By Nhat Quan
In the Lotus Sutra, Chapter illusion City tells the story of a master leading a group of people in search of treasures, but due to the long road and full of thorns, the group became discouraged and wanted to give up and return. At that time the wise master said to everyone:
- The place where you find the treasure is coming not far ahead.
Having said that, this master used his magical powers to turn it into a city full of gold and silver treasures...
When the group entered the city to rest and enjoy all the comforts for a while, everyone was healthy and excited again, he declared:
- This city is temporary, the real city full of pearls is still ahead, so if you want to get the treasure, you have to continue forward a bit more...
Enter Illusion City to rest when tired, when everyone is no longer tired, and continue to search for treasures. From the above meaning:
- The word stop does not mean give up
- Let go but don't give up...
In fact, in the era of civilization and human development, you have the wisdom that you know exactly the boundary of the limit, you always stop before touching it. In fact, having wisdom is knowing yourself and knowing others, and above all, respecting yourself, and respecting others.
Knowing when to stop before the limits of life is that you know how to protect your self-esteem. Overcome the limits too much, you will trivialize yourself and gradually lose the good values that should be yours. In this regard, a Russian writer named Tolstoy wrote a short story:
There was a farmer who came every day from dawn to dusk to plow on a small infertile piece of land, but he harvested very little. A god sympathized with the farmer's plight, so he said to the farmer:
- As long as you can run forward, all the land you run through, no matter how big it is, the land belongs to you completely.
So the farmer tries to run forward, run, run! Tired, he wanted to stop and rest, but when he thought of his wife and children at home, he desperately tried to run forward! The farmer was out of breath!
But the farmer thought that he would grow old tomorrow and needed money to retire, so he ran forward with all his might!
Finally, he exhausted himself, fell down, and died! instead, he had a lot of land with the distance he ran through, but in the end, he kept only enough land for him to lie down on.
Through this story, to show you, that farmer thought about taking care of his wife, children, and himself, and ambition emerged. Perhaps among you, there are people like that farmer, whose display of human greed is bottomless. Seeing the danger of bottomless human greed, the Venerable Ones advised:
- Don't let ambition bind you.
In life, when you need to stop, stop, and be aware that in one aspect, it is also a loss in another aspect. So you have to be wise to give up, only then can you get more valuable things.
From the story of the farmer, you think in relation to the present. In life, you also have to work hard to create a life full of houses and cars for your family, wife, and children... That's true, but you also have to be very careful and know how to stop when you see it need to be a wise person.
I know some Buddhists, seeing people invest in stocks, who also put money into stocks, especially in 2001, the stock market was very easy to get rich. If you have money to accumulate, you can buy stocks, if you don't have money, you can borrow money from banks to buy stocks, .. Then the 911 incident happened, and many people became empty-handed.
There is a Chinese proverb that says:
- Be careful what you wish for!
Everyone has the right to wish in life, but be careful that mistakes or failures often come from the way you start, from your motives and goals. You often make mistakes or pay the price, because the word profit is greed, and also because the word Fame means status, a piece of paper. I heard somewhere on social media a lot of talk about some people in Vietnam, even after graduating from university, because they are officials, they still spend a few more years of study to upgrade their degrees. Not exactly because of the requirements of the job, but to keep the current chair, or to easily advance later. According to statistics from the Ministry of Education as of 2013, there are about 9,000 professors and 24,300 doctorates, not to mention associate doctorates and masters. There are people who work hard most of their lives, just to get a certain job position, and then soon retire, or fall ill.
Someone just heard that they took the position of general director, director of that department, not long after receiving news that they were sick. Mostly chronic diseases such as heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes, or unfortunately stroke, and cancer, including Stress caused by mental stress in mind battles and power competition, are invisible killers which slowly depletes you to a complete collapse.
But if you're already sick, you won't be able to enjoy it for long! You can exchange your health for money, but no matter how much money you have, you can't buy health. That is not to say, more and more officials are greedy, newly promoted, and have not warmed their seats, they have been caught in prison due to corruption. Because many things can be hidden, but houses, land, and possessions are hard to hide, and cannot be hidden anywhere.
There are people who have wasted a whole life of their youth but still can't stop the golden age of the old days until their knuckles are completely numb but still grasping all the empty spaces.
In the tendency to know how to stop and be wise, before 1975, I knew the parents of a little monk at Long Hue Pagoda Go Vap, whose family had a restaurant selling pork, dog meat, and roast duck, doing very well, wealthy, but when a child became a little monk, the little monk's mother admitted:
- As an animal, every animal has a soul, especially a dog closest to humans, so killing is a sin...
And so they have quietly stopped this business, even though they earn money, they will be retribution, and in fact, many people who do this job are retribution. The retribution has come to the dog meat sellers. Hopefully, this is also a wake-up call for those who despite the safety and lives of consumers, still bring to the market dirty, unhealthy foods toxic!
In folklore, there is a saying that:
- Three feet above your head there is a Spirit.
In fact, all your actions, every thought, and every concept are supervised by the cause of effect, you must be responsible for your actions and words. After all, any trouble or unexpected outcome comes from the choices you make in the beginning. So you're the smart one who knows to stop before you start, by asking yourself the question:
- Why, what to do, and what possible consequences will happen?
Because, the things you have been doing, whether personal or national, may be in line with current society's conceptions, may be in accordance with current regulations, but are contrary to morality, contrary to conscience, and may harm the interests of others, of the people! It should also be made clear that:
- Stopping does not mean giving up or failing as some might think.
Knowing it's wrong or ineffective and still doing it is extreme, knowing it's unethical or causing harm to people and still doing it is dishonest, and all deserve condemnation.
- Stopping also does not mean the end but can be a new beginning.
The grace of superiors, often gives you more than one chance, to correct your mistakes. Stop to move on with a new beginning, the beginning of better, more meaningful things, that is the way of behaving and the realm of intelligent people!
But there are those of you who still can't stop and still want to accumulate more, you say it's due to work needs, but actually for the sake of making money, you should be ready to provide nutritious meals in luxury restaurants. Importantly, toxic alcohol and smoke are still introduced into the human body every day, creating incurable diseases, and then one day having a stroke or heart attack. Although your purpose is to serve, you still cannot avoid bad karma, the end is still the same as the farmer. Therefore, a Thai Can Dam once said:
- Seeing flowers when they are only half in bloom, and drinking wine to the point of getting drunk, are all great pleasures.
Therefore, human life needs to learn moderation, know when to stop, and know enough to be a wise person. That way, there's nothing to worry about not having fun. When you're happy, don't be too happy, lest you be too happy to be sad. Desires cannot be liberal, if they are loose, you can easily cause disasters. Drinking wine should only be a little drunk, watching flowers should only see flowers half in bloom, that is the great joy in life. If always pursuing, although a full career, excess money, but in return, someone's life is not safe and peaceful. Living in the world, being a human must know how to practice spiritually without demanding, working without perfection, enjoying not being enjoyed to the end. You have to know when to stop. The act of stopping at the right time is the attitude of a wise man. Wise in that:
- For others is a tolerance, for yourself is to subtract a way to retreat.
The spirit knows how to stop at the right time, the Confucius cups are engraved with the words: Greed is harmful to yourself as well as containing a similar philosophy of life. That is knowing when to stop.
Legend has it that the old house named Tan Ky, which is an address of a famous tourist attraction most loved by tourists in Hoi An city, Vietnam. Not only because of the unique ancient architecture that has been fully preserved during the past 200 years but also because of the possession of many collections such as antique dishes, plates, vases ... rich and diverse are on display introduce.
Lying next to hundreds of valuable antiques, if you don't pay attention, no one can realize that the Confucius cup is a precious treasure. The form of the cup is not too special, the age is not necessarily higher than other antiques.
However, after learning about the background and features of this small cup, visitors, who all want to witness firsthand the strange uniqueness hidden behind the precious object is a philosophy of life. When pouring water into the cup to nearly eight parts, stop, the water does not come out. But if the cup is filled too close to the rim, the water will flow down from the bottom of the cup in a straight stream until the cup is empty.
Regarding the origin of the Confucius cup, it is said that once Confucius was walking through a desert. In his hunger and thirst, he met an old man who led him to a shallow pond and gave him a cup. Confucius drew water for himself. But when he filled the cup and brought it to his mouth, there was no drop left, and there was a hole in the bottom of the cup. Each time the cup is full, it will automatically flow through the hole. Confucius tried to close the hole, but he couldn't.
After so many times, Confucius understood that if he wanted to keep the water in the cup, he couldn't fill it up. From this incident, Confucius came up with the theory of neutrality, which holds that you need to know how to control your behavior and keep your thoughts in a neutral state. The cup that saved Confucius from his thirst and became his philosophy later became known as the cup of Confucius and became a mysterious legend.
Similarly, in the collection of Vuong Hong Sen, the Vietnamese have an artifact that was precious during his lifetime. It was the ancient jade cup that he named greedy and lost everything. There is information that this cup has been lost during the display process. The celadon ceramic cup is shaped like seven petals, in the center of the cup is a blue fairy statue, with a hole on one side of the statue. In addition to the body, there are 7 floating ribs, almost spiraling and with a hole in the middle.
The notes left by Mr. Vuong Hong Sen clearly stated. The jade cup is only allowed to pour wine or water that has just touched the mouth of the fairy, if you pour more, even a single drop, the wine will flow out through the small hole in the bottom of the cup without a drop remaining. Those who are fortunate enough to witness Mr. Vuong perform once expressed interest in this strange feature.
According to the philosophy of Mr. Vuong, no matter how good the wine is, you must know when to stop, if you are greedy, you will lose all of it without a drop. Since then, Mr. Vuong gave the jade cup the name of admonition:
- Greed loses everything.
The story reminds people of the advice of Healer Le Van Khoi. He said everything in this world if you know how to follow the old saying:
- Giving up chopsticks while still delicious is very good for you.
The cup of Confucius or the cup of greed loses everything but contains a similar philosophy of life. That is:
- Know when to stop.
- Knowing when to stop is a wise person.
However, not everyone can do it like the cup of Confucius or the cup of greed that loses everything. Besides, you also see that not everyone follows the farmer's lifestyle. Because there are many people, who realize that they are in a dangerous situation, they immediately find a way to stop such as changing jobs or regularly practicing sports, focusing on health, and boldly avoiding the causes. disease-causing agent. Nowadays, more and more people are following this lifestyle. Because of:
- Knowing to stop is the realm of smart people
- Knowing to stop before starting is a realm of wisdom.
Therefore, the smarter way is to stop before you start, to think if you really want to do this for the rest of your life...
You cannot grow up with the baggage your parents gave you. So:
- Put in your pocket a little strong enough to dare to say dare to do
- A little determination to dare to hold is to dare to let go,
- A little bit unintentionally to dare to remember is to dare to forget,
- A little bit of reason to recognize where the sand is and what is the rose on the way to the future
- And a little pride to step through the painful past and move forward.
And live confidently in your steps but:
- Stop to rest when you feel tired,
- Leaning back on the place of love, bringing the fan of faith to support,
- Drink some happy water, eat a piece of cake with a smile,
- Shake off the dirt called disappointment and sadness so that you can move on more firmly.
You don't know how long your life will last, so don't be indifferent, foolishly, but give you sadness and suffering. If you encounter something unsatisfactory, then:
- Stop for a moment to let time pass,
- Stop for a moment to see who loves you, and who you love,
- Stop for a moment to know who hates you and who you hate.
- Stop for a moment to let the past pass
- And pause for a moment to realize what you need, and who you need in this life.
Sometimes stopping is a wise move...
In this pause according to the: Lun Yu name of a
collection of Confucius' teachings says:
- Listen to the words but must see the deeds.
In fact, it's not just about watching what you do, it's about watching what you don't do. Because according to Confucius, your strength is not in how resilient you are at work, but in knowing where to stop. That is, you know how to control your behavior and know when to stop.
In each of you, there is talent and desire. However, you still need to know where the limit is. That limit is the stopping point. If you want within limits, then you are the wise type, capable of helping yourself, your family, and everyone in the world. If your desire outweighs your talent, then you need to consider it carefully. Because of the small virtues and great ambitions, when you are short of it, you will make up for it with petty tricks, including crimes to achieve the goal, then you are a dangerous person, and people will stay away.
So knowing where to stop is very important. Whatever you say and do, you need to calculate the limit and choose the right stop. Ancestor taught:
- Even when you are at the top, you have to think about when you're down.
If a person wants to be happy, then you must contemplate the saying clearly:
- Knowing enough is not humiliating, knowing when to stop is not dangerous
And at the same time must have the wisdom to live for the present moment. The process of finding joy is also the process of knowing when to stop, and constantly let go of yourself...
Among the disciples practicing the path of liberation, there was a meditator who asked Zen master Ma To that:
- What is the practice?
Zen Master Ma To replied:
- When you are hungry, eat rice, you just focus on eating rice. When you're sleepy, you just focus on sleeping.
This meditator was surprised and asked:
 - Others did the same, no different from what he taught.
Ma To replied that:
- No, when they eat, they think about sleeping, when they sleep, they think about eating. As for me, when I eat, I only focus on eating, when I sleep, I only focus on sleeping, so it's not the same.
Simply put, you live in the present moment, focus on what's in front of you, and don't think about it. You focus on the present, do not dwell on the past, and do not worry about things that have not yet arisen in the future, your mind is calm and clear, so you are always happy and peaceful.
Psychologists prove that, if a person can concentrate on one thing, the body and mind will be in a very calm state, easily bringing a kind of peaceful feeling. In this day and age, people are no longer satisfied because they are no longer focused on a certain thing. A person, if every day is tempted by countless news, and has many different forms of entertainment, their ability to concentrate is easily distracted.
          Therefore, you need to try to get rid of this feeling of uncontrollable loss of soul, in your work and life, you need to maintain a kind of current grasping capacity, focusing on the moment in front of you. Only then can you have joy that comes from within.
The biggest obstacle in life is yourself, if you can't break the self-grasping, it will be very difficult for you to have true joy. The reason you feel miserable is that you consider yourself a failure. But this so-called failure is that things are not what you expect. That incident to the last minute doesn't turn out the way you expected, so you'll feel miserable. Therefore, the process of finding joy is also the process when you know to stop and constantly let go of the self.
Remember, reducing a part of personal desire is realizing more of the dharma's body, how light and comfortable it is, and how simple it is! Peace of mind lies in decreasing, not in increasing, the so-called reduction means getting rid of all kinds of material desires that entangle the spirit, just reduce all desires, and you will return to your kind nature at that time initial.
The venerable ones also often teach:
- Desire is the source of all suffering.
If you base your happiness on the gratification of lust, then once lust is not satisfied, the joy will follow and disappear. But your desire is infinite, satisfied with this desire, that desire will also arise, and from there you will sink deep into the sea of ​​suffering, forever unable to jump out by yourself.
Only restraining one's own desires can keep the soul truly calm. When you jump out of all temptations and do things of value, you can have true joy.
Wise people know how to let go, fools only know how to give up at this point
Again, letting go is not giving up, the essence of these two words is not the same, and the results are also different. Choosing to let go or give up is how you decide whether your life is happy or ruined...
 Letting go is a growth opportunity seeker. Letting go is because you see yourself as more precious than the thing, so let go of the thing.
- Giving up shows a person looking for a place to hide. Giving up is because you can't let go of things, and eventually have to give up on yourself.
Wise people know how to let go, fools only give up.
Joy is not a personality type, but an intellectual capacity. The best way to deal with sadness is to forget about sadness. Knowing satisfaction is stopping, it is letting go. No turmoil in the mind, no stuck in love, no fear of the future, no thinking about the past. You live in the world, being a human without demands, working without perfection, enjoying not being enjoyed to the end. To be a human being must know to stop at the right time, for others is tolerance, and for oneself is a way to retreat.
In short, the reason you live an unhappy life, the main cause lies in three habits, if you are familiar with these habits, please quit immediately:
- Get used to exaggerating the happiness of others.
- Get used to exaggerating your own suffering.
- Get used to taking your own suffering compared to the happiness of others, taking out your own shortcomings compared to the advantages of others.
There is nothing scarier in the world than doing things while losing your mind, not thinking about the consequences that will happen, and especially not knowing where to stop.
The little things in life are difficult in that they are simple. Simplicity is not simply ignoring the matter, nor is it simply childish, but the highest level of wisdom, a manifestation of mature wisdom. The perfect is always simple. Learn to be simple, it's actually not that simple at all. So there is a saying:
- Laugh and watch the wind and clouds disappear, sit still when the clouds rise
Describing a state of calm and invariable in front of the external environment, even if the clouds disappear or reappear, you still keep the same sitting position as the original, still smiling, watching what is happening without being entangled stuck in it.
Modern science also proves that a positive mood helps the body to stay healthy. You know when to stop at the right time are a wise person, you will always be happy, and the body will secrete a hormone that elevates the state of the body. On the contrary, if you are always resentful, your health will deteriorate further and further.
In the past, people going out in the middle of the night often fell into two cases:
- One is having urgent, reluctant work,
- Two are thieves and delinquents.
Even if you are a gentleman who does not do bad things, walking on the street at night is difficult to avoid gossip and cannot stop the dogs from barking. There are also times when you are bright and righteous, go straight, and do things others can't, but you can't stop people's complaints or praise. Therefore, do not keep in mind what is wrong, don't listen to crazy words, and don't look at bad things with your eyes. People's mouths and tongues are basically ignored, the more you pay attention, the more trouble you'll get. Tu Vi, a poet of the Ming Dynasty once said:
- Nothing in the world is forced, anything can be let go, and leisure is also a pleasure. Human love has many forms, so it's like this, so it's like that, just keep your mind at ease.
And the venerable ones always remind:
- Knowing enough is not humiliating, and knowing when to stop is not dangerous.
You should not have too much desire, you must know enough to stop at the right time.
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