Friday, February 6, 2009

The Story of Liao Fan: How Good Deeds Change One's Destiny

Today's food for thought reminds me of the story of Liao Fan, which was one of the reasons that aspired me to start this blog. Liao Fan Yuan (袁了凡) was the author of Chinese popular book of virtue called "Liao Fan Four Lessons (了凡四訓)." Being a scholar and a bureaucrat during the Ming Dynasty in the sixteenth century, this Chinese moral figure intended to pass down his words of wisdom to his son, Tian-Chi Yuan, in his book. He used his own life experience as a template to his lesson, emphasizing one's autonomy over his or her own destiny through the practice of kindness and good deeds as well as the eradication of unwholesome behaviors. Read the full original text here.

Liao Fan's Four Lessons:

The first lesson: Learning to change destiny
The second lesson: Ways to reform
The third lesson: The ways to cultivate goodness
The four lesson: The benefits of the virtue of humility

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