In a hotel in Taiwan last week, while packing up to leave, I happened to open the bedside drawer and chanced upon a copy of the Bible and a Buddhist book. I picked up the Buddhist book and flipped through, regretting the fact that I had no time to read it. I had hoped to find it in my next hotel. In the next hotel, I chanced upon this book 靜思語Jing Si Aphorisms by Master Cheng Yen. It’s a one sentence a page book, with Spanish and English translation. I like the aphorisms – wise words that were neither religious nor refer much to Buddhism. I wanted very much to take the copy home, or even purchased it from the hotel but decided instead to quickly copy a few of those that I like. Here I share some truths with you.
On the cover : 做中学, 学中觉 While working, learn; while learning, awakens to the many truths in life.
- When walking, as we step our foot forward, we lift the other foot up. In the same way, we should let go of yesterday to focus on today.
- The future is an illusion, the past a memory. Hold on to the goodness that is in our heart at the present moment and take care to fulfill the duties that we have at hand.
- To willingly undergo hardship for the sake of helping others is compassion.
- Only those who respect themselves have the courage to be humble.
- To be humble is to shrink our ego until we are small enough to enter another’s eyes and reside in their hearts and minds.
- People who are preoccupied with past achievements cannot humble themselves.
- We start to slacken the minute we find excuses for ourselves.
- It’s easy to reflect on major mistakes and hard to eliminate small bad habits.
- The hardest thing for people to see is themselves.
- In handling matter, let your mind influence your heart. In dealing with people, let your heart influence your mind.
- Because seeing virtue in others is in itself a virtue, in appreciating others, we in fact dignify ourselves.
- Material objects were meant to be tools for us to use, yet lacking wisdom, we are perpetually discontent and we thus become enslaved by material things.
- How bitter life is when we have desires. Our demand on others bring endless misery.
- If we can reduce our desire, there is nothing really worth getting upset about.
- Know your blessings, cherish them and sow more blessings.
- Every single day is like a blank page of our life. Every person we meet, every event we participate in is a lively essay.
- People often feel upset because they take candid remarks too seriously.
- Giving with an expectation for return brings misery.
- It is more a blessing to serve others than to be served.
- Our mind is like a garden. If no good seeds are sown, nothing good will grow from it.
You may like to visit the website www.tzuchi.org for more or to purchase the books.