If man were never to fade away like the dews of Adashino, never to vanish like the smoke over Toribeyama, but lingered on forever in the world, how things would lose their power to move us! The most precious thing in life is its uncertainty. Consider living creatures—none lives so long as man. The May fly waits not for the evening, the summer cicada knows neither spring nor autumn. What a wonderfully unhurried feeling it is to live even a single year in perfect serenity! If that is not enough for you, you might live a thousand years and still feel it was but a single night's dream. We cannot live forever in this world; why should we wait for ugliness to over take us? The longer man lives, the more shame he endures. To die, at the latest, before one reaches forty, is the least unattractive. Once a man passes that age, he desires (with no sense of shame over his appearance) to mingle in the company of others. In his sunset years he dotes on his grandchildren, and prays for long life so that he may see them prosper. His preoccupation with worldly desires grows ever deeper, and gradually he loses all
sensitivity to the beauty of things, a lamentable state of affairs.
*from ESSAYS IN IDLENESS by The Surezuregusa of Kenko. Translated by Donald Keene
Remain calm in every encounter.
Speak less. Hear more.
Believe nothing you cannot verify for yourself.
Investigate and master what you do not understand.
Accept that there are things you may not ever understand.
Do not re-live past mistakes or predict future distress.
Live ONLY in the moment.
Make a complete study of how the human mind & body function and be master of yours.
Do not participate in or associate with ignorance.
Never define yourself.
Finish what you start.
Always do the very best that you can.
Do not be chained to anything that in the long run can destroy you.
Assume the best in others until proven otherwise.
Always be kind and well mannered.
Be generous without witness or need for recognition.
Receive gifts with gratitude.
Keep home and work areas organized and clutter free.
Do not take up too much space.
Do not lie, steal, or cheat.
Do not seek fame or excessive wealth.
Do not follow trends that are not in line with your own code.
Question the status quo.
Do not make unnecessary noises or gestures.
If you are not at peace, act as if you are.
Do not be impressed by strong personalities.
Eat and sleep only as much as is necessary.
Sit quietly for a few moments at the start and end of each day.
Do not discuss your personal problems.
Do not pass judgments or criticize when you do not know all the facts.
Do not have useless friendships.
Do not follow fads.
Do not sell yourself.
Respect the contracts you have signed
Be on time.
Do not be envious.
Speak only when necessary and with few words.
Do not make threats.
Follow through with your promises.
In an argument, put yourself in the place of the other.
Accept when someone is better than you.
Do not react when others speak well or ill of you.
Transform your pride into dignity.
Turn your anger into creativity.
Transform your greed into respect for the beauty.
Transform your envy into the admiration for the values of others.
Do not praise nor insult yourself.
Respect the property of others.
Do not complain.
Use your imagination.
Do not give orders or make demands.
Pay what you owe.
Do not fall into debt, buy and pay immediately.
Do not boast or brag about your possessions or accomplishments.
Do not rest on your laurels.
Do not seek or request pity, admiration, or sympathy from yourself or others.
Never contradict, just be silent.
If you offend someone, ask for forgiveness.
Admit and accept your mistakes and abandon them immediately.
Do not keep useless objects.
Be your own judge.
Do not let your possessions define you.
Never talk about yourself.
Be willing to change.
Accept that nothing is yours.
Never speak poorly or critical of others, especially when they are not present.
Look everyone and everything directly in the eye.
Live within your financial and moral means.
If you are meditating and a demon arrives, make the demon meditate.
Do not kill.
Be prepared to take risks.
Re-write this list and edit where you deem appropriate.
Be the master of your mind rather than mastered by it.
"I can't go on.
Whatever state of mind has you calm, centered, quiet, and aware - this should be your mental posture.
Whether you are in motion or at rest, maintain your mental posture at all times, steady as she goes, regardless of the task at hand. The ineffable teaching of all teachings resides within this. -md
* Read The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus
Interesting blog post by Brian Thompson. Excerpt below.
Within each thing, are many things.
It’s a sublime and enlightened teaching of non-duality that is clearly expressed through the following verse:
“This is, because that is.
This is not, because that is not.
This ceases to be, because that ceases to be.”
When we apply this teaching into our lives, we gain deeper insight into the true nature of things. We begin to understand that nothing is an island unto itself. No thing is separate all on its own, and that no thing is completely self-contained or self-reliant. Everything that is, exists solely because of other events that have also co-arisen. All things are dependent upon cause and effect. This is true not only for our physical actions, but so too with all of our mental formations and the emotional happenings within our mind.
It's never just one thing. Nothing arises from itself alone.
Neither exists without the other. Together, they are one whole.
from and for Michael Dickes