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by Sima Zhongyuan (1933 - )
English translation: Miao Guang

As the saying goes, “Quiet is a filled bottle, and sloshes a half-filled one.”

During childhood, when I read Laozi’s Tao Te Ching, I came across the word “gu” (valley) very often, which was also rendered a sacred term. Back then I was confused about the meaning of “gu,” but after continued study, I was able to gain a slight understanding of it. The phrase, “to have a mind as open as the valley” is intended to inspire people to bear a “void” and “empty” mind. That is, to put themselves in humble and low positions. It is just as when single rivers converge into a mighty torrent due to the reason that a low lying riverbed allows water to flow downhill. One who is humble and respectful towards the eminent is exactly like Maitreya Buddha, who has a huge smile, and a belly that takes everything in. In the same way, all rivers will flow into the vast ocean.

── from The Merit Times, Supplement