Songs of the Way of the Spear of the Hozoin School

reprinted from Zen and the Ways by Trevor Leggett
By what I did yesterday, I win today;
  This is the virtue of practice.

Remember the old saying, The plan for a day is a 
cock’s crow,
  The plan for a life is something serious.

In the knightly arts, first see that you yourself are 
right,
  And after that think of defeating an opponent.

The unskilled man does not know his own faults.
  And yet dreams vainly of defeating another.

The Way is first of all about one’s own defects;
  After that, you can defeat others.

Without knowing the stains and faults in one’s 
own self,
  How empty to dream of victory over others!

In the knightly arts, if a man’s will is right
  There is no doubt of his ultimate victory.

Don’t think to win just by force;
  There is hard in the soft, soft in the hard.

‘Softness is just weakness’, some say;
  But know there is a difference between softness 
and weakness.

When making an attack, do not be careless;
  There is a waiting in action, an action in waiting.

In all the turns of the combat, never must one get 
controlled by the enemy; 
  This is what is always to be remembered.

In a contest, you must be aware of the distances 
and the timing;
  But do not lose sight of the awareness which is 
beyond them (zanshin).

When you penetrate deep to the simple awareness 
  You will experience the state of being and non-
being.

It is like a stream, which when flowing is pure;
  If it stands still, it becomes putrid.

Against a strong opponent, though you lose still 
you get something out of it;
  Do not think always in one straight line.

In a contest, first control your own mind;
  Only after that think about technique.

If you have control of your mind, be careful not to 
lose it;
  Hold the mind firm, and then make the thrust.

The hands waiting, the feet active without 
flagging;
  Let the heart be that of a waterbird swimming.

When the short body and the long spear are a 
unity,
  The enemy finds no opening to strike.