Made a mistake? Use this simple Japanese philosophy.

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The Mandalorian famously translates it as ‘this is the way’. But how would you translate the word ‘do’, as in Judo, Kado, Sado, Kendo, or in my case, Shugendo?

While the way or the path are both apt translations, I can’t help but think a more accurate, more easily understood translation for English speakers exists.

I propose process, or pursuit.

Process

I’ve previously said that process is one way to translate ‘do’. Process is something that is ongoing, that has no end, and involves making conscious improvements and iterations at every turn.

Process is very close to do.

Pursuit

Then again, pursuit also seems to fit the bill. Pursuit has a connotation of constantly moving forward, of continuously working towards better. Like process, pursuit also has no end, and for this reason, I think it more closely represents what is reflected in the word ‘do’.

The way, the path, the process, the pursuit

The way or the path are both perfectly fine words to use for ‘do’. However, they seem more like literal translations, rather than translations of the meaning. In my opinion, as a practitioner of Shugendo, process or pursuit seem more fitting a translation.

Either way

No matter which way you put it, everything is a do.

When you make a mistake, when something doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would, it all becomes fodder for the do. It can all be used as information for how to go about things next time.

And remember, as there is no end to the do, there is always a next time.

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MOUNTAINS OF WISDOM

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Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

tim@timbunting.com

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