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THOUGHTS ON READING
by Zhu Xi (1130 - 1200, Song Dynasty)
English translation: John Balcom

Light from the heavens,
and the shadows of the clouds, together come and go.
How can a stream be as clear as this?
Because its original source comes from rushing water.

A MOTTO OF RESPECT AND FORBEARANCE (EXCERPT)
English translation: Miao Guang

Do not do unto others,
what you do not wish to be done unto you.
Abide by this principle,
always giving others warmth like the spring.
In private terms, bring harmony to the family,
and in public, achieve peace for the country.
Whether trivial or important matters,
there is no need for resentment or grief.
The merit of benevolence, thus reaches its peak.
Be it respect or forbearance, never give up or be weary.


UNDERSTANDING AND PRACTICING (EXCERPT)

Equal efforts need to be exerted to the enhancement of understanding and practice. The clearer your understanding, the more solid your practice is; subsequently, your understanding will become even more clear. Neither one can be done without the other.

Just like two alternating footings, eventually you will reach your goal; should the momentum of one side weaken, there will be no progress at all.

You must first attain understanding before you can practice.

For this reason, in the Great Learning, the attainment of understanding is mentioned first. In the Doctrine of the Mean, understanding is placed before benevolence and courage.

Confucius stressed that “once understanding is sufficient to attain,” knowledge, careful reflection, clear discrimination, and earnest practice will all be complete.

── from Hui’an Ji (Collection from the Dark Hut) and others