The Wisdom of Life

Author Charles Yeung   Translated by Soula Lo

There are eighty-four thousand kinds of vexations in life, so we need eighty-four thousand methods to deal with them as well. How to establish the eighty-four thousand methods? It comes from wisdom. I would like to share some wisdom of life with everyone here:

Where does wisdom come from? It could be innate, or come from learning, or from plights. Within these three, suffering from challenging difficulties is the most effective way to increase wisdom. So we have these common sayings, “Learning through difficulties” and “Worry is Bodhi.”

When we suffer from a plight, repentance is one way to seek wisdom. When we encounter a plight and cannot be released from it, we should do repentance sincerely. Read the following sentence out loud or in silence once, twice or several times a day: “The evil karmas I have done with my action, speech, and thoughts are caused by greed, anger, and delusion, which are without a beginning. I repent of all sins, the cause of hindrances.”  Repent daily, once at morning, noon, and evening; then we will gradually evoke our good original self. From herein we can develop the great compassion. This is the first step.

When the great compassion has been initiated, it will be easier to activate the Bodhi mind. Then we can review the past and look into the future, to examine our flaws and advantages in order to keep the advantages and improve upon the shortcomings. This is the second step.

When the great compassion and the Bodhi mind have been activated, then we need to genuinely make a commitment to take responsibility for our family and ourselves. This is the third step, which is called genuineness.

The fourth step is the right mind, a mind that considers not for oneself but for others, for family and for relatives, thus we would think about others first, second for ourselves. Considering others’ benefit first; thinking of one’s happiness second is the right mind.

The fifth step is cultivating moral character. After making a commitment, we must apply it to our actions, which means acting according to our speech. A thousand miles begin from under feet. To cultivate our moral characters, we must correct our action, speech and thoughts. The key points are following these precepts. The five Precepts are: no killing, no stealing, no adultery, no lying, and no intoxicating liquors. The Ten Commandments are: no killing, no stealing, no adultery, no lying, no slandering, no harsh speech, no idle talk, no greed, no hatred, and no illusion. The Six perfections (pāramitās) are: charity, morality, forbearance, effort, meditation, and wisdom.

The sixth step is managing a household, and to unite the family members. The way to manage a household is to be industrious and thrifty; therefore we have a famous doctrine says, “To be industrious and thrifty in running one’s home.” There is also a great idiom that says, “Few things are impossible to diligence.” There is great harmony in the hall of tolerance. Another doctrine says, “Harmony in the family breeds prosperity; endless arguments creates the degenerated family.” When a family becomes more industrious, thriftier, more united, and less argumentative, after a period of time, this family will be gradually prosperous. On the contrary, if everyone in the family is selfish, self-interested, and always blaming others for mistakes, complaining about others’ wrong doings, never knowing how to reflect, introspect, or self-examine, it would be very difficult for them to get along with each other. Day after day, this family will decline and eventually degenerate.

The seventh step is governing an enterprise. The ancients governing a country is very much like we govern an enterprise nowadays. The rule of governing an enterprise is increasing income and reducing expenses. The way to increase income depends on our specialties or advantages. Thus there’s a saying, “To make use of available resources of mountains or rivers.” Because if one lives close to the river, one would understand fish; if one lives close to the mountains, one would know birds’ sound.” The way to increase income can be by developing the natural resources, capital resources, human resources, and special skill resources.

As our company, Glorious Sun’s experience is as followings:

1. Create condition and develop advantages.

2. We have what others have not, and ours are better in quality. When others have good quality, we will change to something else.

The way to reduce expenses depends on “close, stop, combine and change.” Close means to close the companies or the departments that operate at a loss. Stop means stop the operation of the companies or departments that are at loss in order to reduce the loss. Combine means to combine the personnel, the departments, the seaports or the companies in order to achieve the effect of conserving the costs. Change means change to a different area. We call it change and upgrade. Change to a trade that has better future, more profit.

The keys are innovation and technology. Change to an area that others don’t have, change to an area that we can have better quality. We can achieve this goal from the innovation, from the quality, from the price, from the service and from the brand. All roads lead to Rome. “Heaven made our talents for some purposes.” “After endless mountains and rivers that leave doubt whether there is a path out, suddenly one encounters the shade of a willow, bright flowers, and a lovely village.” “Walk fast in the green light, walk with feelings in the yellow light, and walk around in the red light.” There is a lot of wisdom from the predecessors within these sentences, so it has great benefit in reading.

The way of reducing expenses can be to use the methods of adjusting, strengthening and to solidifying; this is the strategy of guarding ourselves in difficult times.

The eighth step is to bring peace to the world. “Who gain the common aspiration of the people, who can rule the world.”  To gain the common aspiration of the people depends upon this rule, “Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you.”

There’s an ancient doctrine about how to gain the common aspiration of the people, “When the great way prevails, the world community is equally shared by all. The worthy and able are chosen as office holders. Mutual confidence is fostered and good neighborliness cultivated.” This means, if we want to govern the world community well, we need to practice the great way. The great way depends on the leaders who must believe the country belongs to everyone, that society belongs to everybody, not for one person or minority. Then we can choose a reliable and virtuous person to be a leader and choose able people to govern a society, or a country with honor and maintain harmony between people and countries. As the great idiom says, “A gentleman uses his tongue, not his fists.” As a respectable person, he or she can communicate different opinions through negotiations, but not by solving the problems with fists or armed force. This way, we can have a win-win situation instead of lose-lose.

To gain the common aspiration of the people, we need to create a fair and just environment. If we can make the information open to the general public and increase transparency, people would support us more.

Thus, the wisdom of life can be divided into 8 steps: seek compassion, activate the Bodhi mind, genuineness, right mind, cultivate moral character, manage household, govern enterprise, and bring peace to the world.


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