The Art of Peace

The Art of Peace by Morihei Ueshiba is a book of short philosophical sayings about how to turn conflict into victory, often for both parties. The author is the founder of Aikido, one of the martial arts of Japan. The general principle of the book is that you can achieve victory through non-violent means.

The book begins: “The art of peace begins with you.” I bought this book some years ago and read it sometimes before going to bed. I agree with the general message of the book that we should be in tune with nature and our surroundings, and that we should try to end conflict without resorting to bloodshed.

The Art of Peace is translated into English by John Stevens, a Zen scholar and Aikido instructor. It is a small pocket edition published by Shambhala.

While the sayings in this small book are ostensibly about the martial arts, they are also very applicable to everyday situations where conflict may arise. Reading this book brings a feeling of peace, and many of the points the author makes seem like he is talking about situations at work or in the family instead of on the field of combat. I have read this book half a dozen times and it has helped me be more collected in my dealings with people.