Two Drumsticks, One Sound

musashi

SKF NOTE: Isn’t it curious how root life principles apply across the board? Therefore, the art of drumming inspires the great Japanese Samurai swordsman, Musashi, to develop his unique two sword style.

Here are a series of quotes from a chapter in, “Musashi: An Epic Novel of the Samurai Era, by Eiji Yoshikawa.” An instructive novel on several levels, I finished reading it last week.

In this scene, Musashi has taken a young student to a festival to hear the drummers performing. The student, not Musashi, was interested in drumming. But while watching and listening to the drummers, the great Samurai this a revelation:

The revelation struck like lightning. Musashi had been watching the hands of one of the drummers, wielding two short, club-shaped drumsticks. He sucked in his breath and fairly shouted, “That’s it! Two swords!”

“Two swords,” he repeated. “It’s the same principle. Two drumsticks, but only one sound.” He folded his arms more tightly and scrutinized the drummer’s every movement.

Two drumsticks, one sound. The drummer was conscious of left and right, right and left, but at the same time unconscious of them. Here, before his eyes, was the Buddhist sphere of free interpenetration. Musashi felt enlightened, fulfilled.

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