Chapter 12

五色令人目盲,

五音令人耳聋,

五味令人口爽,

驰骋畋猎令人心发狂,

难得之货令人行妨。

是以圣人,

為腹不為目,

故去彼取此

The eyes of the person gone wild on the five sights, are blind.

The ears of the person driven wild by the five cries, are deaf.

The taste of the person driven wild by the five savours is intoxicated.

The mind of the person driven wild by the chase is crazy.

The practice of a person driven wild by rare goods is hindered

Therefore the sage acts from the belly, not from the eye;

Dying to the one, he chooses the other.

COMMENTARY

The text favours a simple, down to earth life. When hungry, eat. When cold, chop wood and make a fire. When tired, sleep. This is to act from the belly. The basic instincts perform their task and we should attend to them. They are a reliable guide.

There is a tendency in translating texts into modern languages to introduce our scientific bias, but in doing so we lose some of the flavour and animation of the original text. For instance, the first three lines mention sight, sound and taste, but we should take this as referring to all the senses. The first line literally says “Five colour compelled man eyes blind”. Colour, however, has the same double sense as it does in English, as when we say, for instance, that a person led a colourful life and the characters 色令 taken as a unit mean “to lose one's head” over something.

It may well be that there is no intention here to make reference to a list of five sounds or a list of five tastes; the five may simply be an abbreviation for five senses. In any case, the general meaning is clear enough, that there are innumerable things that can lead to us getting carried away into states in which we lose all sense of proportion and cease to experience things as they actually are. The sage is one who lets these intoxications die away so as to return to a more sane and sober life.

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ITZI Conference 2017

Blog Posts

Relationship.

Posted by Adam Dunsby on September 9, 2017 at 20:56 0 Comments

Found this on a Chogyam Trungpa video…

''The relationship between student and teacher is like a dance…

In relating with the teacher, your critical input and your surrendering work together. They’re not working against each other. The more input you get from the teacher and the phenomenal world and the more you develop, at the same time, the more you question. So there is a kind of dance taking place between the teacher and yourself. You are not particularly trying to switch off…

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Reflections on Foolishness.

Posted by Adam Dunsby on September 5, 2017 at 11:50 1 Comment

I sometimes can’t believe how defective I am!! Whilst despairing of myself the other day I remembered a Shinran teaching that I found some time ago. It really made me think and reinforced my resolve to practice.

It is a Pureland teaching about the depth of our sin preventing us from being genuinely good. Our efforts to be decent, caring beings are always based in and therefore contaminated by our self centredness, greed hatred and delusion. This is due to the…

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Korean Version of Workshops

Posted by JAESUNG KIM on August 6, 2017 at 6:58 0 Comments

2017 여름 불교심리치료 및 상담 워크숍 3회 내용

THREE PSYCHOTHERAPY & COUNSELLING WORKSHOPS

 

WORKSHOP 1: SNOW UPON A SILVER PLATE [ 銀盌盛雪]: PRINCIPLES OF BUDDHIST PSYCHOLOGY & THEIR PSYCHOTHERAPEUTIC APPLICATION

In this workshop we shall introduce and review important aspects of Buddhist psychology including the conditioned and unconditioned mind, object relatedness, skandha process, the unity of path and goal, bodhichitta,…

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Great Intentions.

Posted by Adam Dunsby on August 3, 2017 at 22:42 0 Comments

  • The power of intentions is a topic that comes up regularly for me and always provides me with food for thought. In a recent service I was struck by the gravity of the Bodhisattva vows that we sing as part of our liturgy. ”Innumerable…

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