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TEN ESSENTIAL GUIDELINES FOR HELPING OTHERS

by Yuan Liaofan (1533 - 1606, Ming Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Guang

  1. Be good to others.
  2. Have a loving and respectful heart.
  3. Help others accomplish their goals.
  4. Encourage others to do good.
  5. Relieve others in times of emergency.
  6. Do what is for the greater good.
  7. Give away your wealth to cultivate merit.
  8. Protect the righteous Dharma.
  9. Respect the elderly.
  10. Cherish your possessions and life.


A PURE MIND
English translation: Zhi Yue

Those who do wholesome deeds, and are detached from what they have done, will find their actions successful and fulfilled.

Those who are attached to their wholesome deeds, their actions, though diligent, can only be considered halfwholesome.

For instance, when giving charity to others, do so with a pure mind: do not dwell on the self who is giving, the other who has received, nor the object that has been given.
This is called the non-substantiality of the three aspects of giving.

In this way, giving a pound of grain can bring infinite merit, and a donation of a single cent can remove the transgressions of a thousand kalpas. But for an attached mind, even two hundred thousand pieces of gold will not bring prosperity.

from Liaofan Si Xun (Liao Fan’s Four Lessons)


THE LAW OF CAUSE AND EFFECT CANNOT BE VIOLATED


by Yuan Liaofan (1533 - 1606, Ming Dynasty)
English translation: Zhi Yue

Speech can persuade others for a moment,
Books can persuade for generations.

The merit is immeasurable;
Wholesome deeds are the utmost happiness.

The five precepts* ensures rebirth in a human form;
The ten wholesome conducts** lead to rebirth in the heavenly realm.

The Law of Cause and Effect cannot be violated,
There is benefit in studying.

ESTABLISHING PRINCIPLES CANNOT BE VIOLATED

English translation: Miao Guang

Never surpass others in what is already your forte, nor judge others based on your own virtue, or hold others back with your abilities.

Conceal your talent and wisdom in a way that it is instinctively absent. In seeing the faults of others, simply forgive and cover up for them. Either ensure that they correct themselves, or keep them cautioned so they dare not repeat the same mistakes again.

Upon seeing any minor merits and virtues in others, let go of your personal viewpoints and oblige them; in addition, praise and share their goodness.

In daily life, every word said and every action done should not be out of one’s accord, but for the establishment of principles in the world.

Such is how great minds establish a public and common good for the world.

── from Liaofan Si Xun (Liao Fan’s Four Lessons)


*The five precepts are not killing, not stealing, no sexual misconduct, not lying, and not taking intoxicants.

**The ten wholesome conducts are not killing, not stealing, not committing adultery, not lying, not speaking harshly, not speaking divisively, not speaking idly, not being greedy, not being angry, and not having wrong views.