This was the schedule at Bukkokuji in Obama, Japan:
All work activities were done in silence as much as possible. When we work we should be mindful as we would during meditation. There is no separation between the effort on the cushion and other activities.
Along the road
In the last of the snow is a gravestone.
The valley wind clings to it.
The voice of the twenty-six year old wife
Who died after surgery
The voice of the daughter ten hours after the operation …
The last of the snow will fade
Towards the coming spring.
In the warmer months I will come again.
We [sufferers of leprosy] have been segregated, true. That was something the laws did, and we could not do anything about it. Yet even when your body is segregated, there is no need for your mind to also be confined, is there? If that happens, it is just too sad . . . . I just want someone to know that I have existed, and have lived here. I do not want to die quietly, without anybody knowing about it.
— Tetsuo Sakurai, Poet, Japan, who has been isolated from society for most of his life due to leprosy
The strength of true human spirit. Sometimes we feel alone and it is society which does that to you. But those who understand it is not about the body will find strength from within.
Now here is an interesting (but not so new) idea.
While we often talk about what should be the minimum a person should earn for good standard of living we never talk about what is the maximum someone really needs. The term may be a great play on words it isn’t an empty concept. In essence it is the idea of moderation. The phrase “maximum wage” may be a catchy term but why should we adopt the ‘floor-only’ way of thinking and not a ‘ceiling-also’ philosophy? We have been tricked by the rich to think that they have been looking out for the underdogs when really they have been looking out for themselves.
We shouldn’t forget the pain and hope for a nuclear weapon free world.
Sixty-seven years ago the world lost something. We continue to hope for a world without nuclear weapons.
It continues to baffle me why so much emphasis is put on a long life.
Japan’s life expectancy fell to second place behind Hong Kong. The above BBC linked article is typical of this rhetoric.
Words and phrases like “fallen behind” and “topped the rankings” make longevity out as some kind of race and the those living longest are runners.
Are OCTOGENARIANS LONG DISTANCES ATHLETES?
Is this also why Westerners love to run, because they feel they will live longer by doing so?
Living longer does not make you happier. There are plenty of people who live to a ripe old age but miserably. Equally there are others who live shorter lives but happily.
The previous Dalai Lama quote should remind you of where you will find happiness, and it isn’t in a long life.