There is a rather famous tombstone in Westminster Abbey. There’s nothing so special about it, except for its inscription. I believe that many people have heard of it.
“When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country. But it, too, seemed immovable. As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it. And now, as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country, and who knows, I may have even changed the world.”
It is said that many world dignitaries and celebrities were deeply moved when they saw these words Some people say that this is a teaching of life, some people say that it is a kind of introspection of the soul.
There are similar teachings and philosophies in Chinese traditional culture. The Great Learning is a compilation of Confucian teachings used to address deeply important social behavior. In The Great Learning says: “The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the kingdom, first ordered well their own States. Wishing to order well their States, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons.”
“From the Kings down to the mass of ordinary people, all must consider the cultivation of the person the root of everything besides. It cannot be, when the root is neglected, that what should spring from it will be well ordered.”
In Buddhism, self cultivation is heavily emphasized as well. The first thing for all buddhist disciples is constantly cultivating themselves. In What is Cultivation, His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III provides detailed guidance on self-cultivation. Self-cultivation is the fundamental and essential in the learning of Buddhism. Through self-cultivation, one will not only live a happy life and contribute the best of oneself to the society, but also can reach enlightenment and liberation.
#WestminsterAbbey#TombstoneInscription#GreatLearning#ChineseCulture#Buddhism#DorjeChangBuddhaIII #HHDorjeChangBuddhaIII #Buddha #Cultivation#Buddhist#SouthAfrica#Buddhist# ConfucianTeaching#ChineseTraditionalCulture