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The Unfettered Mind by Takuan Soho, William Scott Wilson (Translator)

The Unfettered Mind: Writings of the Zen Master to the Sword Master by Takuan Soho - buy online, download free pages More Info | Buy the Book
The Unfettered Mind: Writings of the Zen Master to the Sword Master by Takuan Soho: download free pages

The Japan Times

-"All of the essays aim at helping the individual know himself and in helping him to embrace the art of life."

About this book

So succinct are the author's insights that these writings have outlasted the dissolution of the samurai class to come down to the present and be read for guidance and inspiration by the captains of business and industry, as well as those devoted to the practice of the martial arts in their modern form.

From Thejapanpage.com

An excerpt "State of mind" from "The Unfettered Mind" by Tokuan Soho

We say that:

If one puts his mind in the action of his opponent 's body, his mind will be taken by the action of his opponent body.

If he puts his mind in thoughts of his opponent's intention to strike him, his mind will be taken by thoughts of his opponent's intention to strike him.

If he puts his mind in his own sword, his mind will be taken by his own sword.

If he puts his mind in his own intention of not been struck, his mind will be taken by his intention of not being struck.

What this means is that there is no place to put the mind.

A certain person once said," No matter where I put my mind, my intentions are held in check in the place where my mind goes, and I lose to my opponent. Because of that, I place my mind just below my navel and do not let it wander. Thus am I able to change according to the actions of my opponent."

This is reasonable. But viewed from the highest standpoint of Buddhism, this is a low level of understanding. It is at a level of discipline and training. It is at the level of seriousness. You will have no ability to move ahead and will be unfree.

In what part of my body than should I put my mind?

If you put it in your right hand, it will be taken by the right hand and your body will lack its functioning. If you put it in the eye it will be taken by the eye, and the body will lack its functioning. No matter where you put it, if you put the mind in one place, the rest of your body will lack its functioning.

Well, then, where does one put his mind?

I answered, "If you don't put it anywhere, it will go to all parts of your body and extend throughout its entirety. In this way, when it enters your hand, it will realize the hand's function. When it enters your foot, it will realize the foot's function. If one thinks, he will be taken by his thoughts. Because this is so, leave aside thoughts and discrimination, throw the mind away from the entire body do not stop it here and there, and when it does visit these various places, it will realize function and act without error."

The effort not to stop the body in just one place-this is discipline. Not stopping the mind is object and essence. Put nowhere, it will be everywhere.

--Tokuan Soho, The Unfettered Mind

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