What's bothering you right now? Or are you happy with your life? In life, we often have many challenges, but it's how we deal with things that makes that difference. However, some of us are happy to watch the seasons go by.
Within popular Chinese culture there's a fortune telling and the Chinese zodiac. However, I'm not a great follower of these things. Oh but you're Chinese, you must do? Actually no, not all Chinese people do. If we do, then we're labelled superstitious. However, if we don't we don't fit in that stereotype and that we're not very Chinese. Twins born of the same mother may not share the same personalities or destinies. I'm not saying these things don't work, but I'm not going to be bound by what star sign or animal I am or how I'm supposed to behave.
So where did I come to this conclusion? Well many years ago, I came across a book call Liao-Fan's Four Lessons (了凡四訓). It was written during the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644) by a scholar called Yuan Liao-Fan. The book was based on his real experiences and was written to inspire his descendants. Like most people, he was bound by and comfortable with what his life would be. But unsure as to why life is nothing more than what it is. That was until he people who've inspired him to change his life for the better, through self-reflection and need to change for the better. One person's life is indeed determined by fate and destiny. However, through accruing positive karma, your destiny may change. Liao-Fan's Four lessons is not a literary classic, but it is a good book that illustrates how Confucianism and Mahayana Buddhism works. It is also serves as a glimpse of life in Ming China. The book was made into a film a number of years ago and it's available in Mandarin, Cantonese and English. If you prefer to read you may download a copy here in Chinese and in English. Both the film and the book it was based on, is made available for free distribution. I hope you enjoy it.
I bet you thought I was going to talk about lucky charms, but to be honest, I don't know much about them. Other than the fact that they don't work. How so? Well if lucky charms do work, then why are the people selling them, still earn a living selling them? Or Feng Shui? That's Daoist isn't it? Well yes it is, but Feng Shui doesn't work like that. But what's this got to do with Taiji? Well if you must ask, then you're probably missing the point. Thank you for reading my blog.
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