Saturday, January 03, 2009

Principles of self cultivation

The ancients, the gods (include Daoist heavenly immortals and Buddhas), and the Zhen Ren (realized persons) invariably exhort students to self cultivate (siu hang) and to progress from there. The Zhouyi as a Book of Wisdom also provides many facets for the student to cultivate and become a good or a superior person (Junzi).

If you are still uncertain on how to self cultivate to become a good or a superior person, perhaps the great sage, Confucius can teach you something for a start:

The Master said,

‘If the scholar (Junzi) is not grave, he will not call forth any veneration, and his learning will not be solid.

Hold faithfulness and sincerity as his first principles.

Have no friends not equal to yourself.

When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.’

[Analects 1.8 Legge]

Since this is the first few days of 2009, whether or not you want to make these principles of self cultivation as a New Year’s resolution is up to you.

Though I could count as an earnest and sincere student of the Zhouyi, after a few decades of self cultivation, there are still lots to learn.

Happy New Year to all readers!


Hilary said...

Hi Allan,

Thank you for this - you got me thinking about self-cultivation as it's described in the Yijing, and inspired this morning's post on hexagrams 9 and 26.

A very Happy New Year to you, too!

Allan said...

Hi Hilary!

Your current understanding of self cultivation exhorted by the ancients can form a good foundation for you to progress from there.

If you care to explore the two hexagrams in greater depth, you may find more pointers (words of wisdom) towards self cultivation.