The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Friday, October 07, 2005

The Monk Ryokan


These are some guidelines the Monk Ryokan wrote down for himself:
*Ryokan's Precepts of Right Speech*
Take care not to:
talk too much
talk too fast
talk without being asked to
talk gratuitously
talk with your hands
talk about worldly affairs
talk back rudely
argue
smile condescendingly at others' words
use elegant expressions
boast
avoid speaking directly
speak with a knowing air
jump from topic to topic
use fancy words
speak of past events that cannot be changed
speak like a pedant
avoid direct questions
speak ill of others
speak grandly of enlightenment
carry on while drunk
speak in an obnoxious manner
yell at children
make up fantastic stories
speak while angry
name-drop
ignore the people to whom you are speaking
speak sanctimoniously of gods and buddhas
use sugary speech
use flattering speech
speak of things of which you have no knowledge
monopolize conversations
talk about others behind their backs
speak with conceit
bad-mouth others
chant prayers ostentatiously
complain about the amount of alms
give long-winded sermons
speak affectedly like a tea master
--Ryokan (1758-1831)

"RyƓkan declared there were three things he disliked:
poet's poetry,
calligrapher's calligraphy,
chef's cooking."

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