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Things which are not offensive, no matter how numerous: books in a book cart, rubbish in a rubbish heap.I wonder what feelings inspire a man to complain of “having nothing to do.” I am happiest when I have nothing to distract me and I am completely alone.It leaped on the priest and tried to bite his throat. When they lifted him from the river they discovered he had fallen in with the fan and little boxes won as prizes for his linked-verse clutched to his bosom.
That admission, by the way, is, at this very moment leading some of my friends to suggest that the Law of Attraction, my internal desires, or my nonlocal interconnectedness among everything via quantum entanglement drove me to converse with the Buddhist, thus sparking an interest in Buddhism. Anyway, I’m still very much in the beginning stages of this research, so I’m not in a position to write about it.
I did, though, find some interesting passages in a mid-fourteenth century journal that I thought might be interesting to share.
“Tsurezuregusa: Essays in Idleness,” is a zuihitsu written by Yoshida Kenko.
It has 243 sections and is written in narrative sequences.
If a man conforms to society, his mind will be captured by the filth of the outside world, and he is easily led astray; if he mingles in society, he must be careful that his words do not offend others, and what he says will not at all be what he feels in his heart.
He will joke with others only to quarrel with them, now resentful, now happy, his feelings in constant turmoil.Among many essays, his view of cultivation stands out to me the most.Kenko states that education is the important thing to have in society.These are all from Tsurezuregusa (Essays in Idleness) by a Buddhist monk named Yoshida Kenko (ca. You could probably compare these short essays to Marcus Aurelius’ Medidations or Montaigne’s Essais. If man were 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…Things which seem in poor taste: too many personal effects cluttering up the place where one is sitting; too many brushes in an ink-box; too many Buddhas in a family temple; too many stones and plants in a garden; too many children in a house; too many words on meeting someone; too many meritorious deeds recorded in a petition.The stone lion and dog before the shrine were set up back to back, facing the rear. It’s a disgrace.” He went up to the lions, restored them to their normal positions, and went away.The holy man’s tears of emotion had been for nothing.“Come,” he said, “let us worship at the Izumo Shrine. “Gentlemen, are you not filled with amazement by this extraordinary sight? ” Each of him accordingly expressed his astonishment: “There is nothing like it elsewhere.We’ll have a feast of rice cakes too.” He led them to the shrine where they all worshiped and felt stirred by religious feeling. We’ll be sure to tell people when we return to the capital.” The holy man, all the more fascinated, called to an elderly Shinto priest who looked knowledgeable and asked, “I am sure some tradition must account for the placing of the stone lions at this shrine. ” The priest answered, “The fact of the matter is, they were put that way by some mischievous boys.His legs gave way and he tumbled into the river, crying, “Help! Apparently his dog, recognizing his master in the dark, had jumped on him.In Tamba there is a place called Izumo where they have built a splendid shrine in imitation of the Great Shrine. One morning he invited the holy man Shokai and many other people to see him. There must be a profound reason.” He turned to the others.