Hagakure, Happiness and Yada Yada…

I’ve recently been discussing my friend’s upbeat mood and outlook in the face of recent adversity. One of the nice things about our friendship is that while we can be apart on how we philosophize about the world as it is, and as it may be, we still get along famously. (At least, I believe we get along famously, he’s always welcome to disagree.)

One book that I like to return to time and again for different insights is Hagakure – The Book of the Samurai. Or, for the cheapskates in my audience (.PDF).
I was trying to discover what Yamamoto has to say about happiness, and found that it would be fodder for two or three more blog posts, but for now the quote that jumped out at me was:

“At times of great trouble or disaster, one word will suffice. At times of happiness, too, one word will be enough. And when meeting or talking with others, one word will do. One should think well and then speak. This is clear and firm, and one should learn it with no doubts. It is a matter of putting forth one’s whole effort and having the correct attitude previously. This is very difficult to explain but is something that everyone should work on in his heart. If a person has not learned this in his heart, it is not likely that he will understand it.”

I just wish I had this to help pad out my yada yada posting of awhile back.
I also wish I were better able to put this into practise. I’m sure people who know me know that I tend to talk too much, especially when I’m nervous, or when I’m too relaxed. It’s caused me no end of head and heartache, realizing that sometimes I’ve made a terrible faux pas or been too blunt and forward, when I had no intention of causing hurt feelings. Luckily it seems most people can see through my big mouth and realize that there is a sincerely caring person beyond that.
As with simplifying my written word, I am also going to continue trying to simplify my spoken word. Please help me out by telling me when I’ve said, or typed, too much.

1 thought on “Hagakure, Happiness and Yada Yada…”

  1. I've been reading "Advice from a spiritual friend", which was lent to me several years ago by a good friend. I'm disappointed that I hadn't picked it up until now, but positive about what I can learn from it. I'm determined to make changes in my life, and hope that those changes positively affect those around me.


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