Monthly Archives: August 2011

Zentraveler on the Three Wise Monkeys!

Three Wise Monkeys

We have all grew up hearing the stories about the Three Wise Monkeys, but did you know you can trace their story back to the Italian Mafia, Buddhism, Taoism, Shinto, Japanese, Chinese and possibly even earlier dating to the 17th century.

Together they embody the proverbial principle to “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. The three monkeys are Mizaru, covering his eyes, who sees no evil; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering his mouth, who speaks no evil.

There are various meanings ascribed to the monkeys and the proverb including associations with being of good mind, speech and action. In the Western world the phrase is often used to refer to those who deal with impropriety by looking the other way, refusing to acknowledge it, or feigning ignorance.
In English, the monkeys’ names are often given as Mizaru, Mikazaru, and Mazaru but the last two names were corrupted from the Japanese originals.

Kōshin scroll with the three monkeys. The source that popularized this pictorial maxim is a 17th century carving over a door of the famous Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō, Japan. The carvings at Toshogu Shrine were carved by Hidari Jingoro, and believed to have incorporated Confucius’s Code of Conduct, using the monkey as a way to depict man’s life cycle. There are a total of 8 panels, and the iconic Three Wise Monkeys picture comes from panel 2. The philosophy, however, probably originally came to Japan with a Tendai-Buddhist legend, from China in the 8th century (Nara Period). It has been suggested that the figures represent the three dogmas of the so-called middle school of the sect.

In Chinese, a similar phrase exists in the Analects of Confucius from 2nd to 4th century BCE: “Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety” It may be that this phrase was shortened and simplified after it was brought into Japan. It is through the Kōshin rite of folk religion that the most significant examples are presented. The Kōshin belief or practice is a Japanese folk religion with Chinese Taoism origins and ancient Shinto influence. It was founded by Tendai Buddhist monks in the late 10th century. A considerable number of stone monuments can be found all over the eastern part of Japan around Tokyo. During the later part of the Muromachi period, it was customary to display stone pillars depicting the three monkeys during the observance of Kōshin.

Though the teaching had nothing to do with monkeys, the concept of the three monkeys originated from a simple play on words. The saying in Japanese is “mizaru, kikazaru, iwazaru” literally “don’t see, don’t hear, don’t speak”.

It is also possible that the three monkeys came from a more central root than a simple play on words. The shrine at Nikko is a Shinto shrine, and the monkey is an extremely important being in the Shinto religion. The monkey is believed to be the messenger of the Hie Shinto shrines, which also have connections with Tendai Buddhism. There are even important festivals that are celebrated during the year of the monkey (occurring every twelve years) and a special festival is celebrated every sixteenth year of the Kōshin.

“The Three Mystic Apes” (Sambiki Saru) were described as “the attendants of Saruta Hito no Mikoto or Kōshin, the God of the Roads”. The Kōshin festival was held on the 60th day of the calendar. It has been suggested that during the Kōshin festival, according to old beliefs, one’s bad deeds might be reported to heaven “unless avoidance actions were taken….” It has been theorized that the three Mystic Apes, Not Seeing, Hearing, or Speaking, may have been the “things that one has done wrong in the last 59 days.”

According to other accounts, the monkeys caused the Sanshi and Ten-Tei not to see, say or hear the bad deeds of a person. The Sanshi are three worms living in everyone’s body. The Sanshi keep track of the good deeds and particularly the bad deeds of the person they inhabit. Every 60 days, on the night called Kōshin-Machi , if the person sleeps, the Sanshi will leave the body and go to Ten-Tei , the Heavenly God, to report about the deeds of that person. Ten-Tei will then decide to punish bad people, making them ill, shortening their time alive, and in extreme cases putting an end to their lives. Those believers of Kōshin who have reason to fear will try to stay awake during Kōshin nights. This is the only way to prevent the Sanshi from leaving their body and reporting to Ten-Tei.

In Japan the proverb is simply regarded as a Japanese Golden Rule. Some simply take the proverb as a reminder not to be snoopy, nosy and gossipy. Early associations of the three monkeys with the fearsome six-armed deity Vajrakilaya link the proverb to the teaching of Buddhism that if we do not hear, see or talk evil, we ourselves shall be spared all evil. This may be considered similar to the English proverb “Speak of the Devil – and the devil appears.”

Others believe the message is that a person who is not exposed to evil (through sight or sound) will not reflect that evil in their own speech and actions.

Today “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” is commonly used to describe someone who doesn’t want to be involved in a situation, or someone willfully turning a blind eye to the immorality of an act in which they are involved. The Italian version, “Non vedo, non sento, non parlo” (I see nothing, I hear nothing, I say nothing), expresses the Omertà, a code of silence enforced by criminal organizations like the Mafia, ‘Ndrangheta, and Camorra.

In many interpretations it can be seen as a way to avoid spreading evil. Do not listen to evil things so they do not influence you. Do not read things that are evil or look upon evil things so they do not influence you, and lastly do not repeat verbally evil things so they cannot be spread about.
Source:adapted from

So there you have it! See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil may be very wise or not…you be the judge! If we lived by the golden rule we wouldn’t have any evil and we would all be wise.

QUOTE:A wise monkey never monkeys with another monkeys monkey!

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:Three Wise Monkeys is similar with Confucius’s teaching of “Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety.”

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Monkeys! Their habitat is being eroded as we speak and we cannot just sit back and watch see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, as the monkeys make their way from the jungles into the illegal smuggling trade.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:There are times in a person’s life when it is important to emulate one or all of the three wise monkeys.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Filed under analects of confucius, Blogging, buddhism, buddhist legend, chineese proverbs, confucius code of conduct, italian mafia, japanase, koshin, mafia, nara period, Practical Zen, shinto religion, taoism, three monkeys, three wise monkeys, tosho-gu shrine, Uncategorized, Zen fables

Zentraveler stays at backpackers hostel The InnCrowd in Singapore.

The Art of Travel

Fellow travelers from the Philippines pre-warned us that Singapore was a bit pricey and be especially careful about hotels! After researching the Internet and reading the reviews we decided to book three of our six night stay at the InnCrowd. I did this over the internet with a credit card and also paid to be picked up at the airport and delivered right to the backpackers hostel.

Inn Crowd Annex

When we arrived their main hostel was booked full and just around the corner at the InnCrowd annex we had our own private room with a tv to view dvd’s from their library with remote control aircon. The bed was a bit funky but the room was clean and we were headquartered right next to Little India and a short walk to the MRT subway system… which could deliver you in high-speed throughout the city.


The main InnCrowd had unlimited coffee and tea and each morning you could have toast with marmalade and butter and hard-boiled eggs which was included in the price. They also had a large media screen for viewing movies and a very helpful staff to assist you on your travels throughout the city. One of the main reasons to stay in a backpackers hostel is because of the interesting people you meet… some who have nearly traveled the globe and other first timers from their respective countries.

You could overhear at breakfast some were on the Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore route and others were explaining how to go to the night zoo or just hanging out in large air-conditioned malls.

Colorful Little India

Being right next to Little India opened up a bonanza of great restaurants of every description and price range. On the recommendation from a fiend we chose to eat at the Banana Leaf restaurant where we were served a 7 coarse meal for about $20.00 including tax and tips. We planned this bit of a splurge and it was definitely worth it with some of the best food I have ever tasted… complete with professional waiters who were easy to talk to and get their special recommendations.

Gold Jewelry Little India

Going to the malls was a different experience all together… most of the customers had bags and boxes full of the latest electronics including: laptop computers and brand name cameras. The customers were a mix of people originally from India and native Singaporeans all well dressed and money seemed no object.
Talk about a booming economy… Singapore is exploding with wealth and growth.

Magical Little India

So there you have it if you want to mingle with the backpacker set no matter what your age the next time you travel why not book into one of many backpackers hostels and see for yourself the range of electricity being generated from a group of explorers on the move….The Backpackers!

QUOTE:People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:You probably use the internet every day and can’t imagine your life without it, but do you know how much time you spend surfing the NET? It’s estimated that each month YOU normally visit 58 domains, viewing over 1050 web pages while allocating 45 seconds for each page. Each surfing session lasts approximately 51 min. Generally YOU spend about 25 hours every month on your internet activity! Surprised?

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Your travel notes… how else can you remember all that stuff?

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: It in zee travel! You can travel for real or you can become a virtual traveler… simply by following your favorite travel blogs.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Filed under backpackers hostels asia, Blogging, hard boiled eggs, inn crowd, inncrowd, singapore route, travel, Uncategorized, writing

Zentraveler loves Herbalife choco shake!

Perlas Shake Party

In the movie Alfie they asked “WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?” The quick answer is: It’s all about Nutrition!

Choco for those folks not living in the Philippines correlates to chocolate and who doesn’t like chocolate. Every morning for breakfast and when we travel I have a delicious choco shake… often times enhanced with fresh fruit such as: banana,mango,papaya, and pineapple.

The Herbalife company has been in business since 1980 and is available in over 70 countries and expanding rapidly under the leadership of Miachael Johnson Herbalife’s President. They recently won a Nobel prize for nutrition and have one of the best staff of doctors doing research in the world. Dr. Louis Ignarro, PH.D., is a member of Herbalife’s Nutrition and Scientific Advisory Boards. The NAB is made up of leading experts around the world in the fields of nutrition and health who educate and train Herbalife Independent Distributors on the principles of nutrition, physical activity and healthy lifestyle.

We have all heard of these miracle foods touted over the internet, but for the record this product is the real deal and can help with weight loss or weight gain… giving you much more nutrition value than USDA requires for a daily meal… plus it tastes good.

Herbalife’s goal is making the world a better place… person to person… city by city. Their vision and mission is changing people’s lives by providing the best business opportunity in direct selling and the best nutrition and weight-management products in the world.

Our Future

Herbalife Shakes our packaged in one liter canisters or in individual servings which are excellent for travel, to take to the office and for a quick snack anytime of day!Perla always has a supply in her pocketbook and all you need is a 10 Oz bottle of water…. put in the Herbalife choco mix and shake.

Mark Hughes dream when he started Herbalife 30 years ago was to have a canister of Formula 1 Shake in every household. The F1 Nutritional Shake is a healthy and delicious meal that provides essential nutrients and quality ingredients. The Formula 1 shake contains 23 vitamins and minerals including B vitamins to satisfy your hunger and helps to manage your weight too.

So there you have it this product is designed for the person on the go or the person who wants good nutrition… versus so much of the dead fast food available today. So the next time you hear yourself saying: “Have you had your shake today?” Maybe its time to break out one of the convenient packs and indulge yourself in one of the best nutritional drinks you will ever have.

Herbalife Shake

The Herbalife product is not sold in retail stores, however anyone living in the Philippines and Asia area can contact Perla at cell phone number 0919 4632 919 and learn to purchase or become an Independent Distributor. For more information you can check out Perlas website at:

The Herbalife shakes come in three flavors in the Philippines and more flavors in some countries. They are Vanilla which is the easiest to mix with fruits, Wild Berry and Choco. “Bon appetit!”



Have You Had Your Shake Today

Disclaimer: This website is simply the writers views and is not an attempt to practice medicine or provide specific medical or health advice and should not be used to make a diagnosis or to replace or overrule a qualified health care provider’s judgment. None of the statements on Zentraveler are to be understood as a recommendation on how to treat any disease or health related condition. If you require medical or other assistance Zentraveler strongly encourages users to consult with a qualified health care professional.

QUOTE:We are all dietetic sinners; only a small percent of what we eat nourishes us; the balance goes to waste and loss of energy. ~William Osler

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: You can weigh 1000 lbs and still be malnourished.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Time and Money by taking at least one shake per day plus all of the energy you save by not cooking, running to the store, eating at restaurants, paying tips and driving all over the place to find the perfect eatery.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:Have you had your shake today? If not why not? Get busy grasshopper!

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

Leave a comment

Filed under banana mango, Blogging, dr louis ignarro, health, herbalife company, living in the philippines, Uncategorized, weight management products