Tuesday, December 8, 2009
1. Having Few Desires
"Not extensively seeking objects of desire not yet attained is called having few desires.
"Buddha said, 'You monks should know that people with many desires seek to gain a lot, and therefore their afflictions are also many. Those with few desires have no seeking and no craving, so they don't have this problem. You should cultivate having few desires even for this reason alone, to say nothing of the fact that having few desires can produce virtues. People with few desires are free from flattery and deviousness whereby they might seek to curry people's favor, and they also are not under the compulsion of their senses. Those who act with few desires are calm, without worry or fear. Whatever the situation, there is more than enough -- there is never insufficiency. Those who have few desires have nirvana.' "
(From "The Eight Awarenesses of Great People," translated by Thomas Cleary in "Shobogenzo: Zen essays by Dogen.")
(Photo: Edison, New Jersey.)