2. Retire at a regular hour
I can’t say for sure why he put this on the list, but I know why I believe it’s important.
Your sleep schedule can set you up for success or it can wreak havoc on your mind and body. I have a consistent bed time every day, and I stick to it whether it’s Monday or Friday. This is important to me because I’ve experienced before what a crazy sleep schedule can do to you.
By going to sleep at a regular hour each day, which for me is around 10-11 P.M., you breed consistency in your life, tend to your mind and bodies need for rest consistently and therefore are at your best each morning, and are all the more likely to wake up early in the morning- and the quality of your morning is a huge factor in determining the quality of your life.
3. Partake of food at regular intervals. Eat with moderation and never to the point of satisfaction
Most of us don’t notice the effect that food can have on our lives. Particularly the way that we eat now in the modern age. Over-satisfaction 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 (it can serve as a sort of addiction, among other things). No one is more aware of this than a Buddhist.
4. Receive a guest with the same attitude you have when alone. When alone, maintain the same attitude you have in receiving guests
This one might sound odd, but looked at from the context of Zen, this refers to existing fully in the present moment. Receive a guest with your full presence, as if you were alone in your home working, caring for your children, reading an interesting book, or meditating. When alone, maintain the same attitude of absolute presence and attentiveness you have when receiving guests into your home.
5. Watch what you say, and whatever you say, practice it
Another thing that a Buddhist is very aware of is the power of one’s words. Our words carry weight, no matter who we are. They can send someone in a downward spiral or they can raise them up and inject confidence in them. They can bring peace and they can spur on war. It’s for this reason that we should be very careful with what we say.
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. The importance of this saying goes beyond the boundaries of culture and religion. What you say should be what you practice.
If you meet someone who doesn’t practice what they say, don’t listen to a word. If you don’t practice what you say, better start now. The importance of this can’t be understated.