In life, most people judge what to do by looking at outside standards often they simply do what other people are doing.

People who live in towns (in other words, most people) keep themselves upright by looking at the walls when they are indoors, and looking at the corners of the buildings when they are outside. They use these things to tell them what is vertical. This is proved by putting people in special rooms where the walls …

Read moreIn life, most people judge what to do by looking at outside standards often they simply do what other people are doing.

Everything changes; everything ends in Goodbye to all that

Like Japanese, French people do not like to say, “Goodbye”. Instead of “Adieu” (goodbye) they would rather say “Au revoir”, meaning roughly, “till we meet again”. The French have the famous saying: “To say ‘Goodbye’ is to die a little.” This became a song, popularized by Ella Fitzgerald, among others. That French expression is attractively …

Read moreEverything changes; everything ends in Goodbye to all that

The man who relies on certain tricks in life, may have success for a time, but it cannot last long.

One of the elements in more advanced stages of the Ways is, to develop ingenuity. Some of this can be done by the student himself. For instance, in judo he can try practising with one arm tucked inside his belt, so that he has only die other arm to fight with. This will sometimes give …

Read moreThe man who relies on certain tricks in life, may have success for a time, but it cannot last long.

Why do we do judo? The true answer is to train body and mind to act efficiently in life

EVEN EFFORT There has to be some effort in a judo technique, but Dr.Kano’s principle was to make that effort efficient. In his time there were still some flourishing jujutsu schools, though not as flourishing as they had been. He studied their methods, and found that a good many techniques relied on surprise and extra …

Read moreWhy do we do judo? The true answer is to train body and mind to act efficiently in life

The outer calm, which so impresses visitors to Japan, is part of an external gloss.

When I am asked how to tell the difference between Japanese and Chinese, I sometimes answer: ‘In general, Japanese are more self-controlled. They talk less excitedly, speak in lower tone, move their bodies less and do not use many gestures. They usually do not interrupt each other. They seem a rather placid people’. ‘But remember’, …

Read moreThe outer calm, which so impresses visitors to Japan, is part of an external gloss.

Let us shoot at each other. If you are the better archer, you will win’. The challenge was declined.

For over 10 years from 1952 at the 100-tatami London Budokwai, I ran a weekend class for black belts, who came from all over Britain every week to attend. There were about 60 of them, and they became the Judo teachers of the next generation. We held a kangeiko every year. An athletics coach once …

Read moreLet us shoot at each other. If you are the better archer, you will win’. The challenge was declined.

Ghost Lodgers are ideas, notions, beliefs, which we have once invited into our minds for a few minutes, but which then come to live with us.

A common bad habit in life is to take in ghost lodgers. What are ghost lodgers? They are ideas, notions, beliefs, which we have once invited into our minds for a few minutes, but which then come to live with us. Often we do not want to have these lodgers, but somehow they are there, …

Read moreGhost Lodgers are ideas, notions, beliefs, which we have once invited into our minds for a few minutes, but which then come to live with us.

One of the most important things in life is gentle persistence.

Both Japanese and British are keen gardeners. That means that we know how to observe nature, and how to co­operate with nature. It is like making now friends: we have to look carefully at their ways of thinking and feeling, and discover how to co-operate with them without hurting their feelings. They may also teach …

Read moreOne of the most important things in life is gentle persistence.

The principle of Ju, or Gentleness, or not using unnecessary force, was well-known in the Taoist texts of China.

The principle of Ju, or Gentleness, or not using unnecessary force, was well-known in the Taoist texts of China, but it was not a Way. That is to say, the technical excellence, though it showed the principle of Ju, was not thought of as a Way to learn that principle of Gentleness for life. For …

Read moreThe principle of Ju, or Gentleness, or not using unnecessary force, was well-known in the Taoist texts of China.

If the flint of the heart can be struck skilfully, it may produce a flash of inspiration

When steel is struck skilfully against a flint, a spark can be produced. If you have ever tried this, or seen it being done, you will know that you do not get a spark every time you strike the flint. But if you keep trying, you get some. If you want fire, you have to …

Read moreIf the flint of the heart can be struck skilfully, it may produce a flash of inspiration

After God-realization new actions will normally not be initiated.

It was expected, as a natural result of the Knowledge I am Brahman’, that the surviving body-mind complex would continue to move for a time under its own momentum. Śaṅkara gives the example of the arrow. In medieval times, a battlefield message could be sent by binding it round an arrow, which was then shot …

Read moreAfter God-realization new actions will normally not be initiated.

The soul of man is not, and cannot be satisfied with what is called self-interest

Some think only of themselves. Their health, prosperity, possessions, comforts and pleasures are their main concern. The pressure of the social instincts naturally implanted in man, make him think of his family, country and the instruments of his enjoyment called friends. All these instruments play one and the same tune, direct or indirect selfsatisfaction. Old …

Read moreThe soul of man is not, and cannot be satisfied with what is called self-interest

To learn something positive we need instruction, observation, inference and experience

Many years at Judo—first as a student and then as an honorary teacher in London—have given me some valuable lessons for life. I discovered that one can learn in four main ways—instruction, observation, inference and personal experience. My conclusion is that to know something thoroughly one must learn it in all these four ways. This …

Read moreTo learn something positive we need instruction, observation, inference and experience

Don’t use the priceless methods of spiritual training in order to gain some petty worldly advantage

Dr Shasrti used to quote verse 2 of the Gita. “Even a little of this Dharma relieves from anxiety”. Here the word dharma refers to the practice of karma yoga and the word translated here as anxiety is bhaya, fear.   But he said that little bits of yoga must not be practised merely for some …

Read moreDon’t use the priceless methods of spiritual training in order to gain some petty worldly advantage

Some of the Japanese masters of the sword were also highly skilled in other arts

Some of the Japanese masters of the sword were also highly skilled in other arts. There is a phrase: Life-giving Sword, Death-dealing Sword, and some incidents in their lives illustrate it. Kojuro was a young sword master, who was also a beautiful dancer. He was from a noble family, and on one occasion went on …

Read moreSome of the Japanese masters of the sword were also highly skilled in other arts

Zen masters are fond of drawing a big circle, to represent the perfection of the universal Buddha-nature

An English Judo man is sometimes asked to control someone who has got drunk. In Japan, to get drunk is not thought to be a great disgrace; people tend to treat the drunken man like a child. They try to calm him and get him to fall asleep. But in England generally, it is thought …

Read moreZen masters are fond of drawing a big circle, to represent the perfection of the universal Buddha-nature

The Budo spirit does not give us technique, but it gives us calm courage

This applies in many fields, including speaking a foreign language. Japanese students tend to learn correct grammar and many sentences by heart. But often they have no fluency. They have to prepare each sentence inwardly before they speak it. I have sometimes taught the Japanese language to British people, and I have been told that …

Read moreThe Budo spirit does not give us technique, but it gives us calm courage

Bullying is a problem all over the world, but the amount of it varies in different countries and at different times

Bullying is a problem all over the world, but the amount of it varies in different countries and at different times in their history. There are a few scientists who say that it is a fundamental natural instinct in herd animals; the very weak ones are attacked, and finally killed. So they do not live …

Read moreBullying is a problem all over the world, but the amount of it varies in different countries and at different times

Bhagavad Gita Chapter Fifteen is a summary presentation of the Gita teachings

XV is a summary presentation of the Gita teachings, as the chapter itself declares in the last verse.  It is also one of the shortest chapters, only twenty verses.   Anyone who seriously intends to practise the yoga of the Gita must learn some central part of it by heart, in order to get some inner …

Read moreBhagavad Gita Chapter Fifteen is a summary presentation of the Gita teachings

I have no strategy. I make kyojitsu, emptiness and fullness, my strategy

When I taught advanced Judo classes at the London Budokwai, I sometimes used a special training method, based on this Budo principle. About halfway I divided the class, usually of about 60, into two groups—A and B. Then I set them in pairs of roughly equal ability. I told the men in Group A: ‘Practise …

Read moreI have no strategy. I make kyojitsu, emptiness and fullness, my strategy

A part of the inner training of Budo is to overcome unconscious bonds

‘Boys, be ambitious!’ I came across these words recently. A British teacher working in Japan told me about these words, which he said has had a profound effect on Japanese youth. It made me wonder: ‘Have there been words spoken by Japanese which have had a deep effect on my own life?’ There have been …

Read moreA part of the inner training of Budo is to overcome unconscious bonds

Caste and Action in the Bhagavad Gita

“The action in accordance with one’s innate disposition, O son of Kunti, though accompanied with imperfections, One should not give up; For all undertakings are surrounded by imperfection, As afire with smoke.” This Gita text is addressed directly to the disciple Arjuna, whose mother was Queen Kunti of the Kshatriya or warrior caste. The previous …

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The future of Budo is something which must come from Japanese themselves

The future of Budo is something which must come from Japanese themselves. No foreigner can decide it for them; nor can any single Japanese decide it. It must come from the inner life of the Budo tradition. But sometimes the interest shown by foreigners can help to reawaken interest in Budo among Japanese themselves. Furthermore, …

Read moreThe future of Budo is something which must come from Japanese themselves

In the Vedanta psychology, the mind is recognised to function on two planes

In  the Vedanta psychology, the mind is recognised to function on two planes. On the emotional plane (called manas), in which it lives as a prey of passions and prejudices, it is relatively uncontrolled by the Self ; it dithers aimlessly ; like Shakespeare’s Rumour, it “is a pipe, blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures ”, …

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Dr Shastri’s translation of Panchadasi makes available to English readers a great Vedanta classic of the fourteenth century.

DR. SHASTRI’S translation of ” Panchadasi ” makes available to English readers a great Vedanta classic of the fourteenth century. The author, Vidyaranya, was a famous saint and savant of southern India, who successfully rallied the remnants of Hindu resistance against the destroying wave of Mohammedan conquest which had swept over India.    Only after successfully …

Read moreDr Shastri’s translation of Panchadasi makes available to English readers a great Vedanta classic of the fourteenth century.

There’s a traditional Japanese farce called Changing Zazen

There’s a traditional Japanese farce called Changing Zazen. Such farces are played between the serious Kabuki plays and are generally about some local lord, who’s always depicted as an absolute fool; it’s very democratic. Anyway, in this one, the local lord wants to go to the red light quarters, but he’s completely under the domi-nation …

Read moreThere’s a traditional Japanese farce called Changing Zazen