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by Shao Yong (1011 - 1077, Song Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Guang

When the mind is at peace,
the body will naturally be peaceful;
When the body is at peace,
the chamber will also be peaceful.
When both the mind and body are at peace,
how can anything possibly concern you?
Who is to say that the body is small?
once at peace, it is just as majestic as Mount Tai.
Who is to say that the chamber is small?
it is as vast as the space between heaven and earth.

── from Jirang Ji (Anthology of Beating on the Ground)


Every year passed is a year of life prolonged; every occasion of joy multiplies such joy. The ups and downs in life are always in the hands of heaven*, so why be tangled up by innumerable worries?

Broaden your mind, and never lessen in magnanimity, for the successes and abolishments across time are too numerous to be counted. Wealth and prosperity are but dusts in the eye; the endeavors of the Marquis of Huaiyin eventually caused him to bleed by the blade.

Tao Qian sat by the fence and enjoyed the yellow chrysanthemums, while Fan Li remained at the riverbank besides the silvery cattails. Heroism was witnessed at the Lintong Gathering, while melodies of the flute were silenced in the Danyang Prefecture.

To be carefree, be inspired by the sagely spirits. It is not until now does one finally taste the difference; rough clothing and bland food suffice to satisfy one’s daily needs, and shall provide for a humble life.

── from Shao Yaofu Xiansheng Shi Quanji (Complete Poems of Mister Shao Yaofu)

* Refers to Cause and Effect in this instance.