Fill your heart with compassion

January 15, 2010 at 8:07 am | Posted in Asia, Moments from History, Reflections, Stories from China | Leave a comment
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Posted by Grace Mann on Monday, January 11th, 2010

(Source: Tales of Wisdom) – Click here for audio version of this story

Welcome to Ancient Tales of Wisdom. Happy New Year to all our avid ATW listeners, it’s great to be back with you.  May 2010 grant each of you, wonderful experiences, health, peace and contentment., My name is Grace Mann. Today our tale is one of the many, about famous physician and herbalist, Li Shizhen, titled Fill Your Heart with Compassion.

But before I begin, let’s listen to our Quote of the Day, shared by an audience member from the Shen Yun Performing Arts 2010 global tour performance in Philadelphia.    

And now for our tale; Fill Your Heart with Compassion.

According to Historical Records, Li Shizhen was a famous physician from the Ming Dynasty of ancient China. Li Shizhen loved medical books and was a brilliant physician. He was considered a sage among physicians. In his home town, there was another ignorant and mediocre physician who pretended to know everything. This foolish physician bought lots of medical books to show that he had a supposed wealth of knowledge.

One year, after the rainy season, this physician told his servants to put his collection of medical books in the courtyard to dry. He paced back and forth like a peacock displaying himself. When Li Shizhen happened to see it, he got an impulse to loosen his clothing and lay next to the book racks. The physician saw that Li had his chest and belly exposed to the sun and asked, “Hey, what are you doing here?”

Renowned ancient Chinese herbalist Li ShiZhen 1518-1593

Renowned ancient Chinese herbalist Li ShiZhen 1518-1593, who lived in the Qichun County, Hubei Province during the Ming dynasty. (Courtesy Wikipedia Commons)

Li said, “I also want to get some sunshine for my books.”

The physician asked, “Where are your books then?”

Li patted his belly and said, “All my books are in here.”

Li Shizhen was being sarcastic, of course, but his remark told us that a person’s knowledge depends not on how many books one owns but on how many books one has digested. Reading is an activity for the mind. Books, good or bad, can affect a person’s temperament or even change it. Actually, one’s temperament and spirit are connected. Good books can enrich one’s mind and also help to refine a person with elegance and grace.

As for cultivators, when they have compassion in their heart, they will be kind and peaceful. No matter where they go, they bring with them a field of kindness and peace. Someone once asked the founder of Buddhism, Sakyamuni, why people who had noble characters and liked to cultivate their hearts seemed to be so peaceful and joyful? Sakyamuni said, “They are not saddened by the past or anxious about the future. They are content with the present and, therefore, they are happy and joyful.”

Before, signing off for today I have some great news to share with you all.  The ATW team is buzzing with excitement, because we will soon be offering each and every one of you the opportunity to hear our premium podcast range 5 days a week. Just imagine being able to enjoy the harmony and inspiration of an Ancient Tale of Wisdom, every day;on your way to or from work, or at any other time of the day or night you choose.  SOH is proud to bring you this service, that will not only bring you our fabulous narrations, but also, through paying the very low, yearly Gold Pass membership, you will be supporting SOH’s continued growth in becoming a stable, major contributor to our world societies.

We are looking to start our Premium Ancient Tales of Wisdom Podcast around late February, so start saving those pennies today and by then you will easily be able to be one of the first to enjoy the ATW Premium Gold Pass.

As our loyal and long standing listeners, please share our good news with your families and friends, or even surprise them with a gifted subscription.

Stay posted for further details of our upcoming launch of the ATW Premium Gold Pass.

Thank you for joining us here at SOH Radio Network for Ancient Tales of Wisdom.  It has again been my privilege to share today’s wise words from ancient times.

Until we next meet laugh lots, be happy and ‘fill your heart with compassion.’

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