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Lions Roar : May 2013
scale. There are a good many with the taste of jukunen fudo, “at peace and unmoved.” Wilson explains that this seems to come directly from the Confucian commentar- ies on the I Ching, one of the most ancient Chinese works extant, studied in Japan from the eighth century if not earlier. “When the water flows quickly, the moon is not carried along,” an ichigyomono from the Zenrin Kushu often found in tearooms and dojos, is explained: “If your training is sound, you will remain unperturbed, regardless of the situation.” It is inarguable that this is an aspect of wisdom; whether it is fully balanced remains, I think, arguable. There is also the manners aspect of the included ichigyomono: “A gentleman’s relationships are light as water.” This is glossed as being about not allowing for “familiarity” in our relationships, to which Wilson adds the comment, “which often breeds contempt.” We learn from Chuang Tzu that the “relationships of the man of little character are as cloying as sweet wine.” The advice continues that should we be like water we’ll glean affec- tion, whereas if we carry on like sweet wine distance will result. This may or may not be helpful to know, but we’re at a different level of instruction, to say the least. Also by this point a sense of something somewhat male begins to be a mild undercurrent. Female readers will also note that as a translator, Wilson’s choice is to maintain the gendered nature of the original texts, so advice arrives in the classic Confucian form: “The Way of the Gentleman...,” etc. Given that there are 109 ichigyomono dealt with, however, the book offers many chances to simply open to a page and taste directly. Indeed, my favorite way of being with the book, after reading through once and sensing the gentle organizing prin- ciples Wilson has used to segment the sections, was to do just that: randomly enjoy a single “teaching” for an entry into my own evening tea, entering that place where the grasses sometimes roar. From what temple it is unknown The sound of the bell Sent by the wind o SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2013 86