Yuan Liaofan ( or Liao-Fan Yuan) - A Famous Scholar and Thinker in the Ming Dynasty
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 (了凡四训) , 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.
More Detailed Information about Liao-Fan's Four Lessons
Excerpt from his book
3 conditions for reform:
1. One must feel shame
3 methods to reform:
1. Changing through action
10 ways to cultivate kindness:
1. Supporting the practice of kindness