Views Zen Comics: Wisdom Through Manga
A Path to Peace: Knowing Enough Is Enough

Mokutan Angelo [Profile]

[2017.06.10] Read in: 日本語 | ESPAÑOL | العربية | Русский |

Accepting life as it is, rather than chasing constantly multiplying desires, is a route to tranquility. The second of a series introducing the language of Zen through easy-to-understand manga strips examines the phrase 知足安分 (chisoku anbun).

Appreciating when one has enough (知足; chisoku) and being satisfied with one’s circumstances (安分; anbun) come together in the phrase 知足安分 (chisoku anbun). The idea is that accepting one’s current situation is the path to everyday peace.

There is no end to desire, whether for food, material goods, fame, or sexual fulfilment. When we begin to want something, we lose all sense of control. Satisfy one desire and a new longing is born. It is not uncommon for people to be unable to find contentment and tormented by a constant sense of unease, no matter what riches they accumulate.

Trees are healthier and more graceful when expertly trimmed than when they are left to grow wild. It is the same with human desire. By controlling our wants, we can live more tranquil, contented lives.

Cast of Characters

Noriko, a selfish junior high school student
Kōji, her father

On a seaside road . . . On a seaside road . . .

“It’s perfect weather for a drive along the coast. Just an idyllic, straight road stretching out ahead.” “It’s perfect weather for a drive along the coast. Just an idyllic, straight road stretching out ahead.”

“I’d rather check out a rich neighborhood myself.” “I’d rather check out a rich neighborhood myself.”

“That’s the life for a fantastic girl like me. A chic outfit every day, a big house, trips in the Mercedes . . .” “That’s the life for a fantastic girl like me. A chic outfit every day, a big house, trips in the Mercedes . . .”

“Which reminds me, Dad. Your car’s old! You should buy a new one that’s a bit quicker.” “Which reminds me, Dad. Your car’s old! You should buy a new one that’s a bit quicker.”

“So you like speed? OK, here we go.” “So you like speed? OK, here we go.”

“Wow! Dad, I’ve never seen you drive <em>this</em> fast.” <br />“Not fast enough, you say? Hold on!” “Wow! Dad, I’ve never seen you drive this fast.”
“Not fast enough, you say? Hold on!”

“Isn’t this too fast? You’re scaring me.” “Isn’t this too fast? You’re scaring me.”

“Oh yeah, now we’re moving.” “Oh yeah, now we’re moving.”

“Dad! I’m too young to die!” “Dad! I’m too young to die!”

“Let’s go . . . supersonic!” “Let’s go . . . supersonic!”

“Please! Please stop!” “Please! Please stop!”

“Sure.”<br />Screeeeech! “Sure.”
Screeeeech!

“Phew. . . Do you want to kill me?” “Phew . . . Do you want to kill me?”

“Keep saying ‘more’ and there’s no end to it. You should be content with what you have. I can step on the brakes to stop the car from getting out of control, but we can’t do that with our desires.” “Keep saying ‘more’ and there’s no end to it. You should be content with what you have. I can step on the brakes to stop the car from getting out of control, but we can’t do that with our desires.”

“Yes, yes, thank you very much for today’s lesson.” “Yes, yes, thank you very much for today’s lesson.”

Noriko’s stomach starts to growl. Noriko’s stomach starts to growl.

“I’m hungry. Shall we stop in at a restaurant? But not a family restaurant—I want to go to a classy, French place.” “I’m hungry. Shall we stop in at a restaurant? But not a family restaurant—I want to go to a classy, French place.”

“Right! Off we go! Full speed ahead!” “Right! Off we go! Full speed ahead!”

“No! Stop! Anywhere’s fine!” “No! Stop! Anywhere’s fine!”

The End

(Originally published in Japanese on June 5, 2017. Manga by Mokutan Angelo.)

  • [2017.06.10]

Born in Brazil. Inspired by Japanese manga at the age of 14, he decided to become a manga creator himself. Studied manga and Japanese and attended Tokyo Zōkei University as a graduate student from 2007. After graduation, worked at an IT corporation for five years. Was a manga representative at the opening ceremony for the 2015 Tokyo International Book Fair. Produces many manga works based on Zen, including the Mai zen daiarī (My Zen Diary) strip for the Japanese business magazine President Next.

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