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MOANING WORDS
by Lu Kun (1536 - 1618, Ming Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Guang

I

The mind should be like a scale. When weighing out matters, remain balanced amidst the disarray. When free of matters, let it suspend in a centered, upright and still position. What perfect ease it would be!

II

A moment of restraint attracts boundless virtues;
A moment of indulgence
creates a target for unimaginable troubles.

III

To conceal one’s own merits is to nurture depth by being reserved.
To conceal the fault of others
is to nurture magnanimity by being kind.

IV

Patience is the best choice
when it comes to thinking;
Calmness is the best choice
when it comes to dealing with matters;
Modesty and concession is the best choice
when it comes to protecting oneself;
Tolerance is the best choice
when it comes to getting along with others;
To have no regard for wealth, status, death, and changes
is the best choice when it comes to cultivating the mind.

── from Ming Shi (History of Ming)