai Lama, serves as spiritual advisor to the Young Lamas' Home School in Dalhousie, India.

1962: Fathers first son, Ösel Rangdröl (Mukpo), by a nun later referred to as Lady Kunchok Palden (or Lady Konchok Palden).

1963–67: Attends Oxford University on a Spaulding scholarship, studying comparative religion, philosophy, and fine arts. Receives instructor's degree of the Sogetsu School of ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement).

1967: Co-founds, with Akong Rinpoche, Kagyu Samyé Ling Monastery and Tibetan Centre, in Dumfriesshire, Scotland.

1969: Travels to Bhutan and goes on solitary retreat.

1969: Receives The Sadhana of Mahamudra terma text while on retreat in Paro Taktsang, a sacred cliffside monastery in Bhutan.

1969: Becomes the first Tibetan British subject. Injured in a car accident, leaving him partially paralyzed.

1970: After the accident Chögyam Trungpa renounces his monastic vows. He claims that the dharma needs to be free of cultural trappings to take root.

1970: Marries wealthy sixteen-year-old English student Diana Judith Pybus.

1970: Arrives in North America. Establishes Tail of the Tiger, a Buddhist meditation and study center in Vermont, now known as Karmê Chöling. Establishes Karma Dzong, a Buddhist community in Boulder, Colorado.

1971: Begins teaching at University of Colorado. Establishes Rocky Mountain Dharma Center, now known as Shambhala Mountain Center, near Fort Collins, Colorado.

1972: Initiates Maitri, a therapeutic program that works with different styles of neurosis using principles of the five buddha families. Conducts the Milarepa Film Workshop, a program which analyzes the aesthetics of film, on Lookout Mountain, Colorado.

1973: Founds Mudra Theater Group, which stages original plays and practices theater exercises, based on traditional Tibetan dance. Incorporates Vajradhatu, an international association of Buddhist meditation and study centers, now known as Shambhala International. Establishes Dorje Khyung Dzong, a retreat facility in southern Colorado. Conducts first annual Vajradhatu Seminary, a three-month advanced practice and study program.

1974: Incorporates Nalanda Foundation, a nonprofit, nonsectarian educational organization to encourage and organize programs in the fields of education, psychology, and the arts. Hosts the first North American visit of The Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa, head of the Karma Kagyü lineage. Founds The Naropa Institute, a contemplative studies and liberal arts college, now fully accredited as Naropa University. Forms the organization that will become the Dorje Kasung, a service group entrusted with the protection of the buddhist teachings and the welfare of the community.

1975: Forms the organization that will become the Shambhala Lodge, a group of students dedicated to fostering enlightened society. Founds the Nalanda Translation Committee for the translation of Buddhist texts from Tibetan and Sanskrit. Establishes Ashoka Credit Union.

1976: Hosts the first North American visit of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, revered meditation master and scholar of the Nyingma lineage. Hosts a visit of Dudjom Rinpoche, head of the Nyingma lineage. Empowers Thomas F. Rich as his dharma heir, known thereafter as Vajra Regent Ösel Tendzin. Establishes the Kalapa Court in Boulder, Colorado, as his residence and a cultural center for the Vajradhatu community. Receives the first of several Shambhala terma texts (see termas). These comprise the literary source for the Shambhala teachings. Founds Alaya Preschool in Boulder, Colorado.

1977: Bestows the Vajrayogini abhisheka for the first time in the West for students who have completed ngöndro practice. Establishes the celebration of Shambhala Day. Observes a year-long retreat in Charlemont, Massachusetts. Founds Shambhala Training to promote a secular approach to meditation practice and an appreciation of basic human goodness. Visits Nova Scotia for the first time.

1978: Conducts the first annual Magyal Pomra Encampment, an advanced training program for members of the Dorje Kasung. Conducts the first annual Kalapa Assembly, an intensive training program for advanced Shambhala teachings and practices. Conducts the first Dharma Art seminar. Forms Amara, an association of health professionals. Forms the Upaya Council, a mediation council providing a forum for resolving disputes. Establishes the Midsummer's Day festival and Children's Day.

1979: Empowers his eldest son, Ösel Rangdröl Mukpo, as his successor and heir to the Shambhala lineage. Founds the Shambhala School of Dressage, an equestrian school under the direction of his wife, Lady Diana Mukpo. Founds Vidya Elementary School in Boulder, Colorado.

1980–83: Presents a series of environmental installations and flower arranging exhibitions at art galleries in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, and Boulder.

1980: Forms Kalapa Cha to promote the practice of traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. With the Nalanda Translation Committee, completes the first English translation of The Rain of Wisdom.

1981: Hosts the visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to Boulder, Colorado. Conducts the first annual Buddhist-Christian Conference in Boulder, Colorado, exploring the common ground between Buddhist and Christian contemplative traditions. Forms Ryuko Kyūdōjō to promote the practice of Kyūdō under the direction of Shibata Kanjuro Sensei, bow maker to the Emperor of Japan. Directs a film, Discovering Elegance, using footage of his environmental installation and flower arranging exhibitions.

1982: Forms Kalapa Ikebana to promote the study and practice of Japanese flower arranging.

1983: Establishes Gampo Abbey, a Karma Kagyü monastery located in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, for Western students wishing to enter into traditional monastic discipline. Creates a series of elocution exercises to promote precision and mindfulness of speech.

1984–85: Observes a year-long retreat in Mill Village, Nova Scotia.

1986: Moves his home and the international headquarters of Vajradhatu to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

1987: Dies in Halifax; cremated May 26 at Karmê Chöling. (His followers have constructed a chorten or stupa, the The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya, located near Red Feather Lakes, Colorado, for his remains.)

1989: The child recognized as his reincarnation, Chokyi Sengay, is born in Derge, Tibet; recognized two years later by Tai Situ Rinpoche.


Bibliography
Born in Tibet (1966), autobiography, story of escaping from Tibet.
Meditation in Action (1969)
Mudra (1972)
Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (1973)
The Dawn of Tantra, by Herbert V. Guenther and Chögyam Trungpa (1975)
Glimpses of Abhidharma (1975)
The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Great Liberation through Hearing in the Bardo, translated with commentary by Francesca Fremantle and Chögyam Trungpa (1975)
The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation (1976)
The Rain of Wisdom (1980)
Journey without Goal: The Tantric Wisdom of the Buddha (1981)
The Life of Marpa the Translator (1982)
First Thought Best Thought: 108 Poems (1983)
Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior (1984)
Crazy Wisdom (1991)
The Heart of the Buddha (1991)
Orderly Chaos: The Mandala Principle (1991)
Secret Beyond Thought: The Five Chakras and the Four Karmas (1991)
The Lion's Roar: An Introduction to Tantra (1992)
Transcending Madness: The Experience of the Six Bardos (1992)
Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving Kindness (1993)
Glimpses of Shunyata (1993)
The Art of Calligraphy: Joining Heaven and Earth (1994)
Illusion's Game: The Life and Teaching of Naropa (1994)
The Path Is the Goal: A Basic Handbook of Buddhist Meditation (1995)
Dharma Art (1996)
Timely Rain: Selected Poetry of Chögyam Trungpa (1998)
Great Eastern Sun: The Wisdom of Shambhala (1999)
Glimpses of Space: The Feminine Principle and Evam (1999)
The Essential Chögyam Trungpa (2000)
Glimpses of Mahayana (2001)
Glimpses of Realization (2003)
The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa, Volumes One through Eight (2003)
True Command: The Teachings of the Dorje Kasung, Volume I, The Town Talks (2004)
The Sanity We Are Born With: A Buddhist Approach to Psychology (2005)
The Teacup & the Skullcup: Chogyam Trungpa on Zen and Tantra (2007)
Smile at Fear. Awakening the True Heart of Bravery (2010)
Work, Sex, Money. Real Life on the Path of Mindfulness (2011)
The Mishap Lineage. Transforming Confusion into Wisdom (2011)
The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma (2013)
The Path of Individual Liberation (volume 1) (2013)
The Bodhisattava Path of Wisdom and Compassion (volume 2) (2013)
The Tantric Path of Indestructible Wakefulness (volume 3) (2013)






Available June 2015


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