Archive for February, 2018

Bring Happiness to Others

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A disciple asked Bodhidharma:
How can I become a happy person and bring happiness to others?

Bodhidharma said:
There are four states that you need to be in to do this.
Start by thinking of yourself as someone else, and this will make you “selfless.”
Next, think of others instead of yourself, this will make you “compassionate.”
Then, treat others as separate people, this will make you “wise.”
Finally, think of yourself as yourself, and this will make you “at ease.”

Image result for 達摩祖師相片
Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th or 6th century. He is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Chan Buddhism to China, and regarded as its first Chinese patriarch.
According to Chinese legend, he also began the physical training of the monks of Shaolin Monastery that led to the creation of Shaolin kungfu. In Japan, he is known as Daruma.

Bodhidharma’s teachings and practice centered on meditation and the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra. The Anthology of the Patriarchal Hall (952) identifies Bodhidharma as the 28th Patriarch of Buddhism in an uninterrupted line that extends all the way back to the Gautama Buddha himself.[16] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhidharma)

The following is Bodhidharma’s teaching in Chinese:

弟子問達摩祖師:
如何才能變成一個自己愉快,也帶給別人快樂的人?
達摩祖師笑答:
四種境界,你可領會其中的妙趣
首先把自己當成別人,此是”無我”:再之,要把別人當成自己,這是”慈悲”;而後,要把別人當成別人,此是”智慧”;最後,要把自己當成自己,這是”自在”。”selfless.”
Next, think of others instead of yourself, this will make you “compassionate.”
Then, treat others as separate people, this will make you “wise.”
Finally, think of yourself as yourself, and this will make you “at ease.”

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 23

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希言自然,故飄風不終朝,驟雨不終日。
孰為此者?天地。
天地尚不能久,而況於人乎?
故從事於道者,道者,同於道;德者,同於德;失者,同於失。
同於道者,道亦樂得之;同於德者,德亦樂得之;同於失者,失亦樂得之。
信不足,焉有不信焉。
Nature says few words:
Hence a windstorm lasts not a whole morning.
A rainstorm continues not a whole day.
Where do they come from?
From Nature.
Even Nature does not last long (in its utterances),
How much less should human beings?

Therefore it is that:
He who follows the Tao is identified with the Tao.
He who follows Character (Te) is identified with Character.
He who abandons (Tao) is identified with abandonment (of Tao).
He who identifies with the Tao –
The Tao is also glad to welcome him.
He who identifies with character –
Character (Te) is also glad to welcome him.
He who identifies with abandonment –
Abandonment is also glad to welcome him.
He who does not have enough faith –
Will not be able to command faith from others.
(Translated by Yu Tang Lin)

Tao Te Ching consists of two sections: Chapter one to thirty-seven is all about Tao, whereas the second section about Te is from chapter thirty to eighty-one. Tao is the “body, ” and Te is the “application.”

Lao Tzu admired nature, and he believed Tao is nature. Nature is of few words, and laws and regulations are against nature. Hence they will not last long. It is inevitable that things that are not natural will not persist. Only things which are natural can be sustained.

Here he gives the examples of a windstorm and a rainstorm, which only last for a short time. But the gentle breeze and bright sun will last long. If heaven and earth go against nature, they will not persist, and the same applies to humans. If people violate nature, they will not last long, so people should follow and abide by nature.

Lao Tzu mentioned there are three types of people:
1. Those who follow the Tao and identify with Tao.
2. Those who follow the Te and identify with Te.
3. Those who neither follow Tao nor follow Te and identify with loss.

The last two lines: “He who has not enough faith will not be able to command faith from others,” has been used to describe rulers in chapter 17. They do not integrate well with this section, so we can just remove these sentences.

The Trilogy of Life in the Eyes of the Famous

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The German poet Goethe wrote a poem summarizing the experience of life toward maturity and perfection: “The young, I love your beauty; the middle age, I love your speech; the old age, I love your virtue.”

Goethe (Stieler 1828).jpg

The image is fromhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Wolfgang_von_Goethe.

The Chinese poet Liu Dabai once wrote a poetry praising the trilogy of life: “Young people are artists and create piece by piece; middle-aged people are engineers, and build one building at a time; the elderly are historians, and you can read their works page by page. ”

Image result for image of 中国诗人刘大白
Image of Liu Dabai from中国梦文学网.

The poetry veteran Zang Kejia posted a poem to reflect the poor and tragic lives of the old farmers: “Son, bathe in the soil; Father, sweat in the soil; Grandpa, buried in the earth.”

The image of Zang kejia from https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E8%87%A7%E5%85%8B%E5%AE%B6/152684?fr=aladdin.

Female writer You Jin writes that the drink preferences of different generations of people reflect modern life: “My son likes soft drinks, he only tastes sweet; my father loves coffee, which is bitter but also sweet; my grandfather drinks boiled water because it is very light. ”

Image of You Jin from http://www.baike.com/wiki/%E5%B0%A4%E4%BB%8A.

Wang Dingjun, a scholar, has a special understanding of the Trilogy of Life: “God gives us, the small and young to our parents, the strong and energic to the national society. Only by old age, He returns us to ourselves.”

The image of Wang Dingjun is from http://www.baike.com/wiki/%E7%8E%8B%E9%BC%8E%E9%92%A7.

 

Note:

For the Chines text, please click the link

人生三部曲/The Trilogy of Life

 

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