Literally: leg – below – illuminate – look back
Alternately: Make time to look within. More literally, “make sure to look carefully under your own feet.” 照顧 is a Zen Buddhist term for consideration, reflection, introspection. This is a warning that instead of criticizing or critiquing others, it’s more important to look back on your own words and deeds.
Notes: Replacing 脚 with homophone and close relative 却, “instead,” is of course an error. It is possible, albeit uncommon, to flip the order and instead use 照顧脚下.
This phrase is attributed to a Kamakura-era Buddhist priest known as 孤峰覚明 (Kohou Kakumyou)
(Hakimono wo soroeru to kokoro mo sorou
Kokoro ga sorou to hakimono mo sorou
Nugu toki ni soroete oku to
haku toki ni
Dare ka ga
damatte soroete oite ageyou
Sou sureba kitto
sekaijuu no hito no kokoro mo sorou deshou)
(“If you line up your shoes, your heart will become orderly as well
If your heart is in order, your shoes will be too
If you make them neat when you take them off
then when you put them on
If someone leaves them in a mess
quietly line them up for that person
If you do that, then surely
the hearts of everyone in the world will also be in good order”)
It is interesting relation between the heart and the way you place the shoes. I never thought of that before.