Walking the way

The more insight from ancient China.

 

            Baiyun said to the layman Yang Wuwei:

            What can be said but not practiced is better not said.  What can be practiced but not spoken of is better not done.

            When you utter word, you should always consider their end.  When you establish a practice, you must always consider what it covers.

 

            In this, ancient sages were careful about their words and actions.

           

When they spoke they did not just demonstrate the principle of Cha’an, they used it to open the minds of students who were not yet enlightened.

            When they established their practices, they did not just take care of themselves, they used them to educate students who were undeveloped.

            Therefore, when they spoke, their words had standards, and when they acted it was with proper manners.  So ultimately they were able to speak without trouble and act without disgrace.  Their words thus became scriptures, their acts became standards.

           

So it is said, “Speech and action are the pivot of ideal people, the basis of governing one’s person.”  They can move heaven and earth, touch even ghosts and spirits, so they should be respected.

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