“Liaofan’s four lessons”, a book written by Yuan Huang in the Ming Dynasty, advocates the philosophy that "It is I who decide my own destiny and seek my own blessings". It is a family letter that carries forward accumulated virtues, modesty and respect to heaven and guides people to goodness, and also a great guide for our contemporary people to pursue a happy and harmonious life. Shanghai Hongrun Boyuan School was lucky to be able to invite Mr. Xu Yiliang, from the Xu family of Feng Shui, which can be traced back to the Northern Song Dynasty, to share this book with the teachers to help them better fulfill their lives and work.
Mr. Liaofan offered us four remedies for changing our destiny, i.e.the study of establishing your life, the way of correcting our faults, the means of doing good deeds and the effect of modesty and virtue. Mr. Xu explained them to us one by one.
The book mentions that at the age of 15, Mr. Liaofan met a Mr. Kong who told him his fortune. Mr Liaofan compared what the fortune-teller said with his own life experience, and found out what he said was true, so he was convinced. He gave up pursuing for something, and firmly believed that “what lasts, lasts; what doesn't, doesn't”. Later, he met Zen Master Yungu, who enlightened him after meditating with him for three days and nights, and led him to an epiphany. As a result, he was determined to change his destiny, and not only did he become, but also had two sons, and eventually lived to the age of 74. From then on, he began to accumulate merits and seek his own blessings.
In the way of correcting our faults, Mr. Xu emphasized the need to correct one's behavior by "having the sense of shame,awe and courage". Mending is a prerequisite for the accumulation of goodness, and should be done based on the event,on the reasoning, and on the mind. Mr. Xu also reminded the teachers present that they must constantly “reflect on themselves three times a day".
In the means of doing good deeds, Mr. Xu emphasized the need to do good deeds out of a sincerity and altruism. We should bear love and respect deep in our hearts, and pass on a reservoir of love to keep the whole world warm by keeping doing small good deeds, so our destiny will get changed.
“Yi”asserts that"The way of heaven surplus and profit modest, tunnel surplus and flow modest, ghosts and gods harm surplus and Fu modest, humane evil surplus and good modest." The Taoist classics argues that , "Man rules the earth, the earth rules the heaven, the heaven rules the Tao, and the Tao rules the nature." Mr. Xu stressed: "as long as people understand the law of the movement of heaven and earth, follow the nature, cultivate one's morality and cultivate one's character", we can "match its virtue with heaven and earth, match its brightness with the sun and the moon, match its sequence with the four hours, match its good or bad luck with the ghosts and gods", so as to reach the realm of "unity of heaven and man". Modesty and caution, guard against arrogance and rashness, will naturally reduce the blame.
Mr. Xu gave a three-hour lecture on life enlightenment to all teachers by comparing "Liaofan’s four lessons"with “way of living" by Mr. Kazuo Inamori, either of which supported, reflected and complemented the other. It inspired every teacher present to think profoundly about the meaning and value of their life, and how to pursue a happy and harmonious life.
As teachers, we are lucky because by educating and teaching students, we are helping thousands of families to find their way out, which is exactly to accumulate virtue and do good deeds. In conclusion, as teachers,our daily work is exactly to seek more blessings by ourselves.
文 | Tony Wang
翻译 | Samuel Wang
审核 | Dawn Xu