Some Zen Wisdom

Soyen Shaku has this advice, which I think ranges from good to revelatory:

  1. Upon awakening, quit your bed at once, like discarding a useless pair of shoes.
  2. In the morning, before dressing, light incense and meditate.
  3. Eat at regular intervals and only to the point of satisfying hunger.
  4. Retire at a regular hour.
  5. Receive a guest as when you are alone. Be alone as if you had received a guest.
  6. Be aware of what you say. Say only what you would do.
  7. Do not forego opportunity, nevertheless, think twice.
  8. Do not regret the past but look instead to the future.
  9. Have the fearless heart of a hero and the loving heart of a child.
  10. When you retire to sleep do so as if it is your last night.

(Soyen Shaku, The Zen Housewife)

My favorite is the one about receiving guests. To be mindful and considerate but true to yourself – that is pretty awesome, guys. The last one reminds me a bit of this comic though. I tend to agree with T-Rex on this one. Any advice that says “exist as if you were about to die” seems weird to me. I don’t know much about Zen Buddhism, but maybe it means that you should go to bed with good karma, so if you happen to die you don’t come back as a poo bug.

Okay I think I have linked to Dinosaur Comics enough for one day.


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