- Hyemin, Sunim
Those who work in a playful, relaxed manner tend to work efficiently and creatively. Those who work nonstop, driven only by stress, work without joy.
If you wish to clear away the clouds of your thoughts, simply keep your mind in the present. The clouds of thought linger only in the past or the future. Bring your mind to the present, and your thoughts will rest.
We can be consumed by anger for a long time without realizing we have been angry. Similarly, we are easily lost in thought without knowing we have been thinking. Even when we are awake we are no different from a sleepwalker. We do things without the awareness of doing them. Just because our eyes are open does not mean we are awake.
When we listen to silence, we can hear subtle vibrations. While listening to the vibrations, ask a simple question: What is it that is listening? There is no listener. There is only listening.
A long time ago, there was only one mind, which became bored by being alone for so long. So it decided to split into two. But since the two knew they were originally one, playing together was not much fun— as if playing both sides of a chess game. So the two minds agreed to forget where they came from; they pretended not to know each other. As time passed, they also forgot about their agreement. They forgot they were actually one and the same. This is the condition of our existence. We forget that we are originally from one mind.
The toll of a bell is heard far and wide only when the bell is struck hard. You influence won’t spread far without the sacrifice of hard work. The world notices your efforts more quickly than you think.
Everyone is kind to someone they meet for the first time. The question is how long their kindness lasts. Don’t be fooled just because someone is nice to you at first.
When hiring, look beyond skills and experience to see if the candidate knows how to enjoy her job. People who enjoy their work are usually more successful than those who don’t.
If someone looks perfect, then that is because you don’t know the person very well.
Meaningful praise is from someone in the same field as you. It is worth praise from ten or more people outside your field.
[..] the art of maintaining a good relationship can be compared to sitting by a fireplace. If we sit too close for too long, we become hot and possibly burned. If we sit too far away, we cannot feel the warmth.
People say hurtful things because they themselves have been hurt. When you encounter someone prickly and malicious, think about what kind of miserable situation he must be in. If he is too much, and you don’t have time, just whisper, “Bless you,” and move on.
Even the most beautiful music gets tiresome if I listen to it constantly. But if I listen to it after some time away, it becomes wonderful again. The problem is not the music itself. It is my relationship with it. Even my best friend gets annoying if I am with her for too long. But if I see her after a break, she is wonderful again. The trouble is not the person. It is my relationship with her.
When conversation turns to someone’s flaws, try not to participate and gently redirect the conversation. When we speak too much, it is easy to speak ill of someone. So when you feel talkative, just be mindful.
Seeing that I am a monk, some people put their palms together in greeting, and I involuntarily do the same. Some nod, and I involuntarily do the same. Humans are like mirrors: We reflect each other. When a wise person wants something from others, she first does what she desires from them, exemplifying rather than asking for it.
If you want a friend to remember your birthday, remember hers first. If you want your husband to give you a massage, give him a massage first. If you want your children to watch less TV, turn off you TV first. Don’t just wait for what you want to happen. Act first.
To cook something delicious, you need time for the ingredients to marinate. To build a lasting relationship, you need time for trust to develop.
Proof of having really loved: You do not speak ill of your ex even after your relationship has ended.
Sometimes, after a relationship is over, you catch yourself thinking, “I hope she is happy,” without bitterness. This is a sign you have moved on.
Love means loving someone the way she is. Wanting her to be a certain way is not love but your desire. Do not attempt to improve someone in the name of love. It is improvement only in your eyes, not in hers.
Like Hahlil Gibran said, love each other like two pillars supporting the same roof. While looking out on the horizon together, allow space between you and your loved one. Without it, you will suffocate and exhaust your love.
When you concentrate, even a phone book can be interesting. If you are bored, maybe you are not concentrating.
The more you know, the more you think you don’t. The more you don’t know, the more you think you do.
Wear confidence. It is the height of fashion.
If you learn to play one sport well, it becomes easier to learn to play another. If you become fluent in one foreign language, you can more easily learn another. If you figure out how to run a small business, it’ll be easier to run a second or third one. Do not be envious of those who are good at many things. First learn to be good at one. You will soon be able to do two or three.
We prefer the right words to the wrong words. We prefer hones words to the right words. We prefer real acts to honest words. How you speak is often more important than what you say. And actions speak louder than words.
Knowledge wants to talk. Wisdom wants to listen.
When you share your problems with your friends, you do not expect them to have the solutions. You are just grateful they are there for you and willing to listen. If someone shares his problems with you, don’t feel the need to have the solutions. Just listen sincerely. This is often more helpful.
When I look deeply within myself, I realize what it is that I really want from others: attentive ears that listen to what I am saying, kind words that acknowledge my existence and worth, gently eyes that accept my flaws and insecurities. I resolve to be that person for those around me.
When there is no envy or expectation, even the wealthiest and most powerful person is just another human being. Only when we are envious of what he has, or expect something from him, do we become discontented and lose our composure.
A cruel irony: The reward for someone who works hard is more work.
If we’re quick to grant a favor, then people quickly forget their gratitude. If we grant a favor with several conditions, then people express immense gratitude.
Some say they don’t really know what they are looking for in life. This might be because, instead of getting in touch with how they feel, they have led their lives according to other people’s expectations. Live your life not to satisfy others, but to fulfill what your heart desires.
Establish a goal for the week. There is a big difference between having a goal and not having one. A significant accomplishment can be traced back to a single thought.
Being a good boss requires much more than just having a lot of technical knowledge. It is important to have integrity and a positive relationship with the staff, o give timely feedback and professional mentoring, and to advocate for what the team needs.
Dedication to one’s job should now be measured by how late one works or how often one forgoes a vacation but by how effectively one works and what kind of contribution one makes to the business.
If the essence is forgotten, ritual takes over. When ritual dominates spiritual practice, our outward appearances become more important than out inner experience. For instance, if you meditate in the hope of enlightenment, how long and with whom you meditate is not as important as how your practice has changed your heart and your relationships.
“He who knows only one religion knows none.” —Max Muller
Faith is overvalued while practice is undervalued. If we emphasize faith over practice, spirituality remains ideology, creating theological conflicts. But if we focus on carrying out the teachings in our actual lives, we realize that the love taught by Jesus is no different from the compassion taught by the Buddha. If you wish for peace among different spiritual paths, then practice what you preach.
When an unenlightened person does good, he tries to leave his mark. When an enlightened person does good, he leaves no marks.