Tuesday, June 15, 2010
From Hagakure of Yamamoto Tsunetomo:
There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment. A man's whole life is the succession of moment after moment. If one fully understands the present moment, there will be nothing else to do, and nothing else to pursue. Live being true to the single purpose of the moment.
Everyone lets the present moment slip by, then looks for it as if he thought it were somewhere else. No one seems to have noticed this fact. But grasping this firmly, one must pile experience on experience. And once one has come to this understanding, he will be a different person from that point on, though he may not always bear it in mind.
When one understands this settling into single-mindedness well, his affairs will thin out. Loyalty is also contained within this single-mindedness.
It seems to me that almost every sentence in this passage is worthy of a separate meditation. Does anyone want to try one and see where it leads them . . . I'll go first in comments . . .
Art Work and Credits:
Hagakure by Yamamoto Tsunetomo, p. 74. Trans. William Scott Wilson. Kodansha Press. Available.
ToshidoYoshi, "Cherry Blossoms" (1970). A ukiyo-e or wood block print, frequently presenting "the floating world" but has other genres.
Toshikato Mizuno, "Samurai with Long Bow" (c. 1900). A kuchi-e or frontispiece to a magazine.