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Eating and Sleeping

Master Youyuan of the Vinaya School consulted Zen Master Dazhu Huihai: “Is there any secret approach to Buddhist practice for monks?”

Zen Master Dazhu said: “Yes, of course.”

Master Youyuan asked: “What is it then?”

Zen Master Dazhu answered: “Eat when you are hungry and sleep when you are sleepy.”

Master Youyuan was confused and asked: “Ordinary people also do that. Is there any difference?”

Zen Master Dazhu said: “Yes.”

Master Youyuan asked: “What’s the difference then?”

Zen Master Dazhu answered: “Ordinary people are hypercritical. When they eat, they are picky about the food so that they would not eat well; when they sleep, they are lost in fancies and conjectures so they would not sleep well.”

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