The Narrow Path of the Interior
I borrowed this title - not from the Scriptures,- but from
Matsuo Basho, the greatest haiku poet of Japan. At his time,
there was indeed a road through the interior of Japan, as opposed
to the road along the seashore, which was relatively safe.
Basho took the more dangerous road of the interior, but
the title of his book also refers to the spiritual path that
any scholar should tread towards wisdom or enlightment.
But I am running ahead... I am not a scholar, just an engineer.
I read a lot since my childhood, and I got into the habit
to take notes and fill many notebooks with quotes from my
So why am I putting these notes online? Maybe because Confucius
was right saying:
"The ancient scholars studied for their own improvement.
Modern scholars study to impress others."
Back to my homepage
- The Truth beyond words
- Both Zen and Confucianism claims that the truth is not in
words, that ultimate wisdom cannot be attained by study alone...
- The Great Learning
"A person of high virtue is not conscious of virtue
and therefore possesses Virtue.
A person of little virtue tries to be virtuous
and therefore lacks Virtue."
- Zhuang Zi on archery
Archery was always a prime example of an art that requires both
physical and mental training. Lets read a passage from book XXI
of Zhuang Zi (Chuang Tse) about the famous archer Lieh Yue-kou.
- The shooting of non-shooting...
Yagyu Munenori, founder of the Shinkageryu school of swordfighting,
explains very clearly these obscure words.
This quote is from the Heiho Kadensho, the
"secret" book of the Yagyu family, transmitting their system
from generation to generation.
- The true spirit of meditation
Zen master Hakuin (1689-1796) compares zazen practice to true
enlightment, which can be sustained during our everyday life.
- Seek the lost mind
Zen priest Takuan, quoting and explaining Meng Zi (Mencius)...
- Basho on Sabi
"If a man goes to a party, dressed up in gay clothes,
or goes to the war, dressed up in stout armour,
if this is an older man, there is something lonely about him."
Sun-faced Buddha, moon-faced Buddha
Chan master Ma Tsu lies sick in his bed... The head monk comes to
visit him, politely inquiring about his health... Lets read this
famous koan from the Hekiganroku collection...