Quotes by: Yamamoto Tsunetomo
||June 11, 1659
||November 30, 1719
There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment. A man's whole life is a 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.
Nothing is impossible in this world. Firm determination, it is said, can move heaven and earth. Things appear far beyond one's power, because one cannot set his heart on any arduous project due to want of strong will.
When confronted with two alternatives, life and death, one is to choose death without hesitation.
One's appearance bespeaks dignity corresponding to the depth of his character. One's concentrated effort, serene attitude, taciturn air, courteous disposition, thoroughly polite bearing, gritted teeth with a piercing look - each of these reveals dignity. Such outward appearance, in short, comes from constant attentiveness and seriousness.
When meeting difficult situations, one should dash forward bravely and with joy.
Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day one should meditate on being carried away by surging waves, falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease.
Whether people be of high or low birth, rich or poor, old or young, enlightened or confused, they are all alike in that they will one day die.
Death seems to be a long way off. Is this not shallow thinking? It is worthless and is only a joke within a dream. It will not do to think in such a way and be negligent. Insofar as death is always at one's door, one should make sufficient effort and act quickly.
Human life is truly a short affair. It is better to live doing the things that you like.
Every day without fail one should consider himself as dead. There is a saying of the elders that goes, 'Step from under the eaves and you're a dead man. Leave the gate and the enemy is waiting.' This is not a matter of being careful. It is to consider oneself as dead beforehand.
One must know the so-called 'lesson of a downpour.' A man, caught in a sudden rain en route, dashes along the road not to get wet or drenched. Once one takes it for granted that in rain he naturally gets wet, he can be in a tranquil frame of mind even when soaked to the skin. This lesson applies to everything.
All of us want to live, and that is absolutely natural. However, we should learn from childhood on to choose our best way to die. If we don't do that, we end up spending our days like a dog, only in search of harbour, food and expressing a blind loyalty to his owner in return. That isn't enough to make our lives have a meaning.