A Buddhist Poem via an Anonymous Samurai.

Via Waylon Lewis
on May 26, 2012
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I have no parents:

I make the heavens and the earth my parents.

I have no home:

I make awareness my home.

I have no life or death:

I make the tides of breathing my life and death.

I have no divine power:

I make honesty my divine power:

I have no means:

I make understanding my means.

I have no magic secrets:

I make character my magic secret.

I have no body:

I make endurance my body.

I have no eyes:

I make the flash of lightning my eyes.

I have no ears:

I make sensibility my ears.

I have no limbs:

I make promptness my limbs.

I have no strategy:

I make “unshadowed by thought” my strategy.

I have no designs:

I make seizing opportunity by the forelock my design.

I have no miracles:

I make right action my miracles.

I have no principles:

I make adaptability to all circumstances my principles.

I have no tactics:

I make emptiness and fullness my tactics.

I have no talents:

I make ready with my talent.

I have no friends:

I make my mind my friend.

I have no enemy:

I make carelessness my enemy.

I have no armour:

I make benevolence and righteousness my armour.

I have no castle:

I make immovable mind my castle.

I have no sword:

I make absence of self my sword.


~ Anonymous Samurai

14th Century


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


10 Responses to “A Buddhist Poem via an Anonymous Samurai.”

  1. yogasamurai says:

    Not just a Samurai – a Ronin. Well done, Sir.

  2. […] below poem is offered in honor of this poem by an Anonymous […]

  3. Linda V. Lewis says:

    Oh but you do have a mommy! Me!
    Also in buddhist view, "child" is the recognition of innate "mother" luminosity.
    Love, Mom!

  4. Ang says:

    nice! thanks for sharing!

  5. Joanna says:

    Isn't this by Miyamoto Musashi?

  6. @Williamtheb says:

    That must have been some sword!

  7. Amy E says:

    Good creed by which to live life everyday. Super disciplined. Beautiful artwork!

  8. JohnH says:

    Disciplined yes, but is it humane? Grace is a natural flow of life energy through an organism requiring little or no discipline. As I read these words, I grieved for the loneliness of the author. Can one be so empty that the heart is no longer full?