What can we learn from the Samurai way of life?
Who were the Samurai?
The Samurai was a warrior class in Japan (Age of the Samurai: 1185-1868) known for their discipline, honour, and commitment to self-improvement. So, no wonder we find them interesting.
While the Samurai way of life may seem distant from modern society, there are still valuable lessons that we can learn from them and apply to our own lives.
One of their practices was to keep death in mind at all times, as a way of living each day to the fullest and living with purpose. They believed that this practice helped them to focus on what was truly important and to let go of petty distractions and concerns.
This concept, also coined memento mori by the Stoics, emphasises the importance of living in the present moment and making the most of our time on earth.
Main Samurai modern applications
- Live in the present moment: By keeping death in mind, we can focus on living in the present moment even appreciating its faults. This can help us to be grateful for the things we have and to make the most of our time on earth.
- Set goals and priorities: By reminding ourselves of our own mortality, we can better understand what is truly important to us and set goals and priorities accordingly not letting life pass us by.
- Let go of petty distractions: By keeping death in mind, we can let go of petty distractions and concerns and focus on what truly matters in life.
- Appreciate the people and things in your life: By reminding ourselves of our own mortality, we can better appreciate the people and things in our lives and make the most of our time with them.
Having a healthy relationship with death and the present moment.
In ancient times it was common to keep death front of mind as a tool to connect to the present moment. It can be a valuable practice for anyone looking to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life. Just think, this could be the last time you do this, I'm sure even the mundane and unpleasant will feel different. Having a healthy mindset around death, we can use it as a motivator pushing us towards the good life, to better understand what is truly important to us and make the most of our time on earth.