The way of the warrior and the way to enlightenment

bushido_med

I found this side by side view of the Bushido Code and the Buddhist Eight Fold Path to be fascinating. One is the ethical rules for the samurai warrior. The other is the path of enlightenment passed down to Buddhist monks from the Buddha.

Each person’s life path, calling, is different. In many guides, be it the Bushido Code, Eight Fold Path, and 10 Commandments there is are common threads. If you are a warrior following the Bushido code are you less than a Catholic following the 10 Commandments? How about a Buddhist Monk? Is it even the place for us to decide?

We are all a spark of the Universal Source with a path to be who we are and follow our calling in this life to it’s fullest. “To conquer others is to have power. To conquer yourself is to know THE WAY.”

“THE WAY” is a path. It is the journey you take through life to awareness, enlightenment, and ascension.

Here bellow are two different, yet similar, “WAYS” to know yourself and the path.

BUSHIDO CODE

1. Righteousness / Justice

Be acutely honest throughout your dealings with all people. Believe in justice, not from other people, but from yourself. To the true warrior, all points of view are deeply considered regarding honesty, justice and integrity. Warriors make a full commitment to their decisions.

2. Heroic Courage / Fearlessness

Hiding like a turtle in a shell is not living at all. A true warrior must have heroic courage. It is absolutely risky. It is living life completely, fully and wonderfully. Heroic courage is not blind. It is intelligent and strong.

3. Benevolence, Compassion

Through intense training and hard work the true warrior becomes quick and strong. They are not as most people. They develop a power that must be used for good. They have compassion. They help their fellow men at every opportunity. If an opportunity does not arise, they go out of their way to find one.

4. Respect

True warriors have no reason to be cruel. They do not need to prove their strength. Warriors are not only respected for their strength in battle, but also by their dealings with others. The true strength of a warrior becomes apparent during difficult times.

5. Integrity

When warriors say that they will perform an action, it is as good as done. Nothing will stop them from completing what they say they will do. They do not have to ‘give their word’. They do not have to ‘promise’. Speaking and doing are the same action.

6. HonorĀ 

Warriors have only one judge of honor and character, and this is themselves. Decisions they make and how these decisions are carried out are a reflection of whom they truly are. You cannot hide from yourself.

7. Duty and Loyalty

Warriors are responsible for everything that they have done and everything that they have said, and all of the consequences that follow. They are immensely loyal to all of those in their care. To everyone that they are responsible for, they remain fiercely true.

8. Self-Control
With self-control regarding emotions, we will not be vanquished by inner demons of anger, jealousy, lust, grief, fear, despondence or greed. Therefore, we will not wound people with words or by sword that we might later regret. We will be able to respond in each and every circumstance instead of knee jerk reaction. There is clarity in control.

Proverbs 25: 28 tells us this:

He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

Buddhist Eight Fold Path

1. The Right View

By right view, Buddha means seeing things in the right perspective. Seeing things as they really are, without any false illusions or pretenses. He wanted his followers to see and to understand the transient nature of worldly ideas and possessions and to understand that they can attain salvation only if they practiced the right karma.

2. The Right Thought

Buddha says that we are what we are because of what we think. What goes on inside our minds (our thought process) determines our course of action. It is, therefore, necessary to follow the path of Right thought or Right Intention. To have the Right Intention or the Right Thought, a person should be aware of his purpose or role in life.

3. The Right Speech

Buddha asks his followers to speak truth, to avoid slander and malicious gossip and to refrain from abusive language. Harsh words that can cause distress or offend others should also be avoided while also staying clear of mindless idle chatter which lacks any depth.

4. The Right Action

Behaving peacefully and harmoniously; Right action, according to Buddha, lies in adherence to the following guidelines:

– Staying in harmony with fellow human beings
– Behaving peacefully
– Not stealing
– Not killing anyone
– Avoiding overindulgence in sensual pleasure
– Abstaining from sexual misconduct
– Not indulging in fraudulent practices, deceitfulness and robbery

5. The Right Livelihood

By laying down this guideline, Buddha advises his followers to earn their bread and butter righteously, without resorting to illegal and nefarious activities. He does not expect his followers to exploit other human beings or animals or to trade in weapons or intoxicants.

6. The Right Effort

Buddha believed that human nature imposes undue restrictions on the mind at times, causing a person to harbor ill thoughts. So we have to train our mind to think in the right direction if we wish to become better human beings. Once we gain control over our thoughts and replace the unpleasant ones with positive ones, we shall be moving in the right direction.

7. The Right Mindfulness

The Right Mindfulness, together with the Right Concentration, forms the basis of Buddhist meditation. By proposing this, Buddha suggests his followers to focus mentally on their emotions, mental faculties, and capabilities while staying away from worldly desires and other distractions.

It refers to the ability of the mind to see things as they are without being led astray by greed, avarice, anger and ignorance.

8. The Right Concentration

This eighth principle laid down by Buddha is fundamental for proper meditation. Zazen (or, Zen meditation) is the only way to reach the right concentration of Zen. Needless to add, this is the most vital of all the aspects stated in the Noble Eightfold path since, without proper meditation, an individual cannot move on to a higher level of well-being.

Lao Ma Quotes

One comment

  1. I love the comparison chart! I have practiced Zen meditation in the past as well as Buddhist teachings but I very much relate to the Bushido Code.

    Liked by 2 people

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