道场 Dào·Chǎng

Notes of a lifelong learner and perpetual beginner on martial arts, mindfulness, Chinese calligraphy…and many, many cups of tea.

The Greatest Happiness

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Mukyusai was astonished and said, “This is truly a lesson hard to come by…I would like to ask you to set forth that Way to me.”

The gods of poverty said…”Then what is the greatest happiness? To be without desire and to know what is enough, to be perfectly fair and selfless, not to fight about what is right and wrong with things, to understand the very foundation of one’s mind, not to be confused by life and death or good fortune and calamity, to entrust life to life and to exert all of your powers in following the Way, and to entrust death to death and to be content in that return. Not to envy wealth and honor, not to loathe poverty and low birth, not to be obsessed by thoughts of the differences between happiness and anger or likes and dislikes, but rather following good and bad fortune, or prosperity and decline as one meets them, and calmly enjoying oneself in the midst  of creation and change. This is the greatest happiness under heaven.”

from Meeting the Gods of Poverty in a Dream
Issai Chozanshai (Niwa Jurozaemon Tadaaki)
Japan, 17th-18th cent.
(translated by William Scott Wilson)

binbogami

Binbōgami (the kami of poverty)
Iida City, Nagano

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Author: Tom Delaney

See my website at http://www.dao-chang.com.

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