The Japanese word ‘rōnin’ describes a samurai without a master, who wanders alone.
The status of a ronin varied across different time periods. In an exceedingly general sense, being a ronin implied failure.
More specifically, a ronin had renounced the act of ‘seppuku’, which may be a style of Japanese ritual suicide that was applied to restore honor after defeat. Those that refused seppuku became outcasts that endured a reputation of disgrace. Walking their own path, some ronin worked as mercenaries and bodyguards, et al. became criminals.
One among the foremost legendary ronin is Miyamoto Musashi, who is famed as Japan’s greatest swordsman – undefeated in additional than sixty duels. Musashi became a ronin after he escaped death during the Battle of Sekigahara when serving general Hideyori.
Other than being a swordsman, he was also a philosopher, artist, and well-learned Buddhist. Among other writings, Musashi left us with twenty-one principles for those that walk alone named Dokkōdō, which he wrote down not long before he died. while the age of the samurai is long gone, Musashi’s principles are timeless and might inspire us today to measure well.
When we observe this from a Buddhist lens, we are able to conclude that the sole effective way of practice is predicated on the acceptance of how things currently are. We cannot improve, if we aren’t willing to be novices initially. a part of meditation practice, as an example, is the acceptance of the present state of affairs, so as to strengthen the mind. But Musashi goes even further by saying that the warrior should resolutely accept death. Death isn’t just an inevitable part of life, but also a suitable fate to preserve honor in keeping with old Japanese traditions. The act of Seppuku relies on the concept of‘honorable death’, which follows in an exceeding situation when staying alive would be a disgrace; for example, when someone has failed his or her duty. Now, especially for the trendy Western mind, this idea is extreme.
Nevertheless, the resolute acceptance of death can help us to just accept that it’s a path we all take someday.
In Buddhism, there’s a practice called ‘corpse meditation, during which one can contemplate death within the presence of a natural object, or simply by imagining one. By doing this practice repeatedly, a Buddhistcomes to terms with the truth of death. For a ronin, we will say that the acceptance of one’s aloneness is important.
If we compare ourselves to the universe, we’re incredibly small, and especially, smitten by the full. Why think so highly of ourselves, and elevate ourselves above the environment, when we’re utterly captivated with it?
The universe is so incredibly vast, so complex, so much over this little ego in our heads. And by realizing this, we all know that not being humble doesn’t make any sense. A ronin was probably conscious of this, as facing the world alone is often an eye-opening experience with reference to how small and vulnerable we are.
So, it’s not a foul idea to require ourselves with a grain of salt sometimes and reflect on how significant our lives truly are. This doesn’t mean that we must always remove ourselves from the equation, but that we always try and bear in mind the proportions between ourselves and therefore the environment so we don’t inflate our self-importance and become deluded.
Be detached from desire your whole lifelong. Desire and aversion are two sides of the same coin. If we’re averse to something, it means that we desire to not incur the thing we’re averse to. Desire, thus, means we let our happiness depend on something that lies outside folks.
Unfortunately, outside circumstances are beyond our control, so if we let our happiness depend upon them we’ve put ourselves in an unreliable position. Needless to mention, this approach to desire is very Stoic.
The Buddhists see desire, or more specifically, ‘attachment’, because of the root of suffering. Being attached to desire implies that were fixed on our pursuit of external things, assuming that this pursuit will make us happy. Musashi tells us that, despite the vastness of the external world and also the smallness of ourselves, the key to wellbeing lies within. I quote: there’s nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to induce better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.
So, we could say that although we should be humble to the greatness of the universe, our focus should get on our own actions within that universe, and not on what we will get from it because the latter isn’t reliable. this is often how Stoic philosopher Epictetus puts it, and that the items in our control are naturally free, unrestrained, unhindered; but those not in our control are weak, slavish, restrained, belonging to others.
Don’t regret what you’ve got done.
Self-reflection and also the ability to work out what we did wrong, and the way we may have hurt other beings may be a very valuable skill, which is essential when it involves building meaningful relationships and avoiding past faults in the future. But repeatedly beating ourselves up over the mistakes we made within the past isn’t visiting help anyone. At most, we show people we feel bad about what we’ve done, which might be a decent thing, but after ages, the sole way we will go forward. Moreover, many bad things that happen tend to be blessings in disguise. And with shame and damage comes wisdom. the conclusion of the destructiveness of our own actions is a chance to become more cautious and more empathetic, which prevents us from more misery within the future.
“When you lose, don’t lose the lesson,” the lama stated. Also, what seem bad decisions now, could turn out to be great decisions within the future, because the future will always remain mysterious, and will unfold in ways we will never truly predict.
When facing the planet alone sort of a ronin, resentment is usually around the corner. Being an outcast often means not having what other people have, especially when it involves material things and social connections. For a ronin it even meant being without a home, drifting across the lands, and not belonging anywhere.
So, it’s easy to become envious of those who have what you don’t have. With envy, we could study couples when were single, at the rich when we’re poor, at popular people after we, ourselves, are met with contempt. It’s pain, supported a desire of wanting things to show a discrepancy then they’re, of wanting what people have but, for a few reasons, we don’t have. once we walk alone, it’s unwise to burden ourselves with such feelings of resentment, as they’ll only harm ourselves. the sole thing we’ve got authority over is our own faculty; all energy we spend on bitterly comparing ourselves to other people is wasted.
Ronins are at an advantage specializing in their own actions and walking with blinders on if necessary. These were the primary principles from Miyamoto Musashi’s Dokkōdō.