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Root of Vegetable (1-4)
《菜根谭》

18 July 2010
 

by Daoist Hong Yingming [Ming Dynasty]
洪应明 [明代万历]

布衣暖,菜根香,读书滋味长。

A man who is able to live a simple life by eating the root of vegetable can take up any challenging tasks. 人能嚼得菜根,则百事可做。

1

栖守道德者,寂寞一时;依阿权势者,凄凉万古。达人观身外之物、思身后之身;宁受一时之寂寞,勿取万古之凄凉

He who maintains his dignity may be left alone for a while; but he who bows to the rich and powerful will be shunned forever. A man of noble mind and character is the one whose sight reaches beyond immediate circumstance and whose vision extends beyond current existence, thus he fully understands that it is better to endue short-term loneliness in this life than to suffer everlasting torment of isolation in future.

2

涉世浅,点染亦浅;历事深,机械亦深。故君子与其达练,不如朴鲁;与其曲谨,不如疏狂

He who knows little about the world is normally more honest towards life; he who delves deep into the world is often more cunning in dealing with people. Thus a man of noble character would rather be a simple guy than become an intricate schemer; rather be an untamed bloke than be an over calculating plotter.

3

君子之心事,青天白日,不可使人不知;君子之才华,玉韫珠藏,不可使人易知。

The view of a man of dignity shall be like the sun in the blue sky that is not hidden before others; the talent of a man of dignity shall be like the treasure in private jar that is not shown off to others.

4

耳中常闻逆耳之言,心中常有拂心之事,才是进德修身的砥石。若言言悦耳,事事快心,便把此生埋在鸠毒中矣

To frequently hear opposing opinions and to constantly face challenging situations are the best ways to speed the progress of your personal cultivation. If you only pay attention to appeasing words and only take easy path to navigate your life, you are just like the one who relies on drugs to acquire cheap pleasure – you are ruin your life for a momentary high.

(Source of image: 蔡志忠)

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