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PRESCRIPTION FROM MASTER BAOZHI
by Baozhi (418 - 514, Southern Liang Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Guang and Zhi Yue

Emperor Wu of the Liang Dynasty asked Master Baozhi,
“How does one cultivate to guarantee eternal rebirth as a human being?”

Master Baozhi replied, “This humble monk has one prescription whose ingredients can be acquired from the Mountain of Five Aggregates:

  1. "whole angerless heart
  2. taels of constant joy
  3. inches of compassionate practice
  4. sticks of the root of patience
  5. liters of a wise nature
  6. milliliters of diligent mind
  7. beads of affliction eliminator
  8. parts of virtuous company"
"Using the blade of intelligence, file thin on the anvil of equality. Remove the roots of discrimination between self and other. Place ingredients into the mortar of no obstructions and pound a thousand times with a diamond pestle. Take one pill of paramita daily with the water of eight virtues. One shall instantly be guaranteed eternal rebirth as a human being.

“Observe dietary restrictions while taking medication.

Speaking less is the foremost gem, while patience is an invaluable treasure; do not speak of the faults of others for it will only harm oneself in the end. Insulting others will result in being insulted. Hating others will result in being hated; just as wood in a fire, what will be burned is oneself.”

Emperor Wu further asked, “How does one attain Buddhahood?”

“Know impermanence, understand the great truth, respect the Triple Gem, and see things from beginning to end. Practice all that is wholesome and stop all that is unwholesome. Allow ourselves to be wrong and others to be right; practice equality without distinction of self and other. Do not harm others or seek personal gain. Eliminate greed and anger, and always be joyful.

The Buddha of which one seeks, one becomes,” replied Master Baozhi.

── from Chanmen Zhuzushi Jisong (Poems of the Chan Patriarchs)


AXLE OF ADVICE
by Lin Zexu (1785 - 1850, Qing Dynasty)
English translation: John Balcom

Such thoughts which are unwholesome,
do not think of them.
Such people who are unwholesome,
do not associate with them.
That which you have not seen,
do not speak of.
That which is unjust to receive, do not take.

When healthy, think of yourself as ill,
and you will protect yourself.
When wealthy, think of yourself as poor,
and you will protect your family.

── from Fo Guang Shan Mingjia Bairen Beiqiang (Fo Guang Shan Benefactor's Wall)