Liao Fan

Liao Fan

Liao-Fan Yuan was born during Ming Dynasty, in about 1550, in Jiangsu Province, Wujiang County. Liao-Fan wrote a book, [ Liao-Fan's Four Lessons] (了凡四訓) , which were written originally to teach his son, Tian-Chi Yuan. The principal behind those lessons is that destiny can be changed through proper cultivation of kindness and humility. Thus one should not be bound by fate but by one's own action.

Liao-Fan was predicted by a wise monk, Mr. Kong that he would only live to the age of fifty-three and had no son. In relating his own life experience in changing destiny, Liao-Fan, at the age of sixty-nine, wrote and taught these four lessons to his son.

The first lesson shows how to create destiny. The second lesson explains the ways to reform. The third reveals the ways to cultivate kindness and the fourth discloses the benefits of the virtue of humility.

This book, still in circulation after more than 500 years, is said to be the very basic foundation in learning Buddhism.


Excerpt from his book

3 conditions for reform:
# One must feel shame,
# One must know fear,
# One must have determination and courage.

3 methods to reform:
# Changing through action
# Changing through reasoning
# Changing from the heart

10 ways to cultivate kindness:
# Supporting the practice of kindness
# Harboring love and respect
# Helping others succeed
# Persuading others to practice kindness
# Helping those in desperate need
# Developing public project for the greater benefit of the people
# Giving through donation
# Protecting the proper teaching
# Respecting our elders
# Love and cherishing all living beings

External links

* [ Liao-Fan's Four Lessons]

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