bonsaiThe Samurai Creedbonsai
The Sword of the Mind

Many years ago I practiced the martial arts and stepped into a world that,
up to then, my western mind had never known

I have only honor for the teacher
who taught me how to step into a much larger world

The Creed of the Samurai
is NOT just the code of a Warrior, its also a way of life
A way that bears investigation from a current day view,
and from a very Pagan perspective as you may see... :) at least IMHO

The Creed as I first learned of it, was a preface poem in a copy
of the Art of War by Sun Tzu, written some 2400 years ago.

The poem itself is attributed to an unknown Samurai in the 14th century. During this time period,
the way of Bushdio was codified, this poem is likely part of the attempt to write down, what had been largely unwritten.
My Sensei much admired the piece and taught us from its precepts.

And now that I've gotten all serious on you .. :) why is this here..?

Real simple ... no matter what you are doing
be it the Craft or a presentation in the boardroom,
the Sword One holds in the mind a tool to be reckoned with..
If one knows how to wield it

Samurai sword

...My Interpretation of the Creed of the Samurai...

I have no parents;
I make the Heavens and the Earth my parents

Now does this mean blow off the parental units ?


It means you are a child of the universe, one with
The universe , that all things are your parents,
your teachers and are to be given the same reverence

And be paid the same heed

I have no home; I make the Tan T'ien my home.

Tan Tein..the self.. there, and only there, are you at home
Home is not a place, as places change.
The home of the mind, the self, however is forever

No baggage matters, things are irrelevant,
The house of the mind is all that matters

It's up to us to decorate it well :)

I have no divine power;
I make honesty my Divine Power.

The power of truth, and being honest with the world
and all it represents. No self delusion, only reality
Naked before the Goddess, in mind , equals Divine grace

Only man lies, and he lies mostly to himself

I have no means; I make Docility my means.

To be docile is something we think of for cattle
What does this mean ?

It means one turns ones hand to whatever fate decrees
That full fills your needs and destiny

There is no need to seek fame or money
These things matter not..even penniless you can be rich

If fame and power, are to be yours they will be,
if there is a need for you to be so

But be docile and let it come

Do not waste your life trying to force it to be so
It may not be in your best interest to be so prominent

I have no Magic power;
I make personality my Magic Power.

Ah that ones pretty self explanatory now isn't it..?
Your personality is your power
Its the only magick you really possess

And it's all you really need.

I have neither Life nor Death;
I make A Um my Life and Death.

Ok what's a A Um? The never ending soul, that cannot die
Nor is it really reborn.
It merely has another body to inhabit
It is forever

So why fear death? Its a state from one incarnation
to the next, whats to Fear from a doorway ?

I have no body; I make Stoicism my Body.

The body is nothing, pain is nothing
But a perception in the mind
To the warrior to be stoic in the face of battle or pain
Was the highest regard

What it also means however,
Is that we are not flesh
We are attitude ... We are spirit

How we live is all that matters
Not the body that houses it

I have no eyes; I make The Flash of Lightning my eyes.

Do not trust your eyes, they will deceive you
As we see all through the eyes of our pre conceptions

The lightning flash sees all in an instant
There is no long look, no time to study
There is the gestalt glance
Where intuition tells you all you need to know..

If, you are willing to listen to it

I have no Ears; I make Sensibility my Ears.

Do not believe what you hear, just because you hear it
Weigh it with some sense, some reason, some logic,
words have no meaning until they are filtered
through a mind that thinks

I have no Limbs; I make Promptitude my Limbs.

The feet do not have be to told how to move when you dance
There is no later, there is only now so what are you waiting for ?
No moment will EVER be any moment but now

It is always now

I have no Laws; I make self-protection my Laws.

Make no rules, Make no promises , as they can all be broken
When the self is in danger, so why make arbitrary rules
That are not in the interest of the self
Which is who we all' work for

It is the only person we truly can work for

Does this mean be selfish ? ..NO.. it's just a fact

The Reality is that the only thing we can for certain do
Is protect the self from undue damage
So we may be fit for the tasks to help others, as they come

Which we cannot do, if we allow some Yahoo to drop kick us

I have no Strategy; I make the Right to Kill
and the Right to Restore Life my Strategy.

Every moment of your life is new, you can live well
Or you can destroy it

That is all

I have no Designs; I make
Seizing the Opportunity by the Forelock my Designs.

Making plans to do this or that
And be disappointed if they don't happen, is foolishness
As we have no control over the actions of fate, or others

Carpe deim, as it's been said in yet another time

Seize the day and live it well ,no matter what !

I have no Miracles; I make Righteous Laws my Miracle.

The Righteous laws are the laws of nature,
Which are the greatest miracles of all
The opening of a flower is a miracle
The fact you wake up everyday is a miracle

How much more wonder does the world have to have ?

I have no principles; I make Adaptability to all circumstances my Principle.

Being able to roll with the flow is the greatest gift of all
As life is unpredictable. One must be able to adapt to any Circumstance.
Make like a willow tree and bend in the wind and you will never be broken

To some this means being Un-principled,
because I do not stick to the plan or that ideal, no matter what..
even if the plan is a bust and the ideals unworkable, give it up
but lacking in principle for this ? Not so !

It means I accept the things I must Change
and do not waste my time with things I cannot change

And I try to be wise enough to know which is which

I have no Tactics;
I make Emptiness and Fullness my Tactics.

The way of Emptiness is the way of the beginning, where all Things are new,
where each step is a state of grace,
to be full is to realize this wonder that we knew as children
When all things were new and wonderful

We plan too much

We Live so far into tomorrow,
that we forget the here and now , is where life takes place

I have no Talent; I make Ready Wit my Talent.

We Strive to be talented and successful when all we really need is
A mind able to see and understand and we can know it all ,
And be it all, as we will learn as we go

Which is how we are doing it anyway

I have no friends; I make my Mind my Friend.

We live our lives dependent on others, for companionship, for Love, for happiness.
If we are to be happy, we must be happy
with the person with whom we already live

I have no Enemy; I make Incautiousness my Enemy.

The ill fated word, the wrong thing done in haste
These are the enemy
Things done without care, are our only downfall
If we have done our best, no more can be asked

Even from Ourselves

I have no Armor; I make Benevolence my Armor.

Armor.. who needs it, if we are harmless
We will come to no harm, standing naked before the wind
Offering harm to none, we are invincible

Does this mean we cannot be hurt? Of course not
It means we don't ask for it ! We don't offer to fight,
and most people wont fight with us because of that
No challenge I guess.. :)

Is this easy ? Not even, you feel very vulnerable the first time
You take off what you THINK is your armor. The fact is,
You are living under false pretense, as you are not really
Defended. Innocence and Wisdom are your only real defense

Not guilty, you are not punished, and wise you don't put yourself
In harms way to begin with, anything else is just fate
And therefore out of your hands

I have no Castle; I make Immovable Mind my Castle.

The greatest and only real place to hide when the winds howl
is The one place none can touch
Inside the 8 fold gate of the mind, there we are supreme
We are sancroset as none may know our thoughts and feelings

Unless we wish it

I have no Sword; I make No Mind my Sword.

The blank slate of the accepting mind
Is the most powerful tool one can own.
The mind that is ready and able to listen
To whatever words are spoken.
The mind that has no preconceived thoughts
To clutter up perception

Drop silk on the blade of a Samurai sword
and it will cut it in half without effort
but one fingerprint can damage the blade.
The smooth unsullied blade can cut through steel
as it is perfect.

The perfection of 0, of nothingness, Mushin the state of no mind, of pure potential
without seeking action, and is therefore ready for anything.

I hope you enjoyed my little sojourn
Into the mind of the Samurai
The Way of the Warrior
Blessed Be


Some graphics by
Diamondeve's Pagoda Inn