It is Essential to Cultivate the Warrior Spirit
What is the warrior spirit? This 17th century Confucian scholar’s teachings, as translated by Thomas Cleary in his book Training the Samurai Mind, states that cultivating the “warrior spirit” was an essential part of being a samurai. He taught that even if you have all the strength and training that is needed to be a warrior, they will be of no use if you lack the warrior spirit.
According to Totsudo, it is not the external strength which truly matters, but the internal strength – the strength of the spirit.
The warrior spirit is based on courage. It is the courage to stand up for justice and for what is right, no matter what the odds. You can only develop this deep seated courage if you truly know that you are in the right.
If you have doubts about whether or not you are right, then those doubts will affect you on the inside and you will have doubts concerning the legitimacy of your stand. After all, if you aren’t completely convinced that you are right, how can you stand with conviction against someone who takes the other side of the issue?
Firmness and decisiveness are the legs which courage stands upon. Doubt is the stumbling block which causes courage to falter. Courage is the foundation of the warrior spirit. The traits of firmness, decisiveness, and courage can only be rightly obtained through meditating on what is right and your own personal code of honor.
Once you have determined you will live by your own standards and you are clear about what those standards are, then all that is left is to have the courage to live by those standards.