Home | 365 Days for Travelers

THE LIME ARIA
by Yu Qian (1398 - 1457, Ming Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Guang

After endless hammering and refinement,
it is ready to depart the deep mountains;
Having gone through the furnace of raging fire,
it is no longer an equivalent of the ordinary.
Though its body is shattered and bones crushed,
it harbors no resentments.
All that is left behind in this world,
are the white colors of purity.

── from Yuxuan Mingshi (Imperial Selection of Ming Dynasty Poems)


A SKILLED HAND TO TURN OUT A JADE BRACELET
by Venerable Master Hsing Yun (1927 - , Fo Guang Shan)
English translation: John Balcom

According to the Ekottarikagama (Gradual Discourses of the Buddha), “A child’s strength is in its tears, a woman’s strength is in her charm, a king’s strength is in his power and influence, an arhat’s strength is in his paucity of desire, a monastic’s strength is in patience, and a bodhisattva’s strength is in compassion.” Patience is strong, stable, and tempering. It takes a skilled hand to turn out a jade bracelet, and only a patient artist can produce a lasting work of art. Only when plum blossoms are cleansed by frost and snow will they be fragrant.

If a person does not experience and patiently bear with life’s difficulties, they will never truly be numbered among the outstanding. Mencius said, “That is why when heaven is going to place a great responsibility on a man, it will test his resolve, exhaust his body, make him suffer from hunger and hardship, and frustrate his efforts. In this way his patience and endurance are developed, and his weaknesses overcome.” Clearly, if a person is to be successful, he must endure the unendurable and do the undoable.

── from Of Benefit to Oneself and Others