The Fundamentals For Cultivation of Life
The pheasant of the marshes gets a peck once in ten steps, a drink once in a hundred. Yet it does not want to be fed in a cage. In the marshes, its spirit is healthy, and consequently it forgets health.
– Zhuangzi, Fung Yu-Lan translation
“These show that those who cultivate life best are those who cultivate their spirit best. To cultivate the spirit best is to set it free. If the spirit is in good condition, so also is the life, even though the body be in bad condition, as was the case with the Master of the Right. If the spirit is in bad condition, so also is the life, even though the body is in good condition, as was the case with the pheasant in a cage. Freedom of the spirit is essential to the cultivation of life.”
Excerpt from Chuang Tzu, Fung Yu-Lan’s translation.