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AWAKENING THE WORLD
by Luo Nian’an (1504 - 1564, Ming Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Guang

When dealing with comings and goings,
patience is indispensable.
Always toiling and laboring,
when will there ever be free time?
Twisting and turning like a river,
the mind works in this manner.
Layered and overlapping,
mundane affairs pile into mountains.
In the past and present,
changes are always manifold.
The days of poverty and wealth
come and go in a cycle.
Be content with what we already have,
as it will help us get through life.
Sweet and bitter tastes of life,
will leave the same feeling in the end.
In hurry and in haste,
our painstaking pursuits continue,
Through warm and cold,
springs and autumns come and go.
Day and night,
we manage household affairs.
Ignorant and confused,
we are suddenly old.
All these quarrels over right and wrong,
when will they ever stop?
So much worries and afflictions,
when will they ever cease?
Clearly and consciously,
we tread our chosen path.
Giving hundreds and thousands of reasons,
we refuse to cultivate.

── from Nian’an Luo Xiansheng Zhuan (Complete Works of Mister Luo Nian’an)