Sunday, October 23, 2011

[WoD] Zen Moment

I've recently started to read Miyamoto Musashi's A Book of Five Rings. A lot of the ideas discussed in the book deal with fighting and warriors. Musashi was in medieval Japan's samurai class after all. But after some pondering, I came to realize that many of the topics he discusses can be applied to fighting distraction as well. Take this excerpt for example:
The Way of battles is the same for man to man fights and for ten thousand a side battles. You must appreciate that spirit can become big or small. What is big is easy to perceive: what is small is difficult to perceive. In short, it is difficult for large numbers of men to change position, so their movements can be easily predicted. An individual can easily change his mind, so his movements are difficult to predict.
 Distractions can come in big and small packages as well. And the large packages are most often a lot easier to handle than the smaller ones. It's the smaller distractions that often catch us by surprise because we just can't predict them. For me, one of those distractions is surfing online. I really should set up a timed system so I only allow myself around ten to fifteen minutes at a time. If I do much longer, I'm afraid that I'll just get carried away and just keep surfing. That could easily add up to an hour wasted.
And then look at this excerpt. This one should give you some hope in the war against distractions:

If you master the principles of sword-fencing, when you freely beat one man, you you beat any man in the world. The spirit of defeating a man is the same for ten million men. The strategist makes small things into big things, like building a great Buddha from a one foot model.  I cannot write in detail how this is done. The principle of strategy is having one thing, to know ten thousand things.
The way I've interpreted it, it says "If you master the principles of fighting distractions, when you freely beat one distraction, you can beat any distraction in the world." Once you start winning over distractions, let that only inspire you to keep doing it, and to do it with even more heart. You've done it once! You can most certainly do it again. Keep your spirits high.

I want to leave you with one final thing before I head out tonight. Musashi wrote, "The principle of strategy is having one thing, to know ten thousand things." How are you using one strategy to know ten thousand things? Are you going to use it in your writing, having one idea to feed ten thousand words into your novel? That's what I'm hoping to do with it. But the one thing can be anything. The possibilities are endless. Just try to find the one thing that allows to to find much, much more.

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