Summary: After a recent trip to Japan I had an epiphany about how inspiring some traditions are. I’ve visited various temples and I’ve also learned about the famous discipline of samurais. I collected some interesting comparisons to our everyday lives and in this post, I help you to understand how we can still apply those ancient habits to today. Of course for the reason of improving our lives…
The essence of discipline
A Samurai always practices self-discipline despite the circumstances. He is expected to manage and maintain a high level of discipline under intense pressure. Although we don’t train to participate in physical fights on a regular basis, our everyday life contains enough situations where strength, commitment, and a high amount of discipline is not only useful but required. Discipline is still crucial and necessary in many aspects of our lives, be it work, family life, or sports. It certainly helps to improve the quality of life, as well as ensure success and a sense of stability.
Always have a backup plan!
Katana, a long and sharp main weapon that was so important to them, that they considered it to reflect their bare soul. The Wakizashi, a much smaller sword was an accompanying sword to the Katana.
In situations when they had to leave their Katana at the door, they still retained their Wakizashi for extra safety. So much so, that it never left their side, even while asleep. This smaller sword was used as their backup weapon in the unlikely event that of a misplaced Katana. The advice here is that we should carry and emulate the same principle into our modern life. In other words, always have a backup plan.
Progress is a long-term commitment
The Samurai were always under a constant state of improvement. They were continuously trying to perfect their art and they understood the importance of constant effort. In this case, their efforts went towards studying and training in one’s art relentlessly and without yielding. Most of us have objectives and goals that we’d like to reach. Yet, we aren’t willing to put in the study time and effort that is going to get us there. Furthermore, once we attain certain goals, we tend to get comfortable. To learn from the samurai, we ought to keep on striving towards the best version of ourselves.
How to work towards continuous improvement?
It is essentially making the correct judgment or procedure for the purpose of righteousness or morality. We need to be aware of when it is the right time do to something. If it is not the right time or situation, we should restrain ourselves and not act upon it.
2. Act of courage
This is a virtue that would be dictated by the worthiness of the cause. In the cause of righteousness or what is good, the act would be deemed as courageous. However, for an unworthy cause, it would be termed as a dog’s death. It takes true courage to do what is expected of you, despite the circumstances.
Benevolence portrays a sense of compassion, thoughtfulness, love, and integrity. These qualities are often termed as the main attributes of a living soul. Benevolence can overcome anything that may stand in its way.
This virtue is again dictated as good or bad by the reason behind our politeness. If our act of politeness is brought about by our compassion towards others, it is worthy. However, if it is brought about by the fear of offense, it is deemed unworthy. Politeness is more like a form of love; it reveals the love we have for others.
In other words, truthfulness. Among the samurai, lying was an act of cowardice. Moreover, it was considered disgraceful. Every samurai was expected to stand by his word and was always counted as reliable. Hence, there was no need for oaths. Even in the case of respectability and decency, you are expected to not overdo it, lest it becomes a lie.
A vivid awareness of personal self-worth is inherent in the term honor. Dishonor, on the other hand, is like a scar that is left open for everyone to see. And instead of it fading away over time, it grows and is more obvious.
Only in the instance of chivalrous honor does loyalty take up importance. In the struggle between loyalty and love, the code never falters from the choice of loyalty. A samurai was always expected to demonstrate the sincerity of his words by laying down his life. A pure act of succumbing to the conscience of what is right.
These expectations might come with an ancient past, however, today can be applied just as they did back then. Learn from the true meaning of discipline and strive for finding and maintaining your best self. We are here to help, The Templars continuously strive to improve life quality by healthy food and exercise options as well as supporting the healthy mind and soul.