Many people know Bruce Lee as a martial artist and film star. But he was also a philosopher, who articulated principles that apply beyond engaging in artful combat, to grappling with life itself.
Shannon Lee, daughter of Bruce Lee, caretaker of his legacy, and author of Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee, unpacks those principles on today’s show. We begin our conversation with what Shannon remembers of her late father, and how she discovered the power of his philosophy after sinking into a depression following the death of her brother, Brandon Lee. We then dive into some of the sources of Bruce Lee’s philosophy, his reading habits, and what books he kept in his extensive library. Shannon shares the story behind how her father first started formulating his ideas around becoming like water, how he engaged in forms of moving meditation, and what you can learn from his journaling practice. We end our conversation with the resilient, proactive way Bruce Lee responded to a potentially crippling back injury.
Great inspiration in this show on what should be every man’s ideal: the combination of contemplation and action.
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- Shannon’s memories of her late father
- What catalyzed Shannon’s interest in her father’s philosophy?
- What was the big picture aim of Bruce’s philosophy?
- Bruce’s reading life and philosophy library
- What does it mean to “be water”?
- How did Bruce empty his cup? What was his meditation practice like?
- The fights — literal and metaphorical — over Bruce’s martial arts system
- Turning the abstract into the concrete
- Bruce’s journaling practice
- How Bruce responded to bad back injury that laid him up for a year
Resources/Articles/People Mentioned in Podcast
- How to Throw Bruce Lee’s 1-Inch Punch
- The Libraries of Famous Men: Bruce Lee
- The Life of a Dragon
- Brandon Lee
- Alan Watts
- Be Water
- Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics
- A Man’s Guide to the Martial Arts
- Jeet Kune Do
- The Power of Moral Reminders
- Action Over Feelings
Connect With Shannon
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Read the Transcript