Mud can grow a lotus flower; a humble family can foster a filial son; a furnace can forge iron and steel; hardship can shape a great man; bitterness can conceal sweetness; worry can transform into bodhi.
Sand can cultivate seedlings of grain; mud can grow a pure lotus. Whether outside circumstances are good or bad is unimportant; what is important are useful seeds.
Cultivating the mind should be as clear as a polished mirror or still water. Conducting oneself should be as noble as the lofty mountains.
Handling affairs should be as open as the blue sky or bright sun. Treating others should be as mild as a light breeze or unclouded moon.
A true follower of the Buddha— your head should support the sky; your feet should tread the great earth; your eyes should watch all living beings; your ears should listen to the voice of suffering.
Studying Buddhism is like an olive: it will be sweet after the bitterness and sourness. Practicing the Buddhist teachings is like drinking ice water: it will be pure and refreshing after the coldness.
A monastery is like a gas station: it can add a necessary source of energy to life. A monastery is like a grocery store: it can provide the Dharma food necessary for life.
A monastery is like a trade workshop: it can teach the methods necessary to conduct oneself. A monastery is like a greenhouse of wisdom: it can nourish conditions necessary for the mind.
A monastery is like an immigration office: it can provide a visa to the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss.
Taking initiative is like boiling water: one must add fuel continuously for the water to boil. Practicing is like walking: one must watch each step for the action to be correct. Taking initiative and practicing are the main ingredients for a successful career.
A human, being able to express emotion, is like a timely rain spreading all over the dry land: everything will be revived. The mind, being able to understand, is like a spring thunderstorm resounding throughout the sky: everything will be awakened.
Live your life with an even mind. Examine yourself with a humble mind. Cultivate yourself with a non-abiding mind. Devote yourself to the Way with a bodhi mind.
A hairline crack can break a levee; a minute fissure can harm a friendship. Taking precaution at the beginning can nip trouble in the bud; being aware of one’s faults can eliminate trouble.
Be like pines and cypress— they can endure trials. Be like organs and their senses— each has its own duty. Be like the blind and the lame— they can help each other. Be like the saints and sages— they do not slight beginners.
The dragon must swim to the vast ocean and contend with crashing waves, so that it can move at ease.
The lion must run to the jungle and defeat all animals, so that it can show its valiant visage.
The bird must fly to the limitless sky and accept challenge, so that it can learn to wheel about at pleasure.
A person must engage in society and endure tests, so that he can grow rapidly.
The decayed scab should be removed, so that new flesh can grow; bad habits should also be removed, so that one can cultivate virtue.
The brave create destiny; the weak rely on destiny; the kind observe destiny; the wise change destiny.
The great ones— saints and sages of the world— succeeded through determination; all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas of the spiritual world attained enlightenment through vows.
If you want to succeed in becoming a great person, you must resolve to accomplish important things. If you want to attain the Way, you must vow to liberate all living beings.
A selfish desire is like a valley; we must fill it with joyous giving. An angry mind is like a high mountain; we must surpass it with compassion. A ungrounded view is like a waterfall; we must cross it with correct belief. Ignorant attachment is like solid ice; we must melt it with wisdom.
When parking a car, leave some space so that later you can turn around; when dealing with people, leave a hairsbreadth between so that you can happily meet again.