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Humbling Ourselves

Cultivating our mind and character is just like opening up a field of goodness. It takes initial hard work to clear the weeds and rocks in the field, which means we must first clear the field of our mind of unwholesome thoughts.


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Photo by Wong Twee Hee

Who among us is particularly talented? There isn’t any particularly capable person in this world. When we open up our hearts and look around us, we will see that there are many people who are more capable and virtuous than us. The process of learning is endless, so are virtues and our spiritual path. Hence, we must always humble ourselves.

An arrogant person will most certainly be ostracised by others. This is because people who are arrogant are always thinking of contending with others, hence, they will give rise to the thought of ostracising others. Therefore, they will also be ostracised by others.

Some people may say that it is their habitual tendency (to fight with others and ostracise them).

Everyone has different habitual tendencies. We may categorize our personal views, thoughts and behaviour as our habitual tendencies and refuse to change ourselves. And we allow our arrogance and contentious mindset to arise repeatedly until it becomes beyond control.

Cultivating our mind and character is just like opening up a field of goodness. It takes initial hard work to clear the weeds and rocks in the field, which means we must first clear the field of our mind of unwholesome thoughts. Only then are we able to humbly accept and accommodate others.

The easiest way to fall into the abyss of sin is none other than being arrogant. Therefore, we must be humble and quickly diminish our arrogant mindset. We must shrink our ego till we are “small” enough to fit into the eyes of others and enter their hearts, so that although our image stays in their hearts, they do not feel uneasy or obstructed. If we can achieve this and have respect for others, then naturally, we will become someone whom others respect, too.

If you want the ‘person’ in the mirror to smile, you must smile first (as you look into the mirror). If you want the ‘person’ in the mirror to be lovable, you must behave in a lovable way first.”

Extracted from “Huan Xi Zi Zai”《欢喜自在》
Translated by the Tzu Chi Singapore translation team