Original raku art by David Dakan Allison
22 Life Rules
1. Always regain vigilance, even after victory. A foe can easily strike you down while your arm is raised in triumph.
2. Do not ignore the ever creeping presence of death. Embrace the notion, become familiar with it, you can not assume the end is somewhere far down the road.
3. Use this harsh reminder to live intently in the present moment. Ensure every second permeates with meaning and purpose.
4. Exist to serve others.
5. Make decisions within seven breaths. Over deliberation weakens judgment.
6. A samurai lives with a single minded purpose. Each day must be focused towards a lifelong task. Purify yourself of the non-essential and concentrate your entire being on a worthy cause.
7. Work to surpass others. Do not settle to be amongst great warriors, seek to be the best.
8. To follow “The Way” is to recognize your own imperfections and to go about fixing them until your death.
9. The three virtues of a good samurai are wisdom, courage and compassion.
10. Feel you are putting forth more effort than is needed, then you will be doing just the right amount.
11. Preparation is vital for your efficacy in battle. It enables you to make good decisions with rapidness. A truly deadly trait.
12. Wisdom comes from conversing with others. Do not be afraid to accept rough criticism. A good teacher reveals the faults you are unable to see.
13. Cultivate a burning, unrelenting desire to realize “The Way,.” Samurai have been known to pray with tears of blood wishing for their actualization.
14. Repeatedly enquire, “how can I develop myself?”
15. Foster a calm inner strength.
16. In times of hardship be the person people can turn to. Reliability is the mark of a legendary samurai.
17. A samurai cannot reach the heights of greatness unless they have had seven major failures.
18. Rise at four, wash, eat at dawn and retire at dusk.
19. Once the task has been set, surrender yourself wholeheartedly to its completion. Act without hesitation or fear of consequences.
20. Taking the actions necessary to become a sage means you already are acting like a sage.
21. A samurai is not discouraged by unfavorable odds.
22. If you believe your valor is beyond compare and that your skills cannot be matched then this will give you the confidence needed to be the best.