Rules for a Knight was very sweet. It is a fictional story about a knight who dedicates a journal to his children and, in it, uses stories to explain how he expects them to behave and grow after he is gone. Surprisingly, it is by Ethan Hawke, the actor! I didn’t know that he could write… and, in this book, he shows that he really can.
I had been exposed to many of the parables presented in Rules for a Knight before through either Buddhist or Christian teachings, but they are repackaged quite well in this small, green tome. The book itself is a joy for readers who really appreciate books as an art form both in what it contains and also in its packaging. Rules for a Knight is covered in soft green cloth with the title embossed in gold and a ribbon bookmark bound into the lining- almost as if the book itself is inviting the reader to take her time, stop reading, put in the bookmark, and ponder the wisdom that comes from its pages. This is a book to be savored and read slowly with hot tea or coffee, whichever you prefer. 🙂
I think that there will always be a place on my bookshelf for stories that teach about inner truths and the journey from apprenticeship to mastery. I also liked that the knight addressed himself to both his sons and his daughters. Probably not historically accurate, but I approve anyway.
Some of my favorite bits:
“…the first thing you must understand is that you need not have gone anywhere. You are always in the right place at exactly the right time and you always have been.” pg 11
“There are only two possible outcomes whenever you compare yourself to another, vanity or bitterness, and both are without value.” pg 39
“Pay attention: what you need to know is usually in front of you. There are no secrets, just things people choose not to notice.” pg 63
“Later he told me when he was younger he learned the secret to performing under pressure: don’t do it for yourself. Do it for someone else.” pg 67
If you enjoyed Rules for a Knight, you may want to read Zen Seeds: Reflections of a Female Priest by Shundo Aoyama or After the Ecstasy, the Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path by Jack Kornfield.
Thanks for reading!