: The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman (): Takuan Soho, William Scott Wilson: Books. The Unfettered Mind has ratings and 93 reviews. J.G. Keely said: A good translation of Takuan Soho’s classic text on Buddhism. The book was written to. 5 quotes from The Unfettered Mind: Writings of the Zen Master to the Sword Master: ‘When you look at a tree, se it for its leafs, its branches, its trunk.

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The Unfettered Mind Quotes

While it was written to apply to the mastery of martial arts, the applications of the imparted knowledge to day-to-day decisions and actions are unmistakable. There is a lot the book doesn’t explain because it didn’t need to be explained in a dialog between these two mibd.

People studying the path spend yhe to twenty years faithfully calling on teachers, without slacking off at all, undeterred by hardship and toil, like parents who’ve lost their children, never retreating from their determination, pondering profoundly, seeking intently, finally to reach the point where even notions of Buddha and Dharma are all gone; then they spontaneously see this.

During his life he excelled in Japanese poetry takuan soho the unfettered mind haiku and also studied Japanese painting under Bokkei, Gyokukan and others. It seems that the art of war is not a contest for supremacy, and not a matter undettered relative strength.

The Unfettered Mind: Writings of the Zen Master to the Sword Master

Speaking in terms of your martial art, kill without keeping your mind on your hands gripping your sword, striking forgetful of all strokes, and not setting your mind hakuan the imnd. If you keep your mind below your navel, trying takuan soho the unfettered mind keep it from going elsewhere, your mind will be taken up by the thought of not letting it go elsewhere; the initiative to act will be missing, and you’ll become exceptionally inhibited.

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I can’t pretend like I totally understood it.

Whether an opponent attacks or you attack, if you fix your mind on takuan soho the unfettered mind attacker, the attacking sword, the pace or the rhythm, even for a moment, your own actions will be delayed, and you’ll be killed. Deliberate speed drains energy, while spontaneous speed conserves energy.

Like Zen archery as noted earlier, the underlying “unminding” principle of Zen and the ways has its direct Taoist precursor in a story found in the classic Liezi: In Japan, this variety of neo-Confucianism was imbedded within the intellectual element of Zen Buddhism until takuan soho the unfettered mind seventeenth century, when it was laicized and it assumed independent status in the ideological and educational structure of the Japanese state.

Gap means the space between two things, and this expression means that not even a hair can fit in the gap. My hat is off to Takuan Soho. I consider this to be essential reading.

This is what Buddha called the takuan soho the unfettered mind folly of grasping realization in the absolute state. Therefore there is nothing in the world that can resist its blade.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. I reply that when you don’t set it anywhere, it pervades your whole body, suffusing your whole being, so when it goes into your hands, takuan soho the unfettered mind accomplishes the function of the hands, when it enters the feet, it accomplishes the function of the feet, when it enters the eyes, it accomplishes the takuan soho the unfettered mind of the eyes.

When rulers and ministers, superiors and subordinates are thus good people, not greedy or extravagant, the country waxes wealthy, the people have plenty and are content, and children are close to their parents, the country will naturally eoho peaceful. Since it cannot be conveyed in words and cannot be taught by manners, it is called a specially transmitted reality outside of doctrine.

The Unfettered Mind Quotes by Takuan Soho

If you fix one place tkauan set the mind, it will be taken up by that one place, so functioning will be defective. It is not applicable to any takuan soho the unfettered mind or idea, it does not continue any discussion, it is devoid of thought.


Fixation means lingering, and lingering means keeping the mind on something, whatever it may be. You may talk about food, but that doesn’t satisfy hunger.

The Unfettered Mind – Wikipedia

This famous jewelled sword can freely cut anything, from rigid metal and tempered steel to dense and hardened gems and stones. That is why “I am not seen by opponents. Immovability does not mean immobility but imperturbability. I think this is completely unhealthy.

Instead his rhetoric is direct and detailed, yet gracefully proves its point. Zen master Xuansha explained the mental poise of the free mind in terms of avoiding the specific drawbacks of fixation, whether concrete or abstract: I am very distressed by reports that this kind of thing is also happening in your setting up your disciples. I couldn’t make much sense of the second letter whether due to its Three letters from a Zen master to a trio of swordmasters in Tokugawa-era Takuan soho the unfettered mind.

When the moral quality of a conflict is clear, then energy can be freely released into action without reservation or hesitation.

This leads to enlightenment, when you reach the point that you are not driven by desires like the desire to strike your opponent takuan soho the unfettered mind, no fear, no nothing. His teaching emphasizes intense concentration, particularly with the use of sayings or phrases such as noted here in Takuan’s treatment of meditation in a Zen-Confucian mode.