Four Things That Endanger a Society

September 30, 2013 at 10:00 am | Posted in Asia, Culture, Discoveries, Discussion, Good Advice, Moments from History, Reflections, Relevance to Today, Stories from China | Leave a comment
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September 18, 2013 | By Li Qing

Minghui.org

Around 2,400 years ago, about 10 nations coexisted in China, and each had its own king. One day, King Hui of the Wei Nation invited the other kings to his magnificent palace for a feast. Among them was King Gong of the Lu Nation (the nation where Confucius was from). When King Hui proposed a toast, King Gong told a story about the factors that lead to a nation’s destruction:

“Yidi was good at making wine, and she once gave some to King Yu, who tasted it and liked it very much. Nonetheless, from then on, King Yu abstained from wine and distanced himself from Yidi. Yu said, ‘I know some kings in the future will ruin their nations for greed for good wine.’

“When King Huan of the Qi Nation felt hungry one night, renowned cook Yi Ya prepared a delicious meal for him. King Huan really liked it and ate a lot, which made it difficult for him to wake up the next morning. King Huan then said, ‘Some kings in the future will lose their nations over their fondness for delicious food.’

“After King Wen of the Jin Nation obtained the beautiful Nan Zhiwei, he indulged himself in sensuous pleasure for three days before returning to his work on national affairs. He thus sent Nan away and said, ‘Future kings will ruin their nations for over indulging sensuously in beauty.’

“When King Zhao went up a tower to view the scenery surrounding his kingdom, he was deeply impressed by the great mountains and rivers. He was so impressed that he almost forgot everything else. He thus promised to never again forget his duties and warned others: ‘Someone in the future will lose his nation after exerting too much effort in building grand structures and being too moved by beautiful scenes.’

King Gong then concluded that any one of the four indulgences from the story could lead a nation to destruction. During this feast, however, King Hui had gathered all four types of pleasure, which could be an alerting sign.

King Hui heard these words and wholeheartedly agreed with King Gong.

Using History as a Guide

The story offers insight into the many examples of this kind from history. The Zhou, Shang, Qin, and Sui Dynasties all came to an end as a result of over-indulgences by their rulers. When kings have recklessly sought for physiological or material pleasure, they’ve doomed themselves for destruction.

Similar things are also taking place in contemporary China. Especially over the past two decades, seeking material pleasure has become a stronger and more accepted trend. Government officials now go all out in the pursuit of self interest. Officials in all spheres of society openly accept bribes at the demise of society’s well-being. Mass food consumption and untended waste from public works projects are skyrocketing at unprecedented levels. Prostitution, including the exploitation of under-aged young girls, is now commonplace. Moral degeneration on the whole has reached an unprecedented level.

After recognizing the communist regime’s corruption and inevitable deterioration, especially through reading the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party nearly 140 million people have publicly declared their intentions to quit the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organizations. Such an occurrence is an encouraging sign for China and the rest of the world.

Chinese version available

CATEGORY: Traditional Art and Culture

Taken from: http://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2013/9/18/142085.html

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Tales From the Practice of Medicine: Lack of Forbearance Can Ruin Health

October 7, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Posted in Children's Stories, Good Advice, Life Lessons, Moments from History, Reflections, Relevance to Today | Leave a comment
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By Yu Lin

A patient whom I will call Rita came to me to treat her Parkinson’s disease. In traditional Chinese medicine, Parkinson’s disease is called “trembling paralysis.” 

Rita was referred to me by a doctor of Western medicine. She had been suffering from this ailment for three years. Both her hands trembled, but the right one trembled more severely than the left.

When Rita tried to eat, the food always fell to the floor before it reached her mouth because of her severe trembling. Although there were improvements after I treated her for a while, they were always followed by relapses.

After several relapses, I began to carefully inquire about recent events in her life. She related her story to me about events that had tormented her for the past three years.

While she was telling the story, her mood changed from one of tranquility to agitation, then anger, followed by sorrow. It was then that I understood the real cause of her illness and how the affliction arose.

“My husband and I own and operate a company that transports shipping containers, and we have a villa on an island. Along with our neighbor, we were the only residents of the island, and we shared a common private road. Because the road was in disrepair, we proposed that we share expenses to repair it, but they declined and we had no alternative but to do it ourselves.

“We never imagined that the contractor who repaired the road would inadvertently leave a pile of rocks in the middle of the road, which greatly inconvenienced the neighbors when they used the road.

“They thought that we had acted rashly in anger and had it done on purpose. So they closed a gate on their property, blocking a short cut we had been using to get to our villa. We then had to drive several extra miles to reach our home.

“My husband started talking about their actions with foul language and then in anger cut off their water supply. We had installed the water supply system, and the neighbor connected to it in order to save money.

“They almost went mad with anger and cemented a pile of stones in the middle of the road, thus completely blocking our way home. This cost us $2,000 worth of road repairs, and we became absolutely irreconcilable enemies. On top of that, the most intolerable thing was that both of us had to seek legal assistance, which ended up costing about $2 million!

“For the past three years, we have not been able to live in the villa. And the neighbors cannot live in their home either. Our conflict is now at the stage of a life-and-death struggle. Because the court has not delivered a verdict, we are unable to sell the villa, and we cannot live there but must keep up the maintenance of the house. …”

As she spoke, I could see she was trembling with anger. Her face was red, and she appeared to be on the borderline of collapse.

Seeing her pain and anger, I could see the root of the recurring relapses. Anger adversely affects the liver, thereby causing irritation and more anger. With this being the case, it causes discomfort, harming the flow of energy, the spirit, and the body.

It did not occur to her that the fight with her neighbor was nothing when measured against her own life. In fact, with just one thought, the conflict could have been easily dispelled, but now, because of small-mindedness, the dispute continued endlessly with much money spent in vain, and with only constant misery left.

I knew that her illness could not be cured with medicine alone, but rather must be cured from its root. So I spoke to Rita about forbearance, explaining the principle to her.

I told her, “Take a step back, as the sea and sky are boundless, and endure a bit, as even a flower will bloom in the shade of the willow tree.”

After listening to me, Rita said that if she had heard those words three years ago, she would have never allowed the situation to develop to what it was today.

I talked to her about the principles of “Zhen Shan Ren” (truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance), and about Falun Dafa, a meditation and exercise practice. I also spoke to her about reincarnation and the reciprocating effects of karma.

It was the first time she had heard of these principles. “Oh, my! Is it true that we have deviated so far from truth, compassion, and forbearance that such tribulations are upon us? Is it because we have done many bad deeds in our past lives, and now owe lots of debts to others?” she asked.

“Is that why we are suffering such retributions? Is it correct to suppose that they are warnings for us? Perhaps God allows us to be humans so that we can show kindness to others.”

Her hands stopped trembling. As she left, she said to me, “Doctor, you have assuaged my three years of depression and resentment.”

I did not say more but just watched as she walked away with a huge sigh of relief.

Translated from Zhengjian.org

Dreams and Truth — Secret of a Scale

August 20, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Posted in Asia, Children's Stories, Culture, Discoveries, Discussion, Good Advice, Life Lessons, Moments from History, Reflections, Relevance to Today, Stories from China | Leave a comment
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Author:

Tai Ping, Ed.

[PureInsight.org] What is a dream? Modern science posits that dreaming is a kind of nerve activity of the cerebral cortex during sleep. However, many people clearly see future activities or omens in their dreams. Some people see other kinds of pictures or lives. Many of these events actually happen later. These are some of the things that modern science is unable to explain. In fact, from a cultivation point of view, some dreams occur when a person’s Primordial Spirit (yuanshen) has left the human body, gone to another dimension and has seen the scenery there. Or lives in other dimensions reveal the scene to him or her. Of course, there are other complicated reasons for having dreams. Many dreams have no direct relation to a person at all. I will share with you a strange dream from historical records.

During the Ming Dynasty, there was a wealthy man who became rich from selling products from southern China in his grocery store. He had one son and two grandsons and had a very happy family. Later, he became sick and bed-ridden. Before he died, he gave a weighing scale to his son and very seriously told him: “This scale is a treasure that helped me build up my wealth. It is made from black wood. The scale is hollow inside and filled with mercury. When one sells things to a customer, one should push the scale slightly upward. The mercury will go to the head of the scale. The customer will think that the product weighs more than its actual weight. When you buy products to stock up, you push the scale down a little, so the mercury moves to the end of the scale. The seller will think that the product weighs less than its actual weight . In this way I have taken advantage of many people. That is how I built up my wealth.”

The son was very shocked when he heard this. How could his father do such an immoral thing? He did not argue with him because his father was very ill. After his father died, he burned the scale. He did his best to do all kinds of charitable acts. He comforted people who were in danger and helped poor people. He took care of disabled and old people. He always worried that he hadn’t done enough good to compensate for his father’s unscrupulous deeds. Because of his kindness and sincerity, he exhausted half of his family fortune within three years. He was not unhappy because this is what he wanted to do. But his two sons died one after another. He felt sad because he thought that his good deeds were being rewarded with calamity! So he often sighed that the gods were ignorant and that good and evil were reversed. Unavoidably he held a little hatred in his heart.

One night, he had a dream in which he saw a palace where an official presided. The official told him: “Your father was supposed to be wealthy because of his generosity in a previous life. Even if he hadn’t used the scale, he would still be rich. But he used that scale with such bad intent. Additionally, he obtained a lot of karma. Yet he didn’t repent even as he was dying. Therefore, he will suffer hardship to pay it back. This was just his foolishness. Because of his evil deeds, God sent two angels called Broke and Consumption to become your sons to squander your family’s wealth. The original plan was that after they squandered all your wealth, what was left of your property would be burned down. Because of your father, you wouldn’t have enough food and clothing. Moreover you would not live long. Your father thought that he could leave a lot of wealth to his son and grandsons and that they would enjoy life without worrying about anything. There was no way for him to know that his son would not live long, or that his grandsons had come to ruin his family. Fortunately, you have a compassionate heart that is enough to compensate for your father’s sin. God has observed you for three years and found that you are always sincere and honest, which is a very rare thing. Therefore, God decided to call back the two angels. In the near future, you will have virtuous children and exceptional descendants. In addition, your life will be prolonged. You should diligently cultivate your kindness without hatred in your heart.” After he awakened, the son was suddenly enlightened. From then on, he was always very determined to be kind to other people. Later, he had two sons, who both passed imperial civil examinations and won honors for the family.

After reading this historical record, I cannot help but think how well the principle of “good is rewarded with good, and evil is met with evil” works. Because living beings cannot see causal relationships, they dare to do evil things. They don’t believe in retribution. Moreover, they even spread corrupt principles such as “Nice guys finish last” to attract people to do wrong. They don’t know that true justice is real and fair. Because people have different blessings, virtue, and predestined relationships, retribution will be different for each person. Good deeds are rewarded with good, evil deeds with retribution.

Therefore, in the process of Jiang Zemin’s persecution of Falun Gong, some people have ill-gotten wealth from catching, beating, fining and betraying Falun Gong practitioners. They don’t know that their behavior has planted the roots for their future punishment. If they do not grasp the opportunity to rectify the wrong deeds, it will be too late to regret.

This material was from “Moral Collection.”

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2004/4/5/26562.html

How Shi Yeguang’s False Cultivation Led to Retribution

May 3, 2012 at 9:47 am | Posted in Good Advice, Life Lessons, Moments from History, Reflections, Relevance to Today, Stories from China | Leave a comment
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November 05, 2010 | By Shijian

(Clearwisdom.net) Shi Yeguang was a well known monk during the Tang Dynasty who lived in Jimen. He liked to study Buddhism when he was young, and became a monk. After ten years of studying Buddhism, he thought that his third eye was open and that he had a complete understanding of Buddhism. At that time, there was another monk named Huida, who had accumulated wealth but had very little knowledge of Buddhism. They praised each other and became close friends.

At that time, Emperor Zuanzong respected cultivators of both Buddhist and Taoist practices. Shi wanted to go to the capital city to get the emperor’s attention, but couldn’t afford to pay for the trip, so he often expressed unhappiness about this. Huida knew about Shi’s problem and offered to finance the trip saying, “The emperor wants to pay tribute to talented people. If you go to the capital, you will be treated as an eminent monk and become a government official. When that happens, I’ll come to see you and I hope that you’ll remember me as your old friend.” Shi replied, “Your generous help is what allows me to go to the capital. If I become a government official, I shall definitely repay the favor.”

After Shi arrived at the capital, he bribed assistants of the Jiuxian princess for an opportunity to see the emperor. The emperor asked his assistants to find more than ten well-educated monks to discuss the principles of Buddhism with Shi. It turned out that Shi was a good debater. He could explain the scriptures, argue the metaphysics and interpret difficult passages. The emperor was impressed by his ability, and gave him gifts, the title of a scholar and an official position in the government. He was highly respected by the emperor as a Buddhist scholar, although he did not really understand the requirements of a cultivator. Thus, he was often embarrassed by real cultivators.

After Huida heard about Shi’s success at the capital, he took the long trip to the capital to visit Shi, hoping that he could also have an official position. Shi did not want to see him, and thought that Huida came to ask for his money. Huida sensed that Shi wouldn’t help him, so he left and returned home.

A month later, Shi still worried about Huida coming back. He wrote a secret letter to Zhang Tinggui, the commander of Jimen, accusing Huida of coming to the capital to place a report to the government that Zhang was planning a revolt. Zhang was very angry when he saw the letter. He asked Huida to come to his office, and beat Huida to death.

A few days later, Shi saw the spirit of Huida coming over to rebuke him saying, “I funded your visit to the capital. Instead of being grateful, you slandered me and had me killed. How could you treat me like that?” Huida jumped over and seized him. Shi died a few days later.

(According to “Taiping Guangji”)

 

Dear readers

April 18, 2012 at 12:12 am | Posted in Asia, Good Advice, Life Lessons, Moments from History, Reflections, Relevance to Today | Leave a comment
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Dear readers of Connection. This is June Taylor.

I’m sorry for the recent absence of posts in this blog. I have been extremely “busy” (or unable to manage time efficiently) and have not been maintaining this blog as well as I’d hoped. This is perhaps the first post in another series of regular weekly (or daily) posts to come. I hope you will enjoy it.

I hope you have been enjoying the content of Connection. My initial reason for creating this blog was to share with you the wonderful stories that are reflections of human culture, human goodness and the deeper meanings behind life and its wonders.

And here is the next post…

Enlightenment in Life: Fill Your Heart with Compassion

Author:

Guan Ming

[PureInsight.org] According to the Historical Records,
Li Shizhen was a famous physician from the Ming Dynasty. Li Zhizhen
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. The foolish
physician bought a lot of medical books to show that he had a 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 Zhishen
happened to see it, he got such an impulse that he loosened 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?”

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

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 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.”

Talking about the present, let’s just look at the blossoming of
udumbara. It blooms only every three thousand years and is now blooming
in many continents. The King of Falun Paradise is spreading Dafa in the
human world and that, too, offers a rare opportunity for everyone who
is fortunate enough to obtain it. Hopefully all these people will bring
joy and compassion to every sentient being in this universe.

Translated from:

http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2007/10/7/48737.html

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