In Stillness, There Is Clarity; In Movement, There Is Confusion

While speaking with managers in the education department one morning, Master Cheng Yen mentioned a Buddhist sutra which depicted a log floating down a stream. If the log does not collide with the bank of the stream, it will flow smoothly along until it reaches the ocean, and enter a state of vastness. “However, if this log stops frequently at the shore of the stream, even the sturdiest of logs will be damaged!”

“Our lives are analogous to the path of the floating log. From this sutra, we learn that we should safeguard our mind and be independent instead of always relying on others.” The Master remarked that in living in this world, we should carry out our rightful duties and utilize our talents well. We should follow the middle way and not deviate from the proper path. In doing so, we will obtain a vast, bright future.

“One false claim can become the truth after being broadcasted by the masses.” That is, if we make a false statement and it is spread by many people as gossip, then, after a while, this statement will be perceived as the truth. Therefore, the Master urged that we should differentiate right from wrong and not be confused by gossip and hearsay.

“To differentiate right from wrong, we must take good care of our mind.” The Master said that “in stillness, there is clarity; in movement, there is confusion.” If the mind is in a state of tranquility, it can clearly comprehend good principles and recognize what is correct. But if the mind is swayed and troubled, it will become clouded and disillusioned.

“If we are calm and rational, then we will see matters with clarity when a situation arises.” The Master advised that we listen and speak with wisdom. “We should choose our words mindfully, so that we do not harm others with what we say. If others have confidence in our character, then our words will be influential and trusted by the masses.”

Human society is complex. Seeing that sentient beings share a common karma, the Master sighed. “The world is filled with more suffering than happiness. At times, I feel hopeless and worried. However, it is futile to fret. I hope that everyone can take good care of his mind and nurture great love. We should not be distracted by a complicated society. We should cherish harmony, peace, and mutual love amongst one another!”

Master Cheng yen
March 27, 2004

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