Tzu-Chi's Aphorisms In Chinese and English
(Master Cheng Yen)
For someone who makes good use of time every moment is good for meditation.
When the mind is pure and tranquil, we have arrived in Pureland.
True goodness is to reach out naturally without the slightest hesitation.
Forget our achievements, but not our mistakes. Forget the trespasses of others, but not the kindness they have shown us.
When you view the world from a different perspective, the world becomes vast and wide. Try shifting your perspective in everything you do, and all will be light and easy.
To give without joy, not only carries no merit, but engenders afflictions.
Every thought, every word, every action, is the origin of karma and misfortune.
Do not underestimate yourself, everyone has unlimited potential.
Everyone has a Buddha nature and a Bodhisattva’s strength and spirit.
It is difficult to remain grateful in destitution, but a person, who does good with a grateful heart, is less likely to fall into destitution.
Buddhism speaks of developing discipline, meditative concentration, and wisdom. Discipline is to, not give rise to, unwholesome thoughts. Meditative concentration is to be calm under adversity. Wisdom is to take control of our mind and change our destiny.
Happiness is not about how much we possess, but how little we bicker over trivials.
If our thoughts are upright and wholesome, we can always be at ease and evil cannot come near.
Though we aim high, we must take solid and concrete steps here and now.
Remain soft-spoken and forgiving, even when reason is on your side.
A confused mind suffers agony; an enlightened mind feels at ease.
Giving time to our parents is about spending time with them with joy not merely out of a sense of duty.
Our mind is like a garden; if no good seeds are sown, nothing good will grow from it.
Take up good deeds and let go of hard feelings. In helping others to fulfill their goal, we too gain.
The more we give, the more grounded we will feel.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one first step. Even the saint was once an ordinary human being.
Getting angry is actually to punish yourself with other people’s mistakes.
Every single day is like a blank page of our life. Every person we meet, every event we participate in is a lively essay.
In the face of criticism, ask if your conscience is clear. With a clear conscience, you will have peace of mind.
Speak kind words, think good thoughts, do good deeds, and walk the right path.
In showing gratitude, we become a more beautiful person.
Being content helps us to be appreciative. Having gratitude helps us to see things in their positive light. Being this way, we will become a more tolerant and understanding person.
Practicing Buddhism is about learning to promptly correct our wrong views.
It is meaningless to demand others’ respect. Only the respect inspired by the goodness of our character is real and true.
Our accomplishments in life are built on the words and actions, we make every day — thus we must be discreet in our daily speech and behavior.
Life is like walking on a tightrope. Walk straight ahead and concentrate on what’s in front of us; to keep looking back does us no good.
Be clear and complete when you talk and listen. Do not pick one sentence here and one sentence there; or you may by accident intensely hurt someone.
If we are spiritually rich and fulfilled, we will be happy, even if materialistically, our life is basic and simple.
If we don’t do something meaningful, our life will pass by in vain. But if we work unceasingly for the betterment of mankind, ours will be a beautiful life.
To begin is easy to persist difficult. Talking about truth without practicing it leads neither to enlightenment nor realizing the Dharma.
Having gratitude can help us dissolve our inner afflictions and waken our compassion.
If we work with a joyful heart, no matter how tiring and demanding the task is, we will be rewarded with a sense of bliss and joy.
Good actions require everyone’s cooperation, so let’s not cling to personal biases.
The ability to love is a blessing. The ability to eliminate afflictions is wisdom.
We must first love others to have a beautiful life.
When we care for others with deep sincerity, our heart of love is the noble seed that brings great blessings.
To win the hearts of others and always be welcomed, we must be cautious of our tone of voice and facial expression.
It is our duty, as a human being, to do good. Expecting nothing in return, our heart will naturally enjoy peace and ease.
Taking a step back to accommodate others refines our character and nurtures spiritual growth.
With faith, we will have unlimited strength. With selfless intentions, we will be, showered with blessings.
Most people fight for the sake of pride but the wise can let go.
Transform greed into contentment and contentment into compassion.
Only by undergoing the trials and challenges of human affairs do we become strong and resilient.
In handling matters, let your mind influence your heart. In dealing with people, let your heart influence your mind.
When we have the will, we will have strength.
We all have a pure and clear Buddha nature obscured by afflictions and delusion.
Bodhisattvas are not idols made of wood; real Bodhisattvas are people who eat, talk, work, and relieve suffering in times of need.
Lies are like flowers in full bloom; they look beautiful, but do not last long.
The most simple and ordinary life brings the most inner peace.
Getting mad is like a bout of temporary insanity.
When we treat others with loving-kindness, we will not stir up ill feelings and we will be able to form good relationships with others.
Born into this world, we are always with people; hence spiritual cultivation cannot be achieved in isolation.
Do not think too highly of yourself and yet never underestimate your ability.
Be grateful always for everything and everyone at every moment.
Being safe and well is a real blessing and helping others willingly is a mark of wisdom.
Love is not about asking of the other person, but about giving of ourselves unconditionally, so that we can help things become perfect and complete.
Through continuous giving, we create blessings. Through the handling of human affairs, we cultivate wisdom. By cultivating, blessings and wisdom, we grow spiritually.
Let us work together for the common good in harmony and with mutual love for one another.
Chipped though the cup may be if you look at the cup from a different angle, you’ll see that the rest of it is still perfect.
Treasure each and every moment to share one’s love and serve society through concrete action.
Fear not the making of mistakes but rather the reluctance to correct ourselves. It is in fact not that difficult for us to change.
If we can reduce our desires, there is nothing really worth getting upset about.
The hardest thing for people to see is themselves.
Worry is a poisonous snake that sleeps in the mind; the moment you disturb it, the snake will bite you.
To have two good hands and refuse to work is no different than having no hands at all.
When we are honest and grounded in what we do, our mind will be stable; then we can walk steadily on life’s path and our path will be less bumpy.
The best medicine is that which can treat the conditions at hand.
The value of our life lies in what we offer and contribute rather than having a good image. Image itself has little lasting value.
The key to doing well is not the amount done but doing whatever should be done.
With more gratitude, we will have fewer misgivings.
Be forgiving and less critical of others but be strict and objective in examining ourselves.
Our life is most grounded when we are contributing whatever we can at each and every opportunity.
People who are preoccupied with past achievements cannot humble themselves.
Every day is like the unfolding of a book each person a lively essay.
Never lose courage. Never lose faith. Nothing in this world is impossible when you are determined.
Nurture the habit of giving and our world will become vast.
To end the disasters of the world, we must begin by transforming human hearts and minds.
Do not complain in the face of bad karmic retribution. Be forgiving and accommodating instead of complaining.
We cannot love when filled with suspicion. We cannot forgive when unwilling to believe. We cannot trust when filled with doubts.
A fulfilling life is not preoccupied with material objects, prestige, or power. It is a life that is filled with true friendships, sharing, and caring for each other.
Ordinary people seek material wealth. A saintly person seeks Truth.
Weeds do not easily grow in a field planted with vegetables. Evil does not easily arise in a heart filled with goodness.
In doing tasks, there should be procedures without maneuvers and goals without hidden agendas.
The greater our generosity, the greater our blessings be.
A love with conditions attached would never last. Only pure, unconditional love will last forever.
Because seeing virtue in others is in itself a virtue in appreciating others, we in fact dignify ourselves.
Giving is like drawing water from a well as water is drawn more flows in. It is by giving that blessings continue to flow in.
It is through learning from the trials of everyday life and human affairs that wisdom is attained.
Being non-contentious is not about sitting back and just letting things be, but about working toward the same goal with mutual love and harmony.
When we faithfully fulfill our duties and face all challenges with acceptance and joy, we dissolve a measure of our negative karma with every passing moment.
Progress in society comes through action, not through loud protest.
For the compassionate, there is no such thing as an enemy for the wise, there is no arising of affliction.
Blessed is a land inhabited by people who do good for it is the people who make the land blessed.
To have a warm and happy family, we should nurture a heart of joy and shower our family with blessings.
True meditation is to calm the restless mind in everyday living.
Transient though life may be one’s contributions will live on as love knows no boundaries, its spirit will always remain.
In the face of criticism ask if your conscience is clear. With a clear conscience, you will have peace of mind.
Be grateful when people try to hold you back for without them, you would not develop the strength that enables you to move forward.
Those who have great wisdom must all the more be humble and unassuming, just like the rice stalk that bows under the weight of ripe grain.
Let our mind be like a mirror, while the images reflected are constantly changing, the mirror itself remains unchanged.
Be careful and mindful when dealing with others, but do not be narrow-minded.
All merits and virtues are, in fact, accrued bit by bit over time.
Appreciate a compliment and face unkind words with understanding.
Most beautiful in the sky are the stars. Most beautiful on Earth is human warmth and love.
It is better to speak less and best to speak kindly.
111. 作人要有踏實感，不要只有成就感。踏踏實實地做人，心中多舒服 。
Be down-to-earth and well-grounded in life instead of seeking only a sense of accomplishment. We feel such peace when we lead a well-grounded life.