Author: cheok hong chuan
Date: 04-29-12 14:51
The Three Pillars of Chinese Society The Tao Foundation Part 3.
I turn now to Liu I-Ming.
It is Liu I-Mings Twenty-four Essentials for Students that I wish to furnish to novice modern Taoist Practitioners; courtesy of Thomas Clearys translation. I have made some additional comments in brackets where I found it necessary.
See through things of this world. If you cannot see through the things of the world, you will sink into an ocean of suffering. How can you get out?
 Cut off entanglements. If you cannot cut off entanglements, the vicious cycles of compulsive habit stand before you.
 Thoroughly investigate principle and meaning. If you do not know how to discern the principles of body and mind, you cannot distinguish aberration and sanity, and miss the road.
 Find a teacher and associates. When you empty your mind, you can fill the belly [i.e. dont think, just simply be, as in arise, work, eat & sleep with equanimity [additions mine]]; if you are self-satisfied, you will grow old without development [i.e. gracefully and serenely [additions mine]].
 Make determination endure. If you want to accomplish something that endures unchanging, it requires work that endures unceasing.
 Get rid of anger and hatred. If you do not sweep yourself clean of anger and hatred, you will be full of turbulence, which will obscure the truth.
 Relinquish the attachment to the physical body. See the physical body as something temporary and artificial, and naturally there will be a way to seek the real body.
 Do not be afraid of hard work. With strength of mind, one will be able to climb to the summit; if you are afraid of hardship, you will never enter the real.
 Tolerate ignominy and endure dishonour. Tolerate ignominy, and though lowly you cannot be surpassed; endure dishonour, and through yielding you can be strong.
 Forgive people and defer to others. It is essential to humble oneself and honour others; equanimous deference is a good method.
 Take possessions lightly; take life seriously. Ask yourself even if you pile up mountains of gold, can you buy off impermanence?
 View others and self as the same. Others and self have the same source, without high or low; if you discriminate between them and us you raise dust.
 Do not be deluded by alcohol or sex. If you do not drink, your nature will not be deranged; if you are chaste, your life force will be stable.
 Accept hunger and cold as they come. Dressing and eating according to circumstances, stop idle imagination; if you are afraid of hunger and cold, your will not be firm.
 Leave life and death to destiny. Two things, death and life, depend entirely on nature; the one will to seek the Way is always up to oneself.
 Do whatever you can to be helpful. Whatever you are, continue to perform worthy deeds; seeing danger, exert utmost power to help people.
 Do not take a liking to excitement. It is easy to lose the real in the midst of excitement and glamour; in the realms of the senses you can derange your essential nature.
 Do not be proud or complacent. Arrogance arouses the hatred of others; if you are self-satisfied, you cannot bear the Tao.
 Do not crave fine food. Superior people plan for the Way, not for food; inferior people nurture the palate, not the mind [i.e. eat to live and not live to eat; and sleep to rest not to be lazy [additions mine]].
 Do not talk about right and wrong. Everyone should sweep the snow from the door, and not be concerned about the frost on anothers roof.
 Do not use intellectual brilliance. If you have talent, do not employ it; always be as inept; if you have knowledge, hide it appearing to be ignorant [i.e. do not flaunt and do not boast; just apply your knowledge and skills humbly without ego of self or craving for recognition or praise [additions mine]].
 Sleep less and work more. Working day, cautious by night, effort never ceasing, giving up sleep, forgetting to eat, the will be firm.
 Do not take a liking to fine things. Pearls and jade, gold and silver, are things outside the body; vitality and spirit, essence and life, are the fundamental treasures.
 Be consistent from beginning to end. If you work without strength, it is hard to reach attainments; only when you die embracing the Tao do you see reality.