Sunday, 8 May 2016

The Philosophy of Health

The Philosophy of Health

Wounding occurs when our thought is troubled with things for which we lack talent.

Sadness, decrepitude, uneasiness and torment are wounds.

Wasting time abed, lying down after a heavy meal, getting breathless from running: all these are wounds.

Therefore, the prescription for nurturing life is this:

-Do not walk too fast.

-Do not listen too intently.

-Do not look too long.

-Do not sit too long.

-Do not stay in bed until you get too weak.

-Dress before you get chilled.

-Lighten your dress before you get overheated.

-Eat only to satisfy.

-Do not over-drink.

-Do not overwork or take too much ease.

-Do not emphasize any of the Five Savors when eating:

. for too much acidity harms the spleen,

.too much bitterness harms the lungs,

.too much acridity harms the liver,

.too much salt harms the hart,

.too much sugar harms the kidneys.

The remarkable thing about this bit of wisdom is that it holds true to this day, even though it was written so long ago in 320 A.D.

(Ko Hung, a Taoist Scholar Nei P’ien; an excerpt from his secret teachings published 320 A.D.)

“Wishing you all good health.”

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

The Invisible Sutras

The Invisible Sutras

Tetsugen, a devotee of Zen in Japan, decided to publish the sutras, which at that time were only available in Chinese. The books were to be printed on wood blocks in an edition of seven thousand copies, a tremendous undertaking. 

Tetsugen began by traveling and collecting donations for this purpose. A few sympathizers would give him a hundred pieces of gold, but most of the time he received only small coins. He thanked each donor with equal gratitude. After ten years Tetsugen had enough money to begin his task. 

It happened that at that time the Uji Rive overflowed. A terrible famine was the consequence. Tetsugen took all of the funds he had collected for the books and spent them to save many from starvation. Then he began again his work of collecting. 

Several years afterwards an epidemic spread over the country. Tetsugen again gave away what he had collected, to help his people. For a third time he started his work, and after twenty years his wish was finally fulfilled.

The printing blocks which produced the first edition of sutras can be seen today in the Obaku monastery in Kyoto.

The Japanese tell their children that Tetsugen made three sets of sutras, and that the first two invisible sets surpass even the last. 

Zen Koan