These rules were compiled by a Zen monk known as Shaku. He had lived them each day until his passing in 1919.
Sleep at a regular hour
By going to sleep at a regular hour each day, you create important consistency in your life. Our mind and bodies need consistent rest so that you are at your best each morning, and are all the more likely to wake up early- and the quality of your morning is a huge factor in determining the quality of your life.
Eat with moderation and never overeat
It’s easy to forget the effect food can have on our lives, particularly with our modern-age eating habits. Over-eating is just around the corner for most of us, and abusing food has more than just physical consequences; it has very real mental as well as global ones too if you think about the huge amount of waste involved.
When an opportunity comes do not let it pass you by — but always think twice before acting
Consider if the opportunity is the right thing to do- if it’s moral and if it’s just- and make sure it’s the right thing for you specifically.
Light incense and meditate in the morning
Daily meditation, particularly first thing in the morning, is something I talk about often. This is probably the most important point here!
By the way, incense has some truly remarkable qualities. If you’re looking to understand why it’s been used for so many centuries, check out this article.
Do not regret the past. Look to the moment
This is the cornerstone of Buddhist philosophy. The past isn’t real; it doesn’t exist. Only the now exists, and the path our present actions will have in our future lives.
Watch what you say, and whatever you say, practice it
Words are one of the most powerful things in the world. They’ve ended love, began love, created war and peace. They have a profound effect on others. The second part to this point is just as important. You’ve probably heard the saying, “practice what you preach”, at some point in your life. Without that crucial aspect, we do not have any power behind our words, and therefore they become less effective.
Have the fearless attitude of a hero and the loving heart of a child
When dealing with others, whether in or out of confrontation, we should approach the situation with the loving heart of a child. A child naturally has great compassion, understanding, is naturally caring, who sees every person as an equal — regardless of their social standing.