This arrived from an old friend in response to yesterday's post "If Wishes Were Fishes" and I find myself already practicing most of these. However, being French and a child of New Orleans, #13 isn't one.
The "Dokkōdō" "The Way of Walking Alone" is a short work consists of either nineteen or twenty one precepts. "Dokkodo" expresses a stringent, honest, and ascetic view of life:
- Accept everything just the way it is.
- Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
- Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
- Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
- Be detached from desire your whole life.
- Do not regret what you have done.
- Never be jealous.
- Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
- Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
- Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
- In all things, have no preferences.
- Be indifferent to where you live.
- Do not pursue the taste of good food.
- Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
- Do not act following customary beliefs.
- Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
- Do not fear death.
- Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
- Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
- You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.
- Never stray from the way.
This reminds me of a speech from Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" that goes something like this:
"We think too much and feel too little.
More than machinery we need humanity.
More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.
Without these qualities life will be violent and all will be lost."
I used to save (horde?) everything, but now I can cheer number 14. The precepts offer opportunities for thought and meditation. Perhaps take my mind off other, more overwhelming things on this rainy, otherwise miserable day. Then again, maybe not.
All this and my card of the day (see the right side bar) just happens to be number 13 of the Major Arcana - DEATH! It doesn't necessarily mean what you think it does.
I am not ready for my close-up yet, Mr. DeMille.