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Bruce Lee Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee's Wisdom for Daily Living (Bruce Lee Library) Paperback – June 15, 2002
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"Since he himself would not wholly accept any particular style of martial art or philosophy, Bruce encouraged his students not to accept, without question, his teachings. His main message was to keep one's mind, attitude, and senses pliable and receptive, and, at the same time, develop the ability to think correctly. This process of inquiry, debate, and practice would lead not only to knowledge of one's physical strengths and weaknesses but also to the discovery of basic truths that allow one to grow toward a state of harmonious unity of spirit, mind, and body." —Linda Lee Cadwell, from her preface
"He was a teacher first of all. He taught philosophy and tried to spread knowledge and wisdom…The integrity with which Bruce Lee lived his life and tried to uphold what he believed to be right—that is a clear example of how it ought to be done. No matter what it is you're doing, do it with total honesty and total dedication. He definitely influenced me." —Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
"I thought Bruce was a brilliant, fine philosopher about everyday living. He was very much into finding out who he was. His comment to people was 'Know yourself.' The good head that he acquired was through his knowing himself. He and I used to have great long discussions about that. No matter what you do in life, if you don't know yourself, you're never going to be able to appreciate anything in life. That, I think, is today's mark of a good human being—to know yourself." —Steve McQueen
"Bruce's philosophy seemed always to be going back to the Zen origins, where contradictory advice states the simplest of truths. Bruce's lessons were lessons without being lessons; he was not a teacher, yet he was the greatest teacher I've ever known." —Stirling Silliphant
"For every question you asked him he would never have to think about it, he would just blurt it right out. Bruce would cover every point with a little saying. If he would see that you were having trouble with something, he would always know just what to tell you. It would seem like he was always dusting off your 'bogie man.' Like if there was something that you were scared of, Bruce would notice and then say 'Ah, scared of that, well look at it this way.' He would change your whole idea about it. Bruce had sayings for everything." —Bob Bremer, student of Bruce Lee
"We'd work out for an hour, then we'd talk for an hour about a lot of things. He didn't separate life from the extension in his arm. And he is the only one I know of that carried it to the point of real art." —James Coburn
"In the collection of his writings 'Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee's Wisdom for Daily Living,' Lee explains that there is a difference between the fulfillment of one's desires and the fulfillment of how one desires to appear to the world…" —Business Insider
From the Inside Flap
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This book covers a number of different areas of life and awareness and if you were to breeze through it in a store, you may be tempted to blow it off as a collection of 'fortune cookie' answers to questions you haven't bothered to ask yourself. I felt this way when I skimmed through it in a local store. Still mildly interested, I thought about what I had read and returned to Amazon to read the available excerpts and then ordered this book. In the week that passed, I had unearthed some issues that were inhibiting my training both in and out of the dojo and was at a loss for a complete solution. Thanks to Bruce Lee's insights, I saw these knots from a different perspective -sometimes slightly different, sometimes in glaring contrast to what I had wrongly assumed is more or less true at all times -the latter being an indicator of a stale mind and spirit.
Budo (whatever form or style) is a means to train the body to respond efficiently and economically. What is often forgotten is that in the beginning (of training), we pay a great deal of attention to the manner in which our mind, thoughts, feelings and body respond -singularly and/or as a whole. As skill improves, this awareness and interest wanes in favor of attention to being as good as or better than our peers -as a result, the wholeness experienced in the early days of training takes a backseat and due to neglect, creates that nagging sense that 'something ain't right'. That 'something' is malnutrition and poor diet -a condition of the mind and spirit as well as the body.
In the 30 minute bus ride to my dojo, reading Bruce Lee's view on Pre-conditioning of the individual by society -at present and throughout history -along with a couple of statements on attention and awareness -filled in the gaps and corrected errors in my own thought processes. Once in the dojo (and during quiet time before training), I decided to apply what I had read. The brain fog cleared quickly and training became a 'whole' experience again. This alone is worth more than the cost of the book.
While the entries are brief, the effect is like eating a power bar - just enough when you need it. The contents are arranged according to areas addressed and the viewpoints are short and to the point.
To make a short story long ("too late", I know), this is a good book to have around -especially when you need a 'thought for the day' and a great supplement toward a well rounded MA library in order to continue as a whole person on the complex path of budo.
Top international reviews
Being in the Now. — Listen. Can you hear the wind? And can you hear the birds singing? You have to HEAR IT. Empty your mind. You know how water fills a cup? It BECOMES that cup. You have to think about nothing. You have to BECOME nothing. The Moment is freedom. — I couldn’t live by a rigid schedule. I try to live freely from moment to moment, letting things happen and adjusting to them. The Now is creative. — If you are in the NOW, you are creative. The Now is inventive. — If you are in the NOW, you are inventive. There is no anxiety in the Now. — When you are in the NOW, you can’t be anxious, because the excitement flows immediately into ongoing spontaneous activity.
Though it is written like a philosophy book, it is very easy to read. To quote Bruce himself, he says great thinkers and philosophers have a ways of making what they have to says more complicated then it should be. Bruce takes the opposite approach. Everything he says is straight to the point with no waffle.
Even though I there are many great points in the book and I do take a lot away from it, I don’t agree with every point Bruce makes, but that is part of his philosophy he wants his ideas to be challenged or built on because this shows thinking over blind following, or progress which he was all about. As he says:
“a teachers is never a giver of truth- he is a guide, a pointer to the truth that each student must find for himself.”
There are testimonials at the beginnings of this book of what a great person and teacher Bruce was, but the end of the book I had no doubt about how good he was as a teacher. Not just about physical techniques but about the mental and spiritual aspects of martial arts as well.
As with any ideas I could see many of Bruce’s views in this book were colored by his life experiences. This is a great book with a philosophical contradiction, though Bruce Lee is a great and successful person to look up to. His message is not to emulate him, but to learn/know yourself honesty, and use this knowledge to be the best you can be.
The way in which he presents each thought or quote is almost like you can hear him saying it to you in person, there is no formality in this book, it is straight from his mouth or his personal writings. You really get the feeling he is communicating with you and talking to you as if he is your friend.
There is so much knowledge to explore within this book, you can just keep coming back time after time, it is not a book you have to read page after page for many hours at a time. Amazing tips and advice. A must read for anyone in search of improving themselves or delving deep into their spirituality.
I've learnt more about myself than ever before as he said "All types of knowledge ultimately means self-knowledge" and I couldn't explain it in this review to help you understand what that means, you have to read the book. It's like an inside joke that you have to be 'there' to understand it. Not only that but I'm a much happier person for it, having no idea that I knew nothing about myself and thinking 'well I am me, so what is there I don't know'? Bruce makes you question yourself and asks you certain things you never thought of before. My review being long enough already I'm not going to quote his quotes, but all I can say is if you see Bruce Lee as a somewhat 'idol' in whatever form then you should definitely read his philosophical teachings.
Also when I first bought the book I thought the writing was going to be straight forward like any other book but it's actually written down in direct quotes, to which he takes you on different steps towards learning yourself and everything around you.
This book contains true wisdom and is something I would recommend anybody to read. Bruce Lee's teachings cover such a vast area of subjects, and they are just as relevant today as they were back then. No matter who the person or what situation they are in, I'm certain everybody could learn and take something away from this book.
Instead of reading it back to front in one go, I find its best to slowly work my way through the pages, stopping to really try and understand Bruce's messages. By approaching the book in this way I have taken some enlightening and profound messages from it.
Does not seek to have you believe anything. It is not a religious manual for life and does not want to be or pretend to be.
Some things I don't understand, but given time maybe I will appreciate the thought. This is a collection of views, stemming from a man who engaged fully with life and died far too young. Was he perfect? No. Did he have all the answers? No.
Did he seek out knowledge and frame his thoughts, based on other teachings, into accessible writings that can make you pause and if you wish dwell on and learn from? Yes he did.
Bruce reminds us all what is essential and what is not, but we have to make up our own minds to what is and what is not important to us as individuals.
Intelligent words of Wisdom. :o)