Whenever we visualize Samurai, it is often a picture of a cool and collected warrior, unswayed by emotion. But they were not emotionless warriors, rather warriors in complete control of their emotions.
One of the most famous samurai was Miyamoto Musashi, who wrote the martial arts handbook The Book of Five Rings, also compiled the Dokkōdō, a screed containing 21 precepts for samurai on how to live their lives.
Many of the precepts related to controlling or overcoming one’s emotions and desires, these however can be difficult to achieve practically.
The following ritual can help you step outside yourself for a moment to objectively judge your actions. Are you behaving in the way you would like others to see you? Or are you letting yourself be overcome by emotion?
By detaching from ourselves and trying to view our actions objectively, we can
remove ego from our thinking. This allows you to realize if you are letting your emotions control you.
Don’t act out of anger or fear. Take a moment to detach and instead act with
The key is practicing this detachment ritual regularly, so that you will build confidence and develop a habit that can be utilized when needed most. It is important that when practicing the methods in the rituals.
In this ritual, you will take a step out of your body and imagine watching yourself as a third party in a difficult situation. Then you will picture the confident, courageous version of yourself dealing with it, and finally step back into your body to tackle the challenge yourself.
Starting as you inhale and exhale, imagine that you are standing in a circle.
Imagine being in a situation where you might be afraid or need to act with courage.
Start with something simple and then work up from there, perhaps when introducing yourself at a social gathering.
Now, step out of the circle to the side, and look back to where you were standing.
You can see yourself as an objective observer, watching how you act in a scary situation.
Examine yourself as a scientist, picking apart your actions. Fold your arms in front of you and look at the situation objectively.
Visualize how you act in that situation when you’re afraid. What does it look like to an outside observer?
Now, using the same situation, see yourself acting with courage and confidence in confronting the issue. How does that look to a third party?
Compare how the version filled with fear acts compared to the version filled with courage. As an objective observer, which version is more likely to succeed?
Now ask yourself what was different between the two situations. The scenario is exactly the same, only your view in your mind and your approach have changed.
The key here is to recognize that fear and courage exist, but they are not connected
to external circumstances. They are connected to internal emotions that can be controlled.
Take a look at the courageous version of yourself in the circle, the confident version that you would like to be, and step back into the circle.
After practicing this ritual, you should now be aware that you can detach yourself from fear or anxiety in approaching a challenge without being caught by emotion.
You should feel increased confidence, and know that you can overcome stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions by stepping outside yourself, and disconnect from them so they are no longer part of you.
You can use this detachment technique to help draw on this courage whenever you need it and have the confidence to achieve the results that you want.
Remember to practice this ritual regularly. This will ensure that you can call upon it when most needed.
Just a few minutes of practice every day can build a habit that can grow into long-term courage to face the future.