Or The Way of Self-Reliance (Dokkōdō).
I’ve started listening William Scott Wilson’s translation of Miyamoto Musashi’s The Book of Five Rings on Audible. As something of a budding Japanophile, and a person long into all things history, the study of The Way and Samurai culture rings true to my soul as a monk’s bell meditatively struck in morning. In the forward, Wilson translates the final lesson handed down from Mushashi to his disciples: 21 precepts outlining The Way of Walking Alone. The teachings of Japan’s sword-saint are open to us all, and I thought I’d share a bit here.
- Do not turn your back on the various Ways of this world.
- Do not scheme for physical pleasure.
- Do not intend to rely on anything.
- Consider yourself lightly; consider the world deeply.
- Do not ever think in acquisitive terms.
- Do not regret things about your own personal life.
- Do not envy another’s good or evil.
- Do not lament parting on any road whatsoever.
- Do not complain or feel bitterly about yourself or others.
- Have no heart for approaching the path of love.
- Do not have preferences.
- Do not harbor hopes for your own personal home.
- Do not have a liking for delicious food for yourself.
- Do not carry antiques handed down from generation to generation.
- Do not fast so that it affects you physically.
- While it’s different with military equipment, do not be fond of material things.
- While on the Way, do not begrudge death.
- Do not be intent on possessing valuables or a fief in old age.
- Respect the gods and Buddhas, but do not depend on them.
- Though you give up your life, do not give up your honor.
- Never depart from the Way of the Martial Arts.
Second Day of the Fifth Month, Second Year of Shoho 
Shout-out to Digital Dao for providing the online text as I did not transcribe this from the audio text.
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