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Essay: 《感谢困难》Thanking Life’s Challenges by Lin Qingxuan

You can skip your Instagram yoga gratitude break today, here’s another one from Taiwanese Buddhist essayist Lin Qingxuan (林清玄). HSK 4-5.

You can skip your Instagram yoga gratitude break today, here’s another one from Taiwanese Buddhist essayist Lin Qingxuan (林清玄). HSK 4-5.

I threw up another essay of his about butterflies a couple weeks ago, and if you read both of them, you’ll start to get a sense of Lin’s style, his wide-eyed marveling, how he rejoices at every little thing.

Some language stuff

因… 而… yīn … ér … – You’ve probably already come across this sentence construction, but it bears pointing out: 因 in this case is 因为, “because of ______”, and 而 is “as a result ______”.

生起 shēng qǐ – You won’t find this in the dictionary, and it’s a little difficult because 生 has so many meanings. Depending on context, it can mean “to give birth to” as in (生孩子), or “to grow” (as in 生长), or “be afflicted with” a sickness (as in 生病), or it can just mean “life” (as in 生活). But in all of these definitions, there’s a general sense of nothing expanding into something. So, if you understand 生起 that way, as an expansion or growth, the sentence will make sense.

寄情 jì qíng – This isn’t in the pop-up dictionary, but this means “to express one’s feelings” about something, usually in writing.

Source here

感谢困难

我做了一个梦。

梦见我在街上问人:“请问您可不可以给我一些困难、一些挫折,一些痛苦?”

所有的人都拒绝我,我着急地恳求别人:“那么,我雇用您,每小时五百元,请您给我一些折磨!”

那些陌生人摇摇头,沉默地离开,我因找不到愿意折磨我的人而惊醒。

我坐在床上发呆,是呀!困难,折磨,痛苦是多么珍贵!如果一切平顺,谁会静下来沉思,谁会生起智慧,谁又能在平凡安逸的日子中超越自我、登上高峰呢?

如果没有困难,谁又会谦卑地跪下来祈祷?谁又能相信有无边的宇宙?谁又能寄情于来生呢?

我深深地感谢着困难、挫折与痛苦。

也深深地感恩那些曾经折磨过我的人,他们是多么慈悲呀!我并未花钱聘雇他们,他们却以宝贵的时间来考验我、提升我,为了增长我的智慧。

Show English translation »
I had a dream.

I dreamed that I asked someone on the street: “Excuse, me, can you give me some challenge, some setback, some pain?”

Everyone refused me, and anxiously I begged someone else: “Then, I’ll hire you, 500 RMB per hour, please torment me!”

Those strangers shook their heads, silently leaving, and as I was unable to find anyone to torment me, I woke with a start.

I sat on the edge of my bed staring into space, yes! Challenges, torment, pain, how precious they are! If everything is going smoothly, who would settle down to ponder deeply, who would become wise, and who in their common and comfortable days would surpass selfishness, rise to higher heights?

Without difficulty, who would humbly kneel down and pray? Who could believe in the boundlessness of the universe? Who could express their feelings about the next life?

I deeply thank difficulty, setbacks and pain.

And I feel deep gratitude for those people who once tormented me, how merciful they are! I didn’t even spend money to hire them, but they still used their precious time to come test me, elevate me, to grow my wisdom.

3 replies on “Essay: 《感谢困难》Thanking Life’s Challenges by Lin Qingxuan”

Thank you for posting this! It does make me contemplate my experiences, and I might now have more appreciation for the hardships I’ve faced. Hopefully, I can maintain this mindset in the face of future difficulties.

Thanks a lot for the whole website! Haven’t been here for a while, so I’m really excited to see you’ve done a lot of work and keep posting new things.
I also have a question about a phrase 相信有无边的宇宙 in the sixth paragraph. The highlight shows 有无 and 边 as separate words, while it seems more suitable to group them as “有 无边”. Is there a mistake here, or am I missing something?

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