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Still Thoughts: Your Favorites Right Now

Edited by Dilber Shatursun

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Throughout the pandemic, many of us have had the chance to reflect more carefully on our lives and what brings it meaning. This spring, we asked our readers to share which Jing Si Aphorisms by Dharma Master Cheng Yen have connected with them most in this ‘season’ of their lives and why. Read their responses and brew on these still thoughts yourself!

Today’s labor bears tomorrow’s fruits

Taking everything for granted sets you behind. I learned that when I started college. I didn’t take my studies very seriously in my first year, and I didn’t do great academically. However, in my sophomore year, I came to the realization that going the extra mile would be worth it. With that in mind, I strived for success and this spring, I graduated magna cum laude with a master’s degree and have a great job offer lined up!

Noorzod A. from Rochester, NY

Love and cherish all the Earth’s resources with a heart of gratitude. A simple life is a life which lacks nothing.

This resonates with me because everything we consume comes from the Earth. If I’m more mindful of this, I think about my consumption, not in terms of only money, but also the impact on the Earth. It makes me want to consume less. Consuming less makes me appreciate the things I have. Also, I like to appreciate the Earth's beauty- its blue skies, its sunrises, its flowers and say ‘thank you’ to my home planet.

Sarah C. from Queens, NY

If one is always mindful and understands how to do the right thing, one will have no regrets in life.

For everything I do, I think of multiple scenarios before taking action because I know my choice will impact the outcome of my future. Maybe I overthink or care too much than I should, but I do believe it’s better to be safe than sorry. Time does not turn backwards. Who gets a second chance in life? Maybe, in this life, I already have!

Diana C. from Fontana, CA

Good hearts always beget good days.

When I think about how I’ve changed over the years, I realize how I’ve matured, and with that maturity has come a greater awareness of myself and the effect I have on those around me. At the most basic level, the more I take care of myself- emotionally, physically, professionally- the more grateful I am about where I am in my life. And the more I continue to invest in myself, I become more aware of how I am influencing others positively. I see it and I hear it. And even more interestingly, I become more conscious of those who take care of themselves, and what they are doing in their lives. Those are the people I want to be around, they help me to continue improving myself.

Allan S. from Fresh Meadows, NY

Having no conflicts does not mean being unconcerned. It means being in harmony and loving others, and being able to work with one heart and one mind.

Just as we can determine what type of character we will embody in this world, I believe we can choose how our conflicts will impact us. I often think that when a conflict arises, I can choose to give value to the conflict, or I can choose to give value to the harmony. To try and live with a sense of harmony serves as a reminder of the beauty of life and everyday existence. A harmonious path lends life greater meaning.

Thomas S. from Flushing, NY

Do not underestimate yourself, for human beings have unlimited potential.

This speaks to me on several levels, infusing my heart and spirit with courage and faith in the face of difficulties. It reminds me of our innate Buddha Nature, waiting to be realized, with its all-accomplishing energy and wisdom. It taps into the mysteries of existence, how everything, including our ‘self,’ transcends what appears on the surface, being much more than the mirage before our senses, as science also confirms. It invites an explosion of intuition, imagination, will… so many amazing forces that may lie dormant otherwise if we don’t choose to believe in our unlimited potential.

Zelda H. from Austin, TX

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