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June 21, 2011

Gentleman Of Leisure

In the following days, some posts will be an effort to interpret Cheng-Tao-Ko, also known as Shodoka or Song of Enlightenment, a text of seminal importance to Ch'an, Zen and Taoism.

This text was written by Yung-chia Hsuan-chueh (Yoka Genkaku Daishi), 665 - 713, a student of Hui-neng (613 - 713), who was the sixth patriarch after Bodhidharma, and is accepted by many as the real Chinese founder of Zen.

The advice given is not designed for light reading. It is meant to be a way of life. There is no other way. Only when you apply this in your life, will you begin to understand.

Perhaps you have heard the phrase ‘gentleman of leisure’. This is used to describe someone who works only when necessary, someone who pursues the quiet, unhurried pace. One who follows the Tao is quite similar. A gentleman of leisure; what a relaxed, easy-going, lighthearted, buoyant, state of mind to be in and life to lead. In the financial and business environment, "leisurely" is synonymous with failure. You have to be in a hectic state of mind to appear important. Not for the gentleman of leisure. He prefers an easy stroll enjoying the sunshine and the beauty around him. The wise one knows time is too precious to be wasted by rushing through it with too much to do. Time is money? Complete nonsense. You cannot save time, like money. Micro-managing days into nanoseconds does not produce more time. What it does produce is stress and time not well spent. The follower of Tao is beyond philosophy. He has not stopped thinking, but he has progressed beyond it. The sage does not search for truth, for he knows truth cannot be found by searching for it. It is beyond the reach of analytical mental activity. Truth is only found when you have given up searching for it.