Quotes of Wisdom

静心的智慧 (2) - 虚云大师/沈海然

1 抬手想让时一种风度,心境通达时一种通透的智慧,这气度和智慧能让你摆脱心灵上的束缚。

2  在热闹场面心仍不动,赞叹毁谤亦不放在心上,心永远是定的。心中无事就不夹杂,清念相续就不间断。

3  其实世间就如同一场喜剧,哪里有真实可言? 看清了是非,在世间吃亏上当不要生气,欢欢喜喜地接受。

4  自由是太多人一直的追求,但有多少人能一辈子追寻着自己心中的梦想,让心自由飞翔呢? 给心一份自由,坚持你最初的自由理想。

5  恐惧不是来自于外界纷扰,而是来自于自己的内心。一个内心充满了恐惧的人,永远不会有从容的心态,没有恐惧才能更淡定。

6  金无足迹,人无全人,每个人做事,说话不可能十全十美,别人如此,自己也一样;要宽以待人,别人说错了话,做错了事,你再发脾气也无法挽回,可能你原谅了他,不计较,不追求,也许他会愧疚,更容易改正,何必抓住别人的错误不放呢!好鼓不用重锤,别人如果有不是, 我们需要的是失善意地提醒他一下,点明了, 他知错了, 下次注意改正,就行了。 这个人知错不改, 一而再,再而三,那他就不会做事,也不会做人,总有一天会吃亏甚至受到处罚的, 我们又何必动怒而不开心。 无论是非对错,先给自己一点温暖,让心暖起来不是更好吗?

7 佛祖说:“禅,本身不立文字,全靠人去心领神会。。”

8  选择功成身退要目光深远, 再轰轰烈烈之际要预知潜在的危险,还有能克制自己的私欲。 如果贪婪心重,即使无功也希望受禄, 有功又如何会身退呢? 看来, 功成身退不仅是一种政治智慧,也是一种精神境界。

9  天上月圆月缺,地上花开花谢,河中潮涨潮落,四季暑往寒来, 不管是自然还是社会, 没有任何东西能够永远固定不变。就像天上找不到一轮凝固不变的满月, 时间也不可能有永远处在生命巅峰的人。

10  万缘放下。

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Do you realise it?

This link appeared on my facebook page, posted by a friend

http://www.buzzfeed.com/juliapugachevsky/amazingly-profound-quotes-from-hayao-miyazaki#.wbk7wmap4

Can you able to detect the no-self perspective in most of the quotes?

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Quotes of Wisdom (No-Self) – 无我的智慧

静心的智慧 (1) - 虚云大师/沈海然
(wisdom from a peaceful mind part 1)

1  重情感,但不要吧感情看得过重,过于不及。如果重情到放不下,就会被拖累,被伤害,让心变得不自由,所以想让内心自由就不要为情所累。

Value relationships but do not excessively indulge in it. If you hold it so tightly that you are unable to let it go, you will be troubled, hurt and no longer be free in mind and heart. Thus if you want to be free, don’t let yourselves be tangled by relationships.

2  在名利面前,人们常常被奴役,言必谈名利,为名利弄得身心俱疲,烦恼不断,生趣全无,甚至见利忘义,六亲不认,因此疲惫不堪,人命无常,朝存夕亡,如石火电光。名利乃身外之物,生不带来,死不带去。

People are often enslaved by their desires for fame and riches. Their conversations will revolve around these topics, making them physically and mentally exhausted, constantly troubled, and even bored and numb. Sometimes, they betray their sense of righteousness or others/family for the sake of these fame/riches. Yet, life is fleeting, gone in a winkle of an eye. Fame and riches are nothing but externalities that one do not bring along when we are born nor do we bring them with us when we die.

3 贪心是不知足的心。贪念一起,心就被奴役,从而被贪心牵着鼻子走,那里还有自由可谈。想要内心自在必需心无贪念。

Greed arises from a heart of discontentment. When the thought of greed/desire prevails, the heart is immediately enslaved and led by these thoughts. If one wants his heart to be free, one needs to be free of thoughts of greed/desire (i.e. the wanting).

4 人生来都是平等的,不要因为有了荣誉,地位,钱财和权势就觉得了不起。并且依仗这些生不带来死不带去的东西去欺辱别人。平等不变,离差别相,无圣无凡,非善非恶,真实如常,不变真如也。即使很有权利也不要欺压别人。

We are born equal. We should not be arrogant because of our titles, high sociental status, wealth and power. These are frivolous externaliternies, which we are not born with  and cannot bring with us upon death. Hence, we should not use them to bully and insult others. Staying equal and forgoing the mirage of differences: there is no saint or the ordindary man, no good or evil. That is the fundamental truth.

5 淡定是心灵的修炼,是人生的境界和智慧。一切随时,随性,随悲喜,才能让内心清澈如初,拥有平静与单纯的快乐。

Staying in peace is a discipline of the heart and is a wisdom of life. When we do not seek to control but take things as they come, our heart and mind will become pure and light again, and we will have gained a happiness that is calm and innocent.

6  放下尘世的烦恼和愁苦,以平等的心态去对待与自己想法不同的人,只要对方的选择是无私的是正确的,我们就要以正确的心态去看待。

Let go of the troubles and misery of the phenomenal world and use a perspective of equality to treat those whose views differ from ours. If the choice of others is selfless and correct, we should be ready to accept it.

7 万念起于内心,又消除于内心,一念生而烦恼自来。想要消除烦恼,必须任何时候都保持理智清醒。

All thoughts arise from the mind and will disapper with the mind. Frustration/unsettleness comes upon the existence of a thought. If you want to be rid of frustrations, you needs to be stay mindful constantly.

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Quotes of Wisdom (No-Self) – 无我的智慧

淡定的智慧 - 弘一大师
(Wisdom of Being Still)

1.  我们常常将悲欢掌控在他人的一颦一笑间,为了一句话耿耿于怀,为了件小事困坐愁城。 佛法有云:增加一份定力,就减去一份痛苦,能放下一份是非比较,即能远离人间的煎熬。所以,做人不要太计较,不要因为一些小事动不动就发火,这样,你就会少一分伤害,多一分快乐。

Our happiness and sadness are often consequences of the smile or frown of another -we may be troubled and hold a grudge for a statement made or be bothered endlessly by a minor incident. Buddha had said: When you become more calm and still, you will have less suffering. When you can let go of right and wrong and stop comparing, you will be relieved of the chaos and pain of the (phenomenal) world. Hence, as a person, do not begrudge, do not give in to anger over small matters. This way, you will have less hurt and more happiness.

2. 淡定是的定慧,只有内心坚强的人才会淡定,只有内心没有恐惧的人才从容。想要修一颗淡定的心,就要有一种岿然不动的定慧作为根基。

Tranquility is a wisdom that comes to those with inner strength and is accessible when you do not hold fears in your heart.

3. 人生是一个患得患失的过程,鱼和熊掌不可兼得乃是常事,不肯舍,就不会得。 当你抓住一件东西不放时,你就只能拥有这件东西;但如果你肯放手,表面上虽然有所损失,可是会得到更多的选择机会。不肯放下,你的人生路只会越走越窄。

Life has its ups and downs, sometimes things go our way and sometimes they do not. And often we have to make the difficult choice of giving one thing for another at these junctions.  But remember, when you hold on to a thing and refuse to let go, you will only what is in your hand. If you are willing to let it go, it may appear that you have lost some precious, but you may also have more options and opportunities. Not knowing to let go, the journey in one’s life will only get more and more constricted as the years go by.

4. 有一份浩然正气,加一份平心静气,烦恼自然不会来打扰你。任凭外界如何风起云涌,你都会保持一份淡然的心情。

With an open-mindedness and strong morals, complemented by a mind that is not easily ruffled, frustrations will not take roots. Even if the (phenomenal) world is rife with chaos, one will be able to stay at ease.

5. 春有百花秋有月,夏有凉风冬有雪,若无闲事挂心头,便是人间好季节。

There are 100 flowers in Spring while Autumn has her moon. There is a cool breeze in Summer while Winter has her snow. If one does not have frivolous thoughts in his mind, the season becomes beautiful/ you can better appreciate the season.

6. 埋头于繁杂的事物,心里装着繁琐的小事,你将永远也无法拥有一颗清净豁达之心。舍弃心中的繁杂,那份清透便如天籁之水注入心田。

If you buried yourself in endless tasks and let yourself be bogged down by the many mundane stuff, you will never be able to find a pure and generous heart/mind. Let go of these unnecessary clutter and you will discover it.

7. 低调之人淡定从容在功名利禄面前不争不抢,在荣华富贵面前不奢不贪,在金鼎玉食面前不咸不淡,在成败得失面前不喜不忧。因为低调,平凡如你我者皆可以取得成功; 因为低调,成功人士可以更进一步走向卓越。

Keeping to oneself with collectedness and ease, there is no need to snatch or wrestle with others when profits come along,  no need to be greedy and extravagant with riches that befall, no need to be picky with food when served with delicacies, no need to be happy or sad when success or failure is encountered.   Success or more is within the reach of everyone without the fanfare.    Keeping to oneself with collectedness and ease.

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Freedom of Speech

While I did not keep up with the unfortunate incident in France, even though they were pouring in from various avenues from TV, internet news to Facebook, when I first heard of the #jesuischarlie# movement, I thought it was quite cool and remarkable as to how social media has once again united people with a common passion. That was until I found out that people were banding in solidarity to advocate for the Freedom of Speech and were implicated in supporting the right to publish satire comics on the Muslims.  To this, I was bewildered and baffled.

Firstly, to publish satire comics targetting a group of people on a regular basis..isn’t that blatant bullying. As the education field raises concern on cyberbullying among the students in the schools, what kind of examples are the adults in our society showing? Such inconsistency within and outside schools is worth comtemplating and is not limited to bullying. As an educator, such mixed signals make it challenging if not difficult to articulate certain values including empathy in the classrooms. It takes a whole village to raise a child. So, has the whole (global/regional/local) village reflected upon what we are doing in terms of social conditioning?  With the strong emphasis of schooling/education in school these days, one should be acutely aware of the limitations of school when competing with the endless stream of digital information and how parents, societies & their government now also played a indispensable and crucial role in the education of the children of the next generation.

As such,  when we permit similar satire comics at the societal level, aren’t we conditioning the society to accept such perspective as the norm and wouldn’t our young grow up to become culturally insensitive to this group?  Did we consider the feelings of a fellow being who is likely to become hurt, further bullied and ostracised in the society they are living in.
This is not to say that people who got killed deserved it. No one deserves to die and I offer my sincere condolences for the losses. But when you hurt someone, is that really alright?

The Freedom of Speech is a concept which I could never wrap my head around since young when it was reiterarted in Western shows.  I always questioned: how can we be saying whatever we want without considering the feelings of others? Perhaps the concept needs a context and should not be taken at face value as some of us tend to do – 断章取义.
I may be wrong but I see Freedom of Speech as a reaction to historical reigns of tyranny and dictatorship which suppress people and cause much suffering. In such circumstances, I think it is necessary to speak out to highlight the situation.  Regardless of whether the speech or act is made by the authorities or civilians, be it a new law to be passed or a commentary on a blog, it is pertinent to consider the motive and effect of it.

With the Noble Truths that is rooted in compassion for our fellow beings and the no-self understanding of the world of interdependence (wisdom), I was brought up to be mindful of my speech and expressions. [祸从口出: trouble comes from one’s mouth; 人言可畏: gossips by others are scary; 三思而后行:think thrice before you act. 沉默是金:silence is gold.] It is not difficult to draw examples from our daily lives to realise how speech/acts can easily hurt others and how inadequate or superficial they can also be (even though we let ourselves be led by them) . Hence, if one is to speak or act, speak/act mindfully and with compassion & wisdom.

Speaking/acting mindfully represents an acute awareness of the power of our words/actions and how they might affect others.  With compassion and wisdom, we can inspire and comfort instead of stirring up the insatisable desire(s)/greed that will only induce suffering.

I had been deliberating over this for a while now. It had been said that in Asia, the children are quiet in class, they are not creative or forthcoming. It was questioned whether they lack confidence or have they buried their heads too much into the books. Of course, over the last decade, societal changes and efforts to groom these children into articulate and confident leaders of the future are evident as in Singapore with the emphasis on public speaking, presentations and encouragement to speak out. I do find merits in some of these policies but only to a certain extent. After all, the speculations were made from a Western self-based perspective and the over indulgence in speech/presentation gets a little shallow (we are starting to emphasise on values now).

My question for one to mull over is whether the quietness/reservation can also represent a stronger and natural introspection that is a product of the no-self philosophy that pervades cultures in Asia.  A mindfulness to watch our words and actions before they bring hurt or inconvenience to others. People may have also consciously made the choice to be (or may once be) less driven by monetary rewards or less calculative because in understanding the Four Noble Truths, in letting go, one is able to better locate the inner peace that is less/not perturbed by the surrounding chaos of desires with their frivolous pursuits.  The no-self perspective buffers us from being consumed by our own desires/suffering, to be led by the nose by sensory pleasures.

_____________

#用一颗平常心品味人生,你会发现自己的内心更柔软,更懂得生活的真谛。#
(use a down to earth mentality (without desires) to experience life, one will find greater vulnerability/compassion in oneself and better appreciate life itself)
# 觉悟的人生活随缘就自在;不觉悟的人造作强为,以自己的心意为所欲为,就是造业。虚幻的世间无常,人生苦短,安分度日,无论苦乐顺逆均属三世因果#
(one who is enlightened take things as they come and will freedom. those who are not, keep doing what they desire. This world is constantly changing, in flux and our life are fleeting. It is best to stay grounded and embrace both the highs and lows of life.)

Ancient Chinese proverb:
Grant yourself a moment of peace, and you will understand how foolishly you have scurried about.
Learn to be silent, and you will notice that you have talked too much.
Be kind, and you will realize that your judgment of others was too severe.

_______________

This brings me to an important instructional tenet in Buddhism: 戒定慧。
戒 (jie4) is refrain/control – refrain from certain acts like stealing, adultery, lying, killing, getting drunk etc. All of which brings the focus to compassion and mindfulness.
Through control/refrainment, 定 peace/calmness will prevail. From 定 the calmness, wisdom will arise.
Thus, at the core of no-self is the need to regulate/control ourselves so that we will not be mindlessly driven by our natural desires and habits. the kind of freedom under the self and no-self perspectives is different. The former seeks a freedom without control while the later find freedom that arises from control.

Two kinds of freedom
There are two kinds of freedom to be found in our world: the freedom of desires, and the freedom from desires.
Our modern western culture only recognizes the first of these, freedom of desires. It then worships such a freedom by enshrining it at the forefront of national constitutions and bills of human rights. One can say that the underlying creed of most Western democracies is to protect their people’s freedom to realise their desires, as far as this is possible. IT is remarkable that in such countries people do not feel very free.
The second kind of freedom, freedom from desires, is celebrated only in some religious communities. It celebrates contentment, peace that is free from desires. It is remarkable that in such abstemious communities like my monastery, people feel free
.

(Ajahn Brahm; Who ordered this truckload of dung?)
#虚云大师/沈海然; 静心的智慧#

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Upcoming Post(s)

IMG_20141208_210827 Upcoming posts:
#JeSuisCharlie and Freedom of Speech
#Japan in tension

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Danshari

What’s more important, my life or my things? “Things” are not necessarily inimical to “life” — or are they, when they’re not life-enhancing? Ask yourself this, she says: “Does my present self need my present possessions?” If not, why can’t I ditch the possessions, all that stuff accumulated over years and still accumulating? What binds me to them? Is it that “things” have the upper hand over “life”

Danshari actually should come easily to the Japanese. The word may be new but the concept is not. It thrived for centuries as a traditional virtue whose name almost everyone knows, or once did — wabi. It’s associated with Zen, so we turn to a Zen master, Daisetsu T. Suzuki (1871-1966), for a definition: “Wabi is to be satisfied with a little hut, a room of two or three tatami mats . . . and with a dish of vegetables picked in the neighboring fields, and perhaps to be listening to the pattering of a gentle spring rainfall. . . . It is in truth the worshiping of poverty — probably a most appropriate cult in a poor country like ours.”

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2011/02/27/national/media-national/ditching-materialism-for-the-simple-life/#.VDatzee9rex

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losing self- losing jealous and fear

忌

忌 = 1.忌妒 2.畏惧 (eg. 顾忌) 和 3.禁戒(e.g.忌戒)。 ‘忌’是由 ‘己’ 和‘心’ 组成。当你把自己/自我放在心上, 忌妒/畏惧自然涌现因为以自我为中心的人永远在做比较,忐忑不安,无法得到‘静’。从无我的角度, ’忌‘也 是个该戒或避免的。
当人心上无我,那个心结自然揭开, 人会变得豁达和自在。

‘忌’is a chinese character representing jealously, fear and the forbidden. The word is made up of two sub-characters – self above heart. When one becomes too self-centered (self above heart), one will naturally experience jealousy and fear, both of which manifest because one is always comparing with others, weighing the losses and gains and unable to attain a sense of peace within. From a no-self perspective, ‘忌‘ is to be avoided as a forbidden/undesired.
When one has no-self or rather, adopt a no-self perspective, the torment of expectations will disappear and one will become open-hearted and generous in being

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A journal publication! :)

My article is out on http://www.fe.hku.hk/cerc/ceshk/index_journal.html – an open access journal . The article looks at global citizenship education from a eastern perspective, drawing influences from the well-documented no-self philosophy in Buddhism that is not well understood and marginalised in the West, but which has an impact in regional cultures ie. cultural practices, languages and outlook in life to contest the concept of humanity, multicultural education, global citizenship etc in a self-centered Eurocentric model. It seeks to bring forth an alternative to the running of the world – or how we see the world – and also reexamines our perspective of reality, from Newtonian to the quantum reality that is in line with the no-self philosophy.
http://www.fe.hku.hk/cerc/ceshk/doc/IJCED2014-16-1.pdf

Well, if you have been reading this blog, it is nothing new but I have worked my ideas specifically into global citizenship education and got the ideas published for (hopefully) a wider readership

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TED talk – embracing otherness and embracing myself

Question (from my classmate): How do we strike this balance between the self and oneness, so that the self doesn’t alienate the Other?

my answer: this alienation only comes about when we take ourselves seriously. if we go by the philosophy of no-self and see self (a natural state) as the creation of a discriminating mind then we can embrace the oneness.

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