"One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself."
- Leonardo da Vinci
"He who reigns
within himself and rules his passions, desires, and fears is more than
- John Milton
"You must begin
to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be."
- David Viscott
This page is full of tips and quotes about Self Mastery & Self Knowledge.
Chinese Proverb: In order to become a master; you need 4 things:
According to Dr Wayne Dyer there are four stages to becoming a master of anything
To become a master of any sport eg. tennis, golf, pool you at least need to practise
Regular sessions and discipline are needed
So for example if you want to be a golf pro you first need to practise a lot on a regular basis.
This is where school education finishes.
Uncondtional love is not the same as normal love that society programmed
Unconditional love is like the love of a mother to her baby - whatsoever the baby it does is ok.
(That is until about 2 years old when we start introducing rules, expectations, TV, our belief systems & perspectives, non acceptance & judgement)
Unconditional Love is about acceptance, compassion, forgiveness, non-judgement and trust.
So you need to Love to play golf / tennis / pool to become a pro. You continue to practise and train because you love what you are doing - you are en-thusiastic (with God) and in-spired (In spirit, in - breath)
You continue to practise no matter how badly you have just performed.
You fall, you get up, you fall, you get up, you . . .. . .
Detached from the Outcome
Visualize that you are now realizing your goal. Feel, smell, taste, touch, the experience of being a master of whatever you would like to be.
( BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR - MAKE SURE YOUR GOAL IS FOR THE HIGHEST GOOD OF ALL INVOLVED)
Now know that you have this goal and are capable of reaching this goal.
Affirm I am worthy of being a master of .........
So be it, So be it, So be it
Now detach yourself, surrender to the infinite intelligence of the universe / cosmos. Know that the Universe has many mysterious ways of working.
Don't specify when, or how you will reach this goal, for that limits the limitless.
Know that you will reach this and now forget about it.
Be detached from the outcome or any expectations. It is being attached to expectations that causes suffering when you don't get what you want.
If you are too attached to something happening, you may even influence the outcome negatively by thinking the worst or what could go wrong.
Surrender to the higher will of God, or to the flow of 'is-ness'
Tips for manifestation
In the moring chant 'ahhhh', visualising you reaching your goal
At night, chant Om, thanking God / the universe, gratitude for being alive and reaching your goal
For more info read Dr Wayne Dyer's material
Zen masters are like mirrors - showing yourself
They use spontaneity to show you the essence of life.
Zen Masters tend to agree with something when they agree and not disagree if they don't agree.
Zen Masters have no fixed belief or point of view
Zen has no-method
From not knowing, anything can spring up - pure potential
From knowing something you are separating yourself from the object - from a stance of not knowing the answer spontaneously arises - you will then know what to do!
It is best to prepare and have information, the release the knowledge and take a stance of not knowing what to do next - relax, take a deep breath, listen to the silence and inspiration and /or action is sure to follow.
Nobody likes bossy leaders telling you what to do. Allow freedom of expression.
Be accepting, understanding, compassionate, empathic, intuitive, sensitive - verbally and non-verbally.
Inspire people, motivation is second rate.
Be enthusiastic and inspired yourself
The best leaders are often heard least.
High-Level Teachers Will Seek Students
Only those who emphasize virtue can truly enter a tranquil state during qigong practice, be able to truly enter qigong's door, and to heal illness and be in resonance with a qigong master, especially high-level qigong masters. Masters with a high degree of virtue look for students when they are teaching nearby or from afar. If you have the foundation for certain special abilities, these masters can sense from your information that you emphasize virtue very much and has done many good deeds. They will be able to send their energy and information to you, even from far away. If you do not emphasize virtue, then even if a master walks in front of you, gives you hints or clearly tell you, you would miss the opportunity.
Some masters dress in tattered clothes. If you normally do not pay attention to training in emphasizing virtue, then if the masters walk have by you and allow you do something to help them, you would not do it. That's because you only value teachers who have taught you, but you don't value other staff in the school such as those in the cafeteria, or the nurses, or the patrol guards.
High level masters will judge you not on how you treat them, but on how you respect your teachers. Because these master have very simple lives, they don't need you to repay them. They will test you based on your attitude towards other people. Their methods of testing are very high and very ingenious, and they can immediately test your true nature.
Master Hai-Deng is like that. When you give some gift to him, he will immediately give it away to others who come to see him, such as those from the villages with more difficult lives, or he'll give it to one of his students who has economic hardships. He will then watch how you react. If your expression immediately change and become unhappy, he'll know right away that you're not ready, that you can't do good deeds. The reason that you gave him something was because you want him to do something for you.
Translated from "Dr. Yan Xin Discusses Qigong's Virtue is the Essence"
"Non-action" is "action"
Sometimes after I have healed someone, they would give me a gift. I would immediately give away that gift to someone else. Some people would complain immediately: "Oh no! Dr. Yan, you really don't understand people". This is not correct. When I give away the gift, I am doing a good deed for you! When I give away someone from you, it is a way to test you. I often do this, as I have learnt this from my teachers. A person should do good deeds, and pay attention to doing good deeds for strangers. This requires training. You can't ignore the training, because most people cannot do this. If you can do this aspect, then you will understand the state of "clear tranquility and without action" in qigong. Emphasizing virtue will lead you to enter this state of "clear tranquility and without action". Most person cannot enter this state. Daoism speaks of "Inaction is action". It begins with "inaction": not thinking of small goals, not thinking of your personal benefits. When you abilities appear, tasks that others cannot do you can do. That is "action", where you can able do anything. This includes healing illnesses that others can't heal, and resolving problems that others can't resolve.
Tao Te Ching, by Lao-Tzu
Lao-Tzu divided the Tao Te Ching into two parts: The Tao or the Way, and Te, 'virtue'. But this does not mean virtue in the Western sense of moral and ethical correctness; it is rather the innate virtue of the world - its essential properties.
The Taoist adept will strive for understanding of these and this will inform his or her whole life and being. True te is uncontrived, unforced naturalness with which the wise man will handle practical affairs, putting his own wishes and desires in line with the natural flow of outside events and phenomena.
The Tranquil Taoist
According to the book of Chuang-tzu, an old man is seen by some followers of Confucious swimming in a raging torrent; suddenly, he disappears. The pupils of Confucious rush to save him, but the man reaches the bank entirely unaided. Asked how he had pulled off this remarkable feat of survival, the man replied that he had simply let himself go with the descending and ascending currents in the water. The true Taoist, in other words, moulds his senses, body and mind until they are at one with the currents of the world without.
From Sacred Symbols, Tao
Without wealth, it is called poverty; Knowledge without action, it is called sickness.
Request in order to obtain, Take action in order to succeed, Accumulate in order to increase, Do one's best in order to be a sage.
Xun Zi The heavier the responsibility, the greater the virtue, the better the effects, the higher the level.
Dr. Yan Xin, from Dec 6, 1998 speech in Vancouver
The softest thing in the universe Overcomes
the hardest thing in the universe
That without substance can enter where there is no room
Hence I know the value of non-action
Teaching without words and work without doing
Are understood by very few.
from Tao of Power (Dao De Jing)
Passage 81: Sages do not accumulate. The more they do for others, the more they gain. The more they give to others, the more they possess.
Passage 77: Sages act without expectation, succeed without taking credit, and have no desire to display their excellence.
Passage2: Sages hold their position without effort, practice their philosophy without words, are a part of all things and overlook nothing. They produce but do not possess, act without expectation, succeed without taking credit.
Passage 7: Sages put themselves last, and yet they are first. Put themselves outside, and yet they remain. Is it not because they are without self-interest that their interests succeed?
Passage 70: Sages wear a coarse cloth covering with precious jade at the center.
Self-Mastery from Tao of Power (Dao De Jing)
Those who know others are intelligent; those
who know themselves have insight.
Those who master others have force; those who master themselves have strength.
Those who know what is enough are wealthy.
Those who persevere have aspiration.
Those who maintain their position endure.
And those who die and yet do not perish, live on.
Sages do not display themselves, therefore
they are illuminated.
They do not define themselves, therefore they are distinguished.
They do not make claims, therefore they are credited.
They do not boast, therefore they advance.
Since, indeed, they do not compete, the world cannot compete with them.
Sages have no fixed mind; they make the mind of the people their mind. To those who are kind, I am kind; to those who are not kind, I am also kind. Kindness is virtue. To those who trust, I am trusting; to those who do not trust, I am also trusting. Trust is virtue. The sages in the world attract the world and merge with its mind. The people all focus their eyes and ears; sages all act as infants.
A Sage as leader... from Tao of Power (Dao De Jing),
The rivers and seas lead the hundred streams,
because they are skillful at staying low.
Thus they are able to lead the hundred streams.
Therefore, to rise above people, one must, in speaking, stay below them.
To remain in front of people, one must put oneself behind them.
Therefore Sages remain above, and yet the people are not weighted down. They remain in front, and the people are not held back.
Therefore the world willingly elects them, and yet it does not reject them. Because they do not compete, the world cannot compete with them.
Zen Stories (1)
Crossing the river
The monk Tanzan and a younger monk were travelling, when they saw a beautiful young women unable to cross the river. Tanzan immediately offered and helped the woman by carrying her across the river. Tanzan and the young monk continued on their journey, but after some time the young monk could not stand it anymore. He said "as monks we must abstain from desires of the flesh, yet you were so physically close to that young woman. Why did you do that?" Tanzan replied, "I already put her down at the river. Are you still carrying her?"
Small waves and large waves
A small wave in the ocean laments "Poor me. Other waves are so great in size, yet I am so small. Other waves can travel so fast, yet I am so inferior." Another wave replies "This is because you do not know your true being, so you think you are suffering. A wave is your temporary phenomenon. In actual fact, you are water. When you realize that your true being is water, you will no longer be troubled by your physical form, and therefore will no longer suffer."
What is the sea?
A small fish asked a great fish "I often hear others speak of the sea. But what exactly is it?" The great fish replied "Your environment is the sea. The sea is inside of you, and it is outside of you. You live in the sea, and belong to the sea. The sea surrounds you, just like your body."
A three-year old knows
Baiju asked the monk Niaoke "How should people cultivate in their daily life to be in accordance with the Way?" Niaoke replied "Do not do any bad deeds. As for good deeds, pursue all of them and do not turn your back on any of them." Baiju was puzzled and said "but this is something even a three year old child already knows". Niaoke replied "A three year old child knows, but a hundred year old person may not be able to do it".
Too rushed to learn
A young man went into the deep mountains to ask a master to teach him swordsmanship. He asked the master how long it would take to learn, to which the master replied "ten years". The young man said "my father is getting old, and I need to take care of him. If I am very diligent in learning, how long will it take?"The master replied "That way will take thirty years". The young man was even more anxious. "First you said ten years, now you say thirty years. I don't care how much hardship I have to bear, I must learn it in the shortest amount of time." The master replied "In that case, it will take seventy years".
Too full to learn
A scholar visited the monk Nanyin to ask him about Zen. Nanyin offered some tea to his guest, but he continued pouring even after the cup was full. After a short while, the scholar could not stand it any longer and said "the cup is already full! Stop pouring!". Nanyin replied "You are just like this cup, full of your views and opinions. If you do not empty your cup first, how can I tell you about Zen?"
Attachment and loss
A mighty general was holding and admiring one of his antique cups. Suddenly, the cup slipped from his hands and fell. Although in shock, he quickly caught the cup before it hit the ground. Somewhat breathless from this incident, he thought to himself "I have led tens of thousands of soldiers into battle without fear. Why did a cup cause me to become so frightened?" He then realized that it was his mind of attachment and loss that caused him such fright. With this comprehension, he casually threw the cup to the ground and let it break.
Chatting About Roots (1) Editor's note: "Chatting About Roots" (Cai Gen Tan - literally "vegetable root chat") is written by Zicheng Hong, and integrates ideas from Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism. The material here are translated from "Cartoon Guide to Chatting About Roots" by Zhizhong Cai.
Plain is true taste;ordinary is extraordinary
Strong wine, rich foods, spicy and sweet flavor is not true taste; the truly natural taste is plain. Those with special and outstanding abilities are not sages; sages are the most ordinary people.
Yielding is advancing; giving is receiving
When conducting oneself in society, one should maintain an attitude of yielding a step, because yielding a step is the preparation for advancing a step in the future. Deal with other people using a generous attitude is one's own good fortune, because benefitting others forms the foundation for benefitting oneself in the future.
Balancing movement and stillness is the true form of the Dao
People who only favor being active are like lightning in a storm - in a flash it is gone; or they are like a candle in the wind - flickering and unstable. People who only favor tranquility are like the burn-out ashes of a fire or a dried and withered tree - lacking in life and vitality. One should be like the gliding bird amongst the floating clouds, or like the fish that leaps out of the tranquil water. This truly embodies the Dao in the mind and body.
Forget fame when cultivating; understand when learning
When one is pursuing learning, one must be focused and concentrate. If one still considers fame and wealth when cultivating virtue, then one will not attain true learning. When reading, if one only puts effort in reciting the material well, then one will not have true understanding.
Forget help but don't forget past, forget enmity but don't forget kindness
If I have helped others I should not think about it. If I have wronged others I should think about it. If others have helped me I should not forget about it. If others have wronged me I should forget about it.
Kindness in hidden vices, vice in obvious kindness
If some has done something wrong and is afraid to let others know, it means deep in their hearts they still have a little bit of kindness. If someone has done a little bit of kindness and is eager to let others know, it means they are planting the roots of their vices.
Work on the present, plan for the future
Instead of planning for something that you cannot do, concentrate on the strengths that you already have. Instead of regretting past mistakes, work to prevent future errors.
No images and no sounds remain
When the wind blows through the bamboo forest, it makes a sound. When the wind has gone, the bamboo forest is silent. When a goose flies over a lake, its image is reflected on the water. When the goose has passed, the image no longer remains. Therefore a cultivated person will use their true character to naturally respond to events that occur. Once the event has passed, they will return their original tranquil state.
True tranquility amongst disturbance, true happiness amongst hardship
Tranquility amidst a tranquil environment is not true tranquility; tranquility amidst an environment of disturbance is true tranquility. Happiness amidst a happy environment is not true happiness; happiness amidst an environment of hardship is true happiness.
Eliminate to find clarity and happiness
Without waves, the water is calm. Without obstruction, the mirror is reflective. Thus a person's heart and mind don't have much to cleanse. Once the distracting thoughts are eliminated, the clarity will appear. One does not have to seek happiness; once the roots of pain and hardship are eliminated, happiness will appear.
Some common faults
Most people has these faults: when they are hungry they rely on someone else, but when they are full they will leave; they will associate with those who are wealthy, but will ignore those who are poor.
Virtue is the foundation
Virtue is the foundation for building an enterprise. If the foundation is not solid, the house built on top will not be stable nor long lasting.
A kind heart is the seed
A kind and benevolent heart is the seed for our future generation's prosperity. A seed must be planted before the plant will grow leaves.
Be lenient with others, be strict with ourselves
Be lenient with other's mistakes, but be strict with our own mistakes. Have endurance for our own hardships, but assist others to resolve their hardships.
Praises and insults are nothing
When others praise me when I am powerful, they are only praising my robes. When others insult me when I am poor, they are only insulting my rags. Since they are not praising me, why would I be happy? Since they are not looking down upon me, why would I be angry?
A benevolent heart is an opportunity for life
"For the sake of the mice, leave some food. For the sake of the moth, extinguish the candle." These benevolent thoughts from the ancients shows us how we can help humanity survive. If people do not have this kind of benevolence, then we are just an empty shell, no different than dirt and wood.
Realization between sleeping and waking
In the weak dwindling light, when everything enters into a dead silence, that is when our body and mind rests. In the early morning, before anything starts to move, that is when we leave our sleeping state. In this instant between sleeping and waking, there is a spark of light in our brains, when we will suddenly realize that our five senses are what limits our mind's intelligence, and our feelings and desires will be the downfall of our character.
Do not take to heart
Do not worry when thing are not going ideally; Do not be overjoyed with short-term victories; Do not grow complacent with long term stability; Do not give up and retreat when faced with difficulty in the beginning. Natural delights, nearby scenery Pleasure does not require much. With just a basin-sized pool of water and a fist-sized rock, the sense of a "mountain and water" scenery is complete. An understanding of nature is not far away. Sitting beside a bamboo window in a grass hut, one can feel the wind and see the moon.
Tranquility reveal the true character
Upon hearing the sound of bells in the tranquil night, one can be awaken from a dream within a dream. Upon seeing the reflection of the moon on a lake, one can see one's character beyond the physical body.
Observe the heart instead of the form
Many people know how to read and understand books with words, but they don't know how to read and understand nature's books without words. Many people know how to play a stringed zither, but they don't know how to appreciate nature's music without strings. That is, they know how to use the physical, but don't know how to use the spiritual. So how can they truly know the pleasure of books and music?
The suspicious and the tranquil
Those who are suspicious and scheming, upon seeing the shadow of a bow in a cup, will think it is a snake. When they see rocks in the dark, they will think it is a tiger ready to pounce. They are surrounded by thoughts of killing. Those who are calm and tranquil, even when they see the most vicious tiger, they can transform it to be as tender as a sea gull. When they hear to croaking of frogs, it is music to their ears. They are surrounded by an air of auspiciousness.
A calm heart
A high-level monk once said "the shadow of the wind-blown bamboo sweeps across the steps, yet the dust is not disturbed. The image of the moon falls into the lake, yet it produces no waves on the water." A Confucian scholar also said "No matter how much the water is rushing, as long as my heart is calm I hear only a tranquil environment. Even though the flowers are fading, as long as I have a leisurely heart I will not be disturbed by the falling petals." If a person can maintain this attitude to deal with people and situations, our body and mind will be free.
Moths and vultures
The sky stretches all the way to the moon, with so much freedom to fly, yet the moth will head towards the flame and be consumed. The earth has clear springs and ripe fruit, with so much bounty to eat, yet vultures will eat decaying carrion. Alas, how many people in the world can avoid becoming a moth or a vulture.
A person's happiness and suffering is created by their own ideas. Sakyamuni said "Having too much desire for fame and wealth is like jumping into a pit of fire; having too much greed is like sinking into a sea of sorrow. A single thought of purity can transform the the pit of fire into a pool of water; a single awakening can transform the sea of sorrow into paradise." With just a slight difference in thought, our life can completely change, so we must be careful with all of our thoughts.
translated from "Cartoon Guide to Chatting About Roots", Zhizhong Cai
Analects of Confucius (1)
1.1 Confucius said: "Having studied, to then repeatedly apply what you have learned - is this not a source of pleasure? To have friends come from distant quarters - is this not a source of enjoyment? To go unacknowledged by others without harboring frustration - is this not the mark of an exemplary person?"
1.3 Master Zeng said: "Daily I examine my person on three counts. In my undertakings on behalf of other people, have I failed to do my utmost? In my interactions with colleagues and friends, have I failed to make good on my word? In what has been passed on to me, have I failed to carry it into practice?"
1.16 Confucius said: "Don't worry about not being acknowledged by others; worry about failing to acknowledge them."
2.7 Ziyou asked about filial conduct. Confucius replied: "Those today who are filial are considered so because they are able to provide for their parents. But even dogs and horses are given that much care. If you do not respect your parents, what is the difference?"
From "The Analects of Confucius" - a philosophical translation, by Roger Ames and Henry Rosemont Quotes:
I asked for...
I asked for strength.... and was given difficulties to make me strong. I asked for wisdom.... and was given problems to solve. I asked for prosperity... and was given brain and brawn to work. I asked for courage... and was given danger to overcome. I asked for love... and was given troubled people to help. I asked for favors... and was given opportunities. I received nothing I wanted... I received everything I needed.
Channel Qi Issue 151 highlights
Analects of Confucius (2)
2.11 Confucius said: "Reviewing the old as a means of realizing the new - such a person can be considered a teacher."
2.13 Zigong asked about exemplary persons. Confucius replied: "They first accomplish what they are going to say, and only then say it."
4.5 Confucius said: "Wealth and honor are what people want, but if they are the consequence of deviating from the Dao, I would have no part in them. Poverty and disgrace are what people deplore, but if they are the consequence of staying on the way, I would not avoid them."
4.12 Confucius said: "To act with an eye to personal profit will incur a lot of resentment."
4.14 Confucius said: "Do not worry over not having an official position; worry about what it takes to have one. Do not worry that no one acknowledges you; seek to do what will earn you acknowledgement."
4.17 Confucius said: "When you meet persons of exceptional character, think to stand shoulder to shoulder with them; meeting persons of little character, look inward and examine yourself."
4.22 Confucius said: "The ancients were loath to speak because they would be ashamed if they personally did not live up to what they said."
4.24 Confucius said: "The exemplary person wants to be slow to speak yet quick to act."
Analects of Confucius (3)
5.27 Confucius laments, "I have yet to meet anyone who, on seeing their own excesses, is ready to accuse themselves."
6.5 When Yuansi served as Confucius' household steward, he was given nine hundred measures of grain. Yuansi would not accept so much. "You must not refuse it," Confucius said. "It is to give to your family, friends, and neighbors."
6.11 Confucius said, "A person of character is this Yan Hui! He has a bamboo bowl of rice to eat, a gourd of water to drink, and a dirty little hovel in which to live. Other people would not be able to endure his hardships, yet for Hui it has no effect on his enjoyment. A person of character is this Yan Hui!"
6.12 Ranyou said, "It is not that I do not rejoice in the Way of the master, but that I do not have the strength to walk it". Confucius replied, "Those who do not have the strength for it collapse somewhere along the way. But with you, you have drawn your own line before you start."
6.18 Confucius said, "When one's basic disposition overwhelms refinement, the person is boorish; when refinement overwhelms one's basic disposition, the person is an officious scribe. It is only when one's basic disposition and refinement are in appropriate balance that you have the exemplary person."
6.29 Confucius said, "The virtue required to hit the mark in the everyday is of the highest order. That it is rare among the people is an old story."
From "The Analects of Confucius" - a philosophical translation, by Roger Ames and Henry Rosemont
To get your self out of the hole, first you have to stop digging.
Analects of Confucius (4)
7.6 Confucius said, "Set your sights on the Way, sustain yourself with virtue, lean upon benevolence, and sojourn in the arts". 7.16 Confucius said, "To eat coarse food, drink plain water, and pillow oneself on a bent arm -- there is pleasure to be found in these things. But wealth and position gained through inappropriate means -- these are to me like floating clouds".
7.20 Confucius said, "I am not the kind of person who has gained knowledge through some natural propensity for it. Rather, loving antiquity, I am earnest in seeking it out".
7.22 Confucius said, "In strolling in the company of just two other persons, I am bound to find a teacher. Identifying their strengths, I follow them, and identifying their weaknesses, I reform myself accordingly".
7.25 Confucius taught under four categories: culture, proper conduct, doing one's utmost, and making good on one's word.
7.37 Confucius said, "The exemplary person is calm and unperturbed; the petty person is always agitated and anxious".
7.38 Confucius was always gracious yet serious, commanding yet not severe, deferential yet at ease.
From "The Analects of Confucius" - a philosophical translation, by Roger Ames and Henry Rosemont
"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence." Albert Einstein
"The Analects of Confucius" - a philosophical translation, by Roger Ames and Henry Rosemont
Books by George Leonard and Michael Murphy
The Life We Are Given
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The Life We Are Given : A Long-Term Program for Realizing the Potential of Body, Mind, Heart, and Soul (Inner Work Book); Paperback ~ George Leonard, Michael Murphy
Essential Spirituality; Paperback ~ Roger Walsh, Dalai Lama
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Tao Te Ching / Dao De Jing - Lao Tzu
Dhammapada - Buddha's Sayings
Soul Sword : The Way and Mind of a Zen Warrior Vernon Kitabu Turner (UK
The power of the warrior mind is its ability to act from a state of "No Mind", with technique arising effortlessly out of emptiness. As a mirror reflects objects without clinging to the images, the "Warrior Mind" is free to flow from one object to the next without impediment. From this state arises instinctive wisdom, the power that allows ordinary people to perform extraordinary feats. This Zen mind-guide to empowerment is an active meditation for those who wish to be in the world, but not of it.
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