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INFINITE CAUSES AND CONDITIONS
by Venerable Master Hsing Yun (1927 - , Fo Guang Shan)
English translation: Zhi Yue and Sasha Lyapina

How much value is there in a vegetable leaf?

An ordinary person would say it costs only a few dollars, but the wise would cherish it as a product of infinite causes and conditions. Every aspect of life, from difficulties to prosperity, all have numerous causes and conditions. Before complaining about results, we should reflect on our own past causes and conditions.

Cherishing our blessings can be likened to loving and caring for a plot of land. It also prevents the three poisons─greed, aversion, and ignorance─from smothering the seedlings that we have planted.

However, forming positive karmic connections embraces the merits of the spring breeze, bountiful rain, and dew, causing the field of our mind to blossom and bear fruits.

To cherish our blessings is the loving cultivation of the field of our virtues, while forming affinities with others fosters future conditions.

While the rose indulges in the vanity of an instant’s beauty, the unpresuming pine preserves its glory against the test of time. In life we should, like the pine, learn to transform the challenges and harshness of the environment into the warmth of the sun and the coolness of the breeze.

── from Rensheng De Jieti (The Stairway of Life)