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by Venerable Master Hsing Yun (1927 - , Fo Guang Shan)
English translation: Man Ho and Zhi Yue

Trees cannot grow unless bathed in heat and rain.
People cannot be pure without strict training.*

Just as lotuses can grow out of mud,
filial children can be raised by a humble family.
Just as steel can be forged in a furnace,
greatness can be produced by adversity.
Just as sweet taste can be brewed from bitterness,
defilements can be transformed into Bodhi.

Joyful giving, like sowing seeds,
produces a rich harvest.
Greed, like pulling rice out by the root,
deprives us of a decent harvest.*

Keeping busy is
like taking hold of the sharp sword of wisdom;
It can cut off the entanglements of delusion.

Keeping busy is
like having a finger that turns stone into gold;
It can turn trash to treasure.

Keeping busy is
like taking nutrients for the body;
It gives life endless vitality.

── from Fo Guang Cai Gen Tan

(Roots of Wisdom; *The Everlasting Light)