Wednesday, December 9, 2009

2. Being Content

"To take what one has got within bounds is called being content.

"Buddha said, 'O monks, if you want to shed afflictions, you should observe contentment. The state of contentment is the abode of prosperity and happiness, peace and tranquility. Those who are content may sleep on the ground and still consider it comfortable; those who are not content would be dissatisfied even in heaven. Those who are not content are always caught up in sensual desires; they are pitied by those who are content.' "

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

(Photo: Abandoned gas station, East Brunswick, New Jersey.)


  1. I love this writing. I just went online and bought the book (used) for $6.56 + shipping. I hope we can use it in my weekly meditation group, where we sit and then have a reading.

    I know very few people who are truly content. I'm wondering if Aunt Zelda is (finally) content as she lies unconscious and death approaches.

  2. "Slew they the goats, ye, and place they the bits in little pots."

  3. Barbara: So glad you found a copy of this book! This is my favorite of all the essays -- the others can get quite esoteric, though they are also beautiful. Enjoy!