Zen Calendar 2023

Happy New Year everyone!

My local Soto-shu temple here in Tokyo has Zazen sessions open to the public twice a month and I often go along. Last time everyone who attended got a Zen Calendar for 2023. There’s a lovely picture for each month, and little proverb for each day.

I thought it’d be nice to post each day’s proverb here all of this year. And I’d like to invite anyone who is interested to translate! I could do that, but my Japanese is awful! However, if there is no interest, I’ll add my own translation.

Anyway, here’s the cover of the calendar:

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  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Discussions, notes, highlights, etc:

  1. Yotsuba joins in!
  2. Are these proverbs, aphorisms, adages, or sayings?
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Here’s the picture for January:

思い立ったら吉日
今日は良い日
今からやってみよう

Translations welcome!

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Sunday January 1st:

気持よい挨拶で

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I wish I could get this calendar :star_struck:

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My attempts

If you make up your mind, it will be a lucky day

Today is a good day

From now on, try and give it a shot (Maybe it wants you try your hand at translation)

With a pleasant greeting (This feels like it has a “…” nuance, and you have to fill it in yourself)

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I think it might be like a, “(start/go through the day) with a pleasant greeting.”

Considering it’s something you see when you wake up.

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Where are the day’s proverbs in the calendar?

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Yeah I think you’re right, I was considering putting “Start” at the beginning but I wondered if that’d be too much, so I wanted to just leave it up to the interpretation of the reader.

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Thanks for asking @Kazzeon ! I should have posted!

Edit: images removed for fear of possible copyright infringement.

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Genius! Thank you @HaseebYousfani

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this is a lovely idea, thank you for sharing these!

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Thank you so much!

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Monday, January 2nd:

心の手をつなごう

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Let’s join the hands of our hearts?

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Tuesday, January the 3rd:

順調な時に備えを

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Make preparations (for the bad times) during the good times.

I was gonna say this could be the Japanese equivalent of “make hay while the sun shines”, but according to Jisho, the Japanese equivalent of that is (ironically enough) 思い立ったが吉日, so I wonder if either (a) there’s some subtleties in the English (or the Japanese) that I’m not really picking up on, or (b) there’s some overlap here.

Or (c) Jisho’s being too liberal with its proverb equvalencies. I’m thinking now that 思い立ったが吉日 might be closer to “there’s no time like the present” - which is to say, “do it now, don’t put it off until later”, whereas “make hay while the sun shines” is closer to “make preparations now while things are good for leaner times in the future”.

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You’re amazing @Belthazar ! Thank you!

I just went with Jisho:

順調 -じゅんちょう -favourable; favorable; doing well; OK; all right

時 - とき - time/s

備え - そなえ -preparation; provision; guarding

And came up with some garbled nonsense! So thank you!

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In english this distinction sounds right to me: “there’s no time like the present” = “now is the good time to start doing x”, and “make hay while the sun shines” is “if the times are good, then make the most of them”

順調な時に備えを feels more like the 2nd to me. “In the favorable times, make preparations”.
I’m guuuueeeeessing that it’s implying 備えをする.

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Ah Yep! at least according to tsukuba, 備え occurs most commonly with する

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