Saturday, December 12, 2009

3. Enjoying Quietude

"Leaving the clamor and staying alone in deserted places is called enjoying quietude.

"Buddha said, 'O monks, if you wish to seek the peace and happiness of quietude and nonstriving, you should leave the clamor and live without clutter in a solitary place. People in quiet places are honored by the gods. Therefore you should leave your own group as well as other groups, stay alone in a deserted place, and think about extirpating the root of suffering. Those who like crowds suffer the vexations of crowds, just as a big tree will suffer withering and breakage when flocks of birds gather on it. Worldly ties and clinging sink you into a multitude of pains, like an old elephant sunk in the mud, unable to get itself out.' "

(From "The Eight Awarenesses of Great People," translated by Thomas Cleary in "Shobogenzo: Zen essays by Dogen.")

(Photo: Shopping center parking lot, North Brunswick, N.J.)


  1. " the peace and happiness of quietude and nonstriving..."

    Those words are helping to focus my day. Now I just have to work on my life, but baby steps.

    "nonstriving"--that, in particular, sounds like nirvana

    Thank you!

  2. Been away from your blog for a while, so just learned about your change of circumstances. Wishing you all the best in the next adventure, whatever it may be.

    Thanks for the fly-over in Graulhet, Steve.

    All the best to you.

  3. I'm really enjoying this writing, especially now that my copy of the book has arrived.

    Since there are 8 awarenesses in this essay, I decided to read one for each night of Hanukkah. So we light the appropriate number of candles, sing the Hebrew prayers, and then have a Buddhist reading. It just seemed like the right thing to do.

  4. "Quietude?" Is that like "Strategery?" or "Dependabilitude?"

    "Nonstriving" I'd let slide, unless you put it on a tripple word score, but with that 'Q' I have to throw the flag.

  5. A worthy interlude...Thanks for your visit and comment.

  6. nice post. thanks.