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Root of Vegetable (5-9)
《菜根谭》

23 August 2010
 

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

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5

疾风怒雨,禽鸟戚戚; 霁日光风, 草木欣欣. 可见天地不可一日无和风, 人心不可一日无喜神.

When gale winds and heavy rains rage through the woods, birds are all reduced to groan and lament. Once the storm is over and sun pops up again, entire bush is glistening with delight. Thus we know the world cannot do without gentle breeze and people cannot live without merry spirits.

6

醲肥辛甘非真味,真味只是淡。神奇卓异非至人,至人只是常。

Real flavour does not lie in sumptuous dishes; only simple food can give forth pure taste.

True man is not the one who performs miracles but the one knowing how to live an ordinary life.

7

天地寂然不动,而气机无息稍停;日月昼夜奔驰,而贞明万古不易。故君子闲时要有吃紧的心思,忙处要有悠闲的趣味

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.

8

夜深人静独坐观心,始知妄穷而真独露,每于此中得大机趣;既觉真现而妄难又于此中得大惭忸

If you sit in the quite night meditating to the point that you let go of all your wandering thoughts, you'll discover your true self within. It brings you rejoice for having realised who you really are, but it also makes you ashamed to keep being fooled by false perceptions.

9

藜口苋肠者,多冰清玉洁;衮衣玉食者,甘婢膝奴颜。盖志以淡泊明,而节从肥甘丧矣

People living the simple life are more likely to carry themselves with dignity, and people indulging in lavish lifestyles are more ready to bend their knees. It is thus noticed that high aspiration can only be seen in plain and clear existence while moral integrity can be compromised by extravagance.

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