“Dokkōdō” (独行道), also known as “The Path of Aloneness”, “The Way of Walking Alone”, or “The Way to be Followed Alone,” is a short work written by Miyamoto Musashi roughly a week before his death in 1645 Japan.

The text consists of 21 rules for life and is essentially a guide to his views on life and personal philosophy.

These rules not only echo the values of the time, they also show a remarkable relevance to our world today. While some of them might be a little extreme for most people, there are a few that have universal appeal regarding self-control, focus, and purpose.

Unlike “The Book of Five Rings,” which focuses more on martial strategy and swordsmanship, “Dokkōdō” is an expression of Musashi’s deeper beliefs on how to live a good life.

Miyamoto Musashi, a Ronin, lived in Japan from 1584 to 1645. He is considered one of the most famous swordsman in history, holding a duelling record of 61-0.

He wasn’t just an excellent swordsman, he was also a teacher, writer, and philosopher. His book, The Book of Five Rings, is still printed and read to this day and is filled with useful quotes for daily life.

Musashi’s philosophy is one of self-reliance, inner calm, acceptance, and discipline. His work is read all over the world to help people develop mental strength and the qualities needed for a resilient and happy life.

Dokkodo: The Path of Aloneness

1. Accept everything just the way it is.

2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.

3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.

4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.

5. Be detached from desire life long.

6. Do not regret what you have done.

7. Never be jealous.

8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.

9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.

10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.

11. In all things have no preferences.

12. Be indifferent to where you live.

13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.

14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.

15. Do not act following customary beliefs.

16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.

17. Do not fear death.

18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.

19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.

20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honor.

21. Never stray from the Way.

Miyamoto Musashi Quotes:

“There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.”

“Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is. And you must bend to its power or live a lie.”

“Aspire to be like Mt. Fuji, with such a broad and solid foundation that the strongest earthquake cannot move you, and so tall that the greatest enterprises of common men seem insignificant from your lofty perspective. With your mind as high as Mt Fuji you can see all things clearly. And you can see all the forces that shape events; not just the things happening near to you.”

“You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain”

“It is difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet”

“Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.”

“The true science of martial arts means practising them in such a way that they will be useful at any time, and to teach them in such a way that they will be useful in all things.”

“Both in fighting and in everyday life you should be determined though calm. Meet the situation without tenseness yet not recklessly, your spirit settled yet unbiased. Even when your spirit is calm do not let your body relax, and when your body is relaxed do not let your spirit slacken. Do not let your spirit be influenced by your body, or your body be influenced by your spirit.”

“A man cannot understand the art he is studying if he only looks for the end result without taking the time to delve deeply into the reasoning of the study.”

“Do nothing which is of no use.”

“Study strategy over the years and achieve the spirit of the warrior. Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.”

“Generally speaking, the Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death.”

“Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye.”

“Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.”

These are our favourite quotes from Miyamoto Musashi, hopefully you found something valuable here too.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How is “Dokkōdō” relevant today?

A: “Dokkōdō’s” principles of self-reliance, discipline, and detachment from materialism are highly relevant in today’s fast-paced and often materialistically driven society.

Q: Can “Dokkōdō” be applied in business or leadership?

A: Yes, its emphasis on discipline, honesty, and not being swayed by transient emotions can be valuable in leadership and business ethics.

Q: Is “Dokkōdō” a religious or spiritual text?

A: While not religious, it has a spiritual dimension, focusing on inner peace and personal ethics.

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