“Hard times make discipline difficult.” — Yung-Chia
This is a line from The Song of Realizing the Way which is attributed to Yung-chia, but was likely written by someone else, after 700 C.E..
In the compendium The Roaring Stream: A New Zen Reader, the editors, Nelson Foster and Jack Shoemaker have this to say about the line:
“Yun-chia here alludes to a prediction that the Buddha’s teaching would deteriorate over time. After being rightly remembered and practiced for its first thousand years, its second millennium was to be the age of “semblance,” when people wouldn’t understand the Dharma but would still go through the motions. Yung-chia lived in this latter period. A third and final age, lasting ten thousand years and expected to culminate in complete ignorance of the Way, is now in progress.”
I find it hard to argue against that last point.
Now go lift something heavy,