108 Adages of Wisdom IVThe Environmental Protection of the Mind
1. Use ordinary mind to face unordinary circumstances.
2. Even if you're right, don't be harsh to others. Express correct views gently.
3. Become aware of your breathing the moment you feel agitated or emotional. Experience and feel your breath and you will soon become calm.
4. The mind is agitated by either the environment or the body. Be watchful of body and mind to maintain a peaceful and stable mind.
5. Let others be your mirror. If your words or actions discomfit, shock, or cause concern to others, immediately reflect on your behavior, express remorse, and improve.
6. The mind is our teacher. We are in the Pure Land when our mind is unified with whatever we do, wherever we are, at all times, in all places.
7. If other people's praise or criticism affects you – whether it makes you happy or sad – it means that you have neglected to take care of your mind and spirit.
8. Anger may stem from the body, perception, or many other causes. It's not necessarily an indication of poor cultivation. If you can look within, dissolve your anger, you will harm neither yourself nor others.
9. Take care of your mind, no matter the situation. Keep inner mind calm and peaceful. This is spiritual health; this is protecting the spiritual environment.
10. Unpleasant encounters, unhappy situations – we must mend our own minds, not other people's minds.
11. Someone we like or dislike, happy or difficult situation treat everything with calmness and equanimity – this "treating right and wrong with gentleness."
12. Gentleness is a mild heart and a flexible attitude toward others and in dealing with situations. It is not a sign weakness.
13. Freedom is not life without obstacles; rather it is the ability to be calm and stable in body and mind when confronting obstacles.
14. People may seek satisfaction by exploiting the environment, they may seek social justice, they may seek social equality, and indeed they may enjoy some degree of success in these endeavors, but ultimately they will fail to truly bring conflict to an end.
15. Letting go does not mean giving up. Letting go means not thinking of the past, not thinking of the future, a mind that lets go. Giving up means believing in nothing, abandoning all faith and courage.
16. When we have faith and hope, we have a future.
17. Regret is a kind of emotional affliction. Repentance is a practice.
18. Being anxious and worrisome is useless. Being mindful and focused is a must.
19. Relax when you are sick, carry on and do what you must do. This is a healthy way to handle sickness.
20. Sickness need not be a source of suffering; the same is true for poverty and physical labor. But when the mind is distressed, that is true suffering.
21. Take your illness as an experience. Then it will not be suffering.
22. Take adversity as something interesting, you will harvest a very different crop.
23. If you are prepared for a setback, then you will not fear setbacks.
24. It is impossible to have a carefree life; our bodies may experience sickness and pain, our work may be troublesome, the environment may be beset with calamity. But if our mind is at peace, then we will be at peace.
25. The world can face great danger and calamity at any time. If we are mentally prepared for anything, then when misfortune strikes we reduce the potential injury to the bare minimum.
26. If our views are correct, then we know that birth, aging, sickness, and death are natural and we will not blame others.
27. Ponder for two more minutes, and opportunities may reveal themselves; as long as we have one more breath, our potential is unlimited.
28. As long as we have one breath left, when we alter our thinking the environment will change along with it, because the environment is impermanent.
29. It does not matter how much the environment changes, as long as we face it with calm and composure, we will certainly find a solution.
30. The Chan practice of inner environmental protection is to maintain stability, harmony, clarity, whether we are busy or not, alone or with others.
31. No need to fear the sound of opposition or obstacles. If we can face and accept them then these conditions become a force to help us to grow.
32. We have to respond to problems with calm. If our minds are not equanimous and harmonious, then we will likely say the wrong things and make the situation worse.