The reflection of a bronze mirror allows one to straighten his attire; the reflection of the past allows one to witness the rise and fall of sovereigns; and the reflection of other people allows one to understand the meaning of success and failure. I, the emperor, constantly take on these three reflections to avoid being at fault.
── from Zhenguan Zhengyao
(Essentials of Government in the Zhenguang Period)
Farmers labor industriously,
yet most are without food to last overnight;
Weaveresses work tirelessly,
yet few have garments to fend off the cold.
When taking the three meals of the day,
be reminded of the farmers’ painstaking efforts;
For every thread that covers the body,
be mindful of the weaveresses’ laborious works.
Every inch of thread is spun from
the lives of thousands of silkworms;
Each scoop of rice is harvested from
a hundred whippings of the buffalo.
To reap without sowing
means meals and sleeps without peace.
Befriend the virtuous,
never the unrighteous;
Only take what one has rightfully earned,
never accept drinks without a proper cause.
Always keep in mind to restrain oneself,
remain quiet over gossips.
Shall one be able to follow these words of mine,
prosperity and honor shall prevail.
── from Xingshi Shici Xuan
(Selection of Poetry and Verses on Awakening the World)
Digging a well when thirsty
shows lack of forethought;
being conceited and rude
leads to few helpful opportunities;
observing without moving forward
increases shame and affliction;
having no sense of conscience brings
misfortune upon a house.
Venerable Master Hsing Yun grants voices to the objects of daily monastic life to tell their stories in this collection of first-person narratives.
Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (Chi:Guanyin) has been a source of inspiration and devotion for Mahayana Buddhists and non-Buddhists in Asia for centuries.
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