Tuesday, February 03, 2015


Delights to Last a Lifetime

Yoshishige no Yasutane (c.930-997), "Record of the Pond Pavilion," tr. Burton Watson in Four Huts: Asian Writings on the Simple Life (Boston: Shambhala, 2002), pp. 25-35 (at 33):
When my supper is done, I enter the eastern library, open my books, and find myself in the company of worthy men of the past, those such as Emperor Wen of the Han, a ruler of another era, who loved frugal ways and gave rest to his people; Po Lo-t'ien of the T'ang, a teacher of another time, who excelled in poetry and served the Buddhist Law; or the Seven Sages of the Chin dynasty, friends of another age, who lived at court but longed for the life of retirement. So I meet with a worthy ruler, I meet with a worthy teacher, and I meet with worthy friends, three meetings in one day, three delights to last a lifetime. As for the people and affairs of the contemporary world, they hold no attraction for me.

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