Yojokun: Life Lessons from a Samurai


The sages did not treat those who were already ill; they treated those who were not yet ill. They did not regulate that which was already in chaos; they regulated that which was not yet in disorder. LISTEN, THIS IS WHAT HEALTH AND BALANCE IS ALL ABOUT.

Move about as often as possible or practical.

The everyday mind, this is the Way.

Avoid overexposure to things that can damage your body:

1. inner desires

2. negative external influences

Seek pleasure in your mind alone, and use external nourishment like food and drink lightly.

All evil stems from doing whatever you like vis-a-vis your desires.

Self-control and overindulging. The foundations of good and evil.

Not to develop self-control over your desires is an error on your part.

In protecting your health, one single word rules supreme: RESPECT.

The mind is the master of the body. You must make this master PEACEFUL AND CALM.

The body is the servant of the mind. You must make is MOVE AND WORK.

The educated gentleman's activities are focused on the root rather than the branches.

Different people have different vocations. They polish a vocation and add technique to their Way. For all vocations there are techniques in which you should become well versed. If you do not master the techniques, you will be unable to perform the tasks at hand. Even among the most trivial and humble accomplishments, if you do not have a command of the techniques, you will be incapable of the task.

The common practice for learning a technique is to SEEK OUT A TEACHER, receive the teacher's instructions, and learn the proper techniques.

Events fall into two categories, the usual and the unusual. During the usual course of things, you behave as usual. Unusual arises, put the unusual into play.

Become a person of few words.

Collosal misfortunes occur from being unable to endure the moment.

Your persevere, then bear it with pleasure.

You must single-mindedly commit yourself to being victorious BEFORE the battle occurs.

There's nothing better for nurturing your body than cutting down on your desires.

The body should exert itself. It should not take too much rest.

Throughout a single day, be circumspect of that day alone. In this way your life will be long, and in the end you will suffer no disasters.

If you have patience, you are certain to have results.

A person with spirit in his eyes will live long.

If you make a mistake, bring yourself to account once, but do not grieve over that mistake a second time.

For the most part, both good and bad arise from habits.

When people today damage their lives by letting their desires run rampant, they are cutting their own throats. Theirs may be a slow deterioration rather than a quick death, but it is DEATH BY THEIR OWN HAND nonetheless.

Do not seek or await perfect beauty; find a little pleasure in what is already there.

You should not talk of things of no use.

You should not remain seated for long periods of time.

The secret is in the single word DECREASE. Decrease your desires.

Nurture your essence.

Breath should always be slow and drawn deeply into the tan'tien. This should not be done quickly.

Keep the mind calm and the body moving.

Soups are the very best.

Even if you are at a banquet given by another man, you should not eat food that does not appeal to you.

We are born with many desires, so when you reach the point where you think you have restrained yourself too much, that should be just about right.

What you practice for a long time will become part of your character. What becomes a habit is difficult to mend, even over an entire lifetime.

If you find nothing lacking, then what you have at present should be sufficient.

Better to get up late in the cold months and early during the hot months.

When you have nothing essential to do, keep your eyes closed. (after age of 40)

Always keep disease in mind.

Taking good medicine once you've become ill,

does not equal taking care of yourself beforehand.

A moment of extreme comfort, disaster in the end.

To be mindful of the end, be mindful at the beginning.

When a person's hand and feet weaken, become numb, and lose sensation, he can be likened to a rotten tree that has lost his true integrity. (Move your dna hand weakness and walking/manipulating on different surfaces.)

To study an art, you should make scholarship your foundation. If you do not, your technique may mature but the principles behind them will remain murky and your art will remain at a low level.


There's no one who has understood the Way who has not studied extensively.

If you control your internal desires, protect yourself from the negative external influences, are mindful of your daily activities, and move or rest at the appropriate times, you should be able to preserve the years given to you at birth.

Wise old man quotes:

You should be able to understand everything from this example.

All things should be just like this.

People with many desires but no mindfulness are unable to use this method.

If you do this every morning, it will become a habit after a while and you will be able to perform it without difficulty.

This is an excellent method.

Physical + mental + spiritual.