THE ESSENTIALS OF LIFE (EXCERPT)
Everyday disciplines are not just something to be
talked about, but something that must be practiced
and tested, as well as experienced and pursued step
by step. The way one treats others, the way one
carries out their daily routine, and the way one
thinks and expresses emotions, should all go
through trials to be established. Chan Master
Dongshan Liangjie of the Tang Dynasty once said,
“Actions that imitate the meaning of language are
groundless; languages that define actions are also
groundless.” What this means is if everyday
discipline is cultivated through cognitive learning,
then it will be very difficult to put into practice.
From the perspective of practice, there are
wonderful theories, but it is not something that can
be expressed clearly in language.
Pay attention to your experiences, for they are the
essentials of life. Like a mine of gold coming out of
the ground, they are destined to create a bright
future by emerging from the successes and failures in life.
Be free to do anything that is reasonable and right
for you. Do not always think of the benefits. Do not
worry about how others think of you, as your life is
your own business, not someone else’s.
We cannot just live for ourselves. Instead we need
to strive for the benefit of all beings at the same time.