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Philosophical Sayings About Worldly Matter (XXXIII)

A tree exposed to the fury of the elements will grow tall and strong. A tree kept indoors will be too weak to survive any harsh environment even when its top touches the ceiling. A life of ease and comfort produces only weaklings.

(This is a translation of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu’s philosophical sayings about worldly matters originally written in Chinese.)


Below is not an official translation, just for reference.

Those regarded as the pillars of society, like towering trees, have often endured trials and tribulations, standing tall amidst the forces of nature. These trees grow amidst rugged mountains and wilderness, enduring countless hardships, and withstanding the onslaught of wind, cold, heat, and moisture. After years of tempering, they eventually become mighty and robust. However, if a tree is planted indoors, no matter how it grows, even if it reaches the roof, it remains a feeble sapling. It hasn't been nourished by sunlight and rain, nor has it been tempered by storms. Consequently, what it produces is tender and unusable wood.

The same goes for us humans. If we confine ourselves to studying behind closed doors, without undergoing hardships or various forms of training, completely detached from practical social life and lacking knowledge of life's bittersweet experiences, we will never become strong individuals or true talents. To become genuine talents, as the ancients said, we must first exert our efforts, endure physical hardships, experience deprivation, and abstain from reckless actions. Without any of these, our talents cannot be fully realized. Therefore, we must undergo diverse forms of training in order to become truly useful talents.

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