Environments Different but Principles the Same

Yutang Lin

Conditions vary thousand folds leading to situations even more diverse;
Falling into entanglements or freeing from bondage by same reasons.
Seeing others' ups and downs to be the same as one's own matters;
Floating on waves to swim around is a matter of each one's own ability.


Sentient beings are of very divergent causes and conditions, and hence encounter drastically different environments. Under all various situations the reasons for falling into entanglements or freeing from bondage are certain ones. Once this point is understood, then all the suffering and pleasure, sadness and happiness of sentient beings could well have been one's own, and hence could be deeply felt. As to how to get out from under the gloomy clouds of entanglements in various situations, it depends on each one's learning and efforts. The compassion and wisdom as mentioned in Buddhism are not merely empty ideals. They are qualities to be cultivated through practices in daily life for a lifetime in accordance with the principles of "non-self," "no grasping," "opening up" and "benefiting others." Others can only help by explaining these principles; each one needs to figure out how better to apply them in all kinds of situations in order to approach completion.

Written in Chinese: August 7, 1999
Translated: October 12, 1999
El Cerrito, California

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