While your parents live, don’t go far from them. If you must depart, tell them the country where you are going.
Those who do not study, or study but do not obtain a profit, must not get discouraged, nor end their path. Those who do not ask in order to solve their doubts, or who ask but do not get satisfactory answers, they must not get discouraged either. Those who do not practice meditation, or when meditating do not obtain a clear knowledge of the foundation of goodness, they must not get discouraged. Those who still cannot distinguish good from evil, or those who do distinguish but have not managed to penetrate the essence of goodness, they should not get discouraged. Those who do not practice goodness or when doing so do not manage to do it with all their strength, they should not get discouraged either. What others would do in their first attempt, they will achieve in ten attempts; what others would do after a hundred attempts, they will do after a thousand.
He who truly follows this rule of persistance, no matter how ignorant, he will become wise without realizing; no matter how weak, he will naturally become strong.
All virtuous actions, all duties, can be considered accomplished by the sole fact of having taken the decission of practising them; if no previous determination is taken, they will never be accomplished. If before starting to talk we previously determine and choose the words, our conversation won´t be unsteady, nor ambiguous. If in all our businesses and enterprises we previously plan the stages of our acting, we´ll easily attain success. If we determine with enough anticipation our rule of behaviour in life, never will our spirit be assaulted by worry. If we previously know our duties, accomplishing them will be easy.
Ichung has always loved my bamboo paintings. I always paint them to unburden myself. I’ve never had the purpose of reproducing their appearance. I don’t mind whether they have many or few leaves, that their branches are straight or crooked; I limit myself to give brush strokes. The people say that they look more like rushes, or ropes, or any other thing; I don’t manage to make them see bamboos or have interest in my paintings. They may be right. What I don’t understand very well is why Ichung likes them.