The Real Leisure

Update: 08/03/2017
According to Chinese culture, diligent people are honored while the lazy should be criticized. It seems that because of this traditional concept, most of Chinese have never enjoyed the leisure. Especially in current modern society, it is harder for Chinese to think of taking leisure time.

The Real Leisure


Some people may definite that enjoyment is eating delicious food, wearing pretty clothing, riding luxury vehicle, etc... Yet. the true meaning of enjoyment is relaxation and leisure that helps to assimilate the soul into body. Breathing fresh air, living in peaceful atmosphere, balancing the life are ways to enjoy. People should know thatpleasure does not simply concentrate on materials but suitably brings mind to leisure and comfort. 


 I lived in Shanghai when I was a child, then, I moved to Taipei, Tokyo, New York and some cities in Europe. Experience from those trips had enlightened me to realize that life of farmers in China is truly an ideal life. That is ideal life. People work on farms in the morning, watch TV in the evening when all members in family join together, neighbors gather for a cup of tea and chitchat. Also in that ideal life, people eat fresh fruit such as water melon in summer, while in winter, people share to each other peanuts and dried foods. They will eat, talk and enjoy the leisured life then go to sleep. The day after, farmers keep working their ordinary life. Ideal life may not bring to people much of material but it does bring lots of joy to the spiritual life. 


 In contrast, the real leisure seems hard to exist in city life because people living in city always bring along them the jealousy, stinginess. City people like to compare with each other their vehicles, food, jobs, income and so on…For city people, they may definite enjoy as working hard to earn as much money as possible and go back to sleep and the day after, they keep working hard to earn money and go back to sleep. City people have forced themselves to go along the running circle of earning money and sleep which is known as suffering, not enjoy. 


By the way, I recognized that Europeans are quite good at time arranging. When I preached overseas, participants paid so much attention on my speech. Sometimes, they might ask me some questions, if there was no time for the answer, the organizer would kindly advise me and the questioner going to a coffee shop or a quiet place to finish the answer. I realize that European particularly good at arranging time efficiently, they work hardly on their job, yet, when going back to home, they will ignore all bothering and stress and enjoy the leisure time.


Life in pagoda and monastery also follows the concept which is similar to European people. Even though people in pagoda and monastery are always busy, they still have enough time to catch up with work and leisure. After being Buddhists, they can choose different ways to enjoy leisure such as reading Sutras, worshiping Buddha, meditation and so on... to balance life. Arranging suitably the material and spiritual life is the way Buddhists nowadays choose to enjoy life leisurely. Hence, if you think I am so busy because of so much work to do, actually, I always can enjoy leisure time in busy life. 

HT. Thánh Nghiêm

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