Lessons from a Zen Master
Soyen Shaku was the first Zen Buddhist master to teach in the United States and became the leading academic on Zen Buddhism in the West. In 1893 he taught about karma, non-violence, an end to war, and tolerance of other religions. He also lived his life by 10 simple rules, that have inspired me greatly in my practice (life), although I struggle terribly with number 1 (and number 2, and number 3…).
1. Upon awakening, quit your bed at once, like discarding a useless pair of shoes.
2. In the morning, before dressing, light incense and meditate.
3. Eat at regular intervals and only to the point of satisfying hunger.
4. Retire at a regular hour.
5. Receive a guest as when you are alone. Be alone as if you had received a guest.
6. Be aware of what you say. Say only what you would do.
7. Do not forego opportunity, nevertheless, think twice.
8. Do not regret the past but look instead to the future.
9. Have the fearless heart of a hero and the loving heart of a child.
10. When you retire to sleep do so as if it is your last night.
Photo credit: shioshvili
Personally, I struggle with almost all of these. I have a long way to go.