Venerable Ya-un: feeling superiour to others

Don’t feel that you are superior to others, and don’t look down upon others.[i]

Humility and modesty are the source of all good human qualities. Friendship arises from respect and trust. Without humility, the false ideas of self[ii] form a mountain that becomes higher and higher. And the ocean of the three evil rebirths,[iii] becomes deeper and deeper. Outward solemnity seems noble, but if there is no inner attainment, then it’s like a rotten ship.

As officials increase in position, their minds become smaller. As the spiritual cultivation of a practitioner deepens, they become more humble. When the distinction between you and I disappears, the supreme path is naturally achieved. Endless blessings flow naturally to those who are humble.

                      Wisdom is buried by arrogance,
                      ignorance feeds upon distinctions
                      of you and I.
                      While looking down on others
                      and not practicing,
                      you grow old and sick.
                     Moaning and sighing,
                     what can you do now?


[i] Don’t feel that you are better than someone else, the equal of someone else, or inferior to someone else. These are all considered wrong views.

[ii] There are four false ideas that people cling to: that there is a self, that this self is different from other beings, that all other beings also have a separate self, and that this self has a limited life span.

[iii] The realms of hell, hungry ghosts, and animals.

5 thoughts on “Venerable Ya-un: feeling superiour to others”

  1. “As officials increase in position, their minds become smaller. As the spiritual cultivation of a practitioner deepens, they become more humble.”

    This is quite wonderful. Thank you, Sunim!

  2. Thanks Roy and Barry,
    This is really such a great piece that I really couldn’t think of anything worthy of introducing it. It’s so short and simple, and yet contains so much for us. Just getting this one little thing straightened out in our lives can make such a huge difference in how we experience the world and what we have to offer it.

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