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by Venerable Master Hsing Yun (1927 - , Fo Guang Shan)
English translation: Miao Guang

There are many reasons to why life can change entirely. For example, the start or end of a relationship, the emotions and effects caused by what people say, how a matter is viewed and valued, and even a poetry or article that we have read in books, which could affect our future conditions, and consequently, cause the orbit of life to shift in an unimaginable way.

External conditions arise and extinguish indefinitely and unpredictably. Nevertheless, the cause of which is mainly our own mind. When we are being provoked by the Eight Winds──benefit, decay, defamation, fame, praise, ridicule, suffering and joy, are we able to remain calm and composed, and even learn to enjoy the bitterness? Instead of changing our destination, we might as well start by strengthening our inner powers of concentration and insight so as to build ourselves a spiritual Pure Land that is filled with melodious chirping birds and cool perfect ease.

Over the lands of destiny, every one of us has the right to choose. Would you rather grow sweet and fragrant roses, or clusters of thorny vines?

── from Hsing Yun Shuo Yu (Hsing Yun’s Commentaries on Allegories)