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If you are keen, you should have read every book on the shortlist by now. Why? Because your mind needs to open and change. The quickest way to change how you think is to change what you think about.
When Yang Cheng Fu spoke of using mind rather than force, he was not simply talking about intention. He was also talking about intelligence. Musashi said that you must know your tools thoroughly.
You need to know their strengths and weaknesses, their pliability and flexibility. Your mind is a tool.
How well do you know your mind?
A strong, flexible mind can adapt, change and improvise rapidly and smoothly. You can:
See and assess
Evaluate and decide
Act easily and appropriately
If your mind is not trained, it will let you down.
The books on the shortlist will alter your consciousness. Maybe not at first. But slowly, over time. You start to see the world in a different way. New possibilities, choices and options open up to you.
Your values, ideas, opinions and perceptions begin to shift.
Beyond the beginning
If you want to reach all the way to the master syllabus and beyond, your mind is in for one serious journey. Do not be intimidated by the reading.
Treat it lightly, but make a commitment to regular, sustained reading. Your knowledge and insight must extend beyond the narrow topics suggested by the titles on the shortlist.
You must see how Tao and Zen affect everything in our lives.
We strongly encourage you to buy and consider the books on the shortlist. These books are also worth reading:
In praise of shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki
Keep it simple by Nick Page
Moving towards stillness by Dave Lowry
Moving Zen by C W Nicol
The tai chi book by Robert Chuckrow
Wabi sabi: the Japanese art of impermanence by Andrew Juniper
Waking dragons by Goran Powell
Zen in the martial arts by Joe Hyams
There are countless other books available. Please feel free to purchase any that catch your interest.
What your daily life is, your society is.
Society is not different from you, from what you are, what you have been
- that is, the community in which you live.
Social disorder exists because you are disorderly in your own life.
Yet order cannot come about through intellectual organisation,
through a plan - we have tried all these things for thousands of years;
so many human beings have endeavoured to create a new society,
a new community, a new way of living, and they have all failed, and they will always fail,
because they build on a formula, on a concept, on an ideology.
18 April 1995
Last updated 13 December 2019