道之宗旨 The Principles of the Dao
Commentary on The Principles of the Dao 道之宗旨解釋
1. To venerate Heaven and Earth (敬天地 ) - Value and respect both the Heavens and the Earth. Be a good steward of the planet and its resources.
2. To revere the divine beings (禮神明 ) - Hold in highest esteem the Tao, the eternal source. Appreciate and honor all of the good role models, Buddhas, sages, and teachers, who have come before us.
3. To be patriotic and responsible (愛國忠事) - Respect and honor the good things about your country and its government and to work to change things that could be done better; fulfill your civic duties.
4. To be virtuous and courteous (敦品崇禮 ) - Always act in a virtuous and courteous manner and uphold the Rules of Propriety. Practical guidelines regarding propriety of Demeanor, Deportment, Speech, Conduct, Example, and Sexual activity can be found in the Analects of Confucius.
5. To honor the parents (孝父母 ) - Love, honor, respect, support, and be obedient to one's parents to let them live worry-free lives.
6. To value the teachers (重師尊 ) - Honor and respect one's teachers and elders for their efforts to educate you and for the wisdom of their years.
7. To keep faith with friends (信朋友 ) - Be trustworthy, dependable and honest with your friends.
8. To live harmoniously with neighbors (和鄉鄰 ) - Be a good neighbor. Be helpful and friendly with those who share your neighborhood.
9. To discard the bad and seek the good (改惡向善) - Rid oneself of bad habits and pursue good thoughts and deeds.
10. To clarify the Five Relationships and the Eight Virtues (講明五倫八德 )- Expound upon the Five Bonds of Human Relationships and the Eight Cardinal Virtues
Five Bonds of Human Relationships - between sovereign and minister, parents and children, husband and wife, between siblings, and between friends
Eight Cardinal Virtues - filial piety, brotherly love, loyalty, truthfulness, courtesy, righteousness, integrity, and a sense of shame
11. To spread the teachings of the Five Religions (闡發五教聖人之奧旨 ) - Recognize as valid all significant spiritual or philosophical traditions that have the potential to uplift and inspire people to do good.
12. To follow the ancient practice of the Four Ethics, the Mainstays and the Constant Virtues (恪遵四維綱常之古禮) - To obey and respectfully practice the Four Ethical Principles, the Three Mainstays of Social Order, and the Five Constant Virtues.
The Four Ethical Principles - courtesy, righteousness, integrity, a sense of shame
The Three Mainstays of Social Order - between sovereign and minister, parents and children, husband and wife
The Five Constant Virtues - benevolence, righteousness, courtesy, wisdom, and truthfulness
13. To cleanse the mind and purify the spirit (洗心滌慮 ) - Eliminate harmful/destructive thoughts. Maintain a happy positive attitude.
14. To utilize the illusory world in cultivating the truth (借假修真 ) - "Illusory" refers to the Buddhist idea that the world is just an illusion. By studying the world we can learn about the Tao.
15. To restore the nature of the self (恢復本性之自然 ) - To recognize, value, and respect one's original Buddha-nature. That is, you are a sentient being with an infinite potential for understanding, or "enlightenment" if you prefer, and for doing good.
16. To develop the perfection of conscience (啟發良知良能之至善 ) - Continually work to develop one's innate wisdom with respect to acting in harmony with the Tao.
17. To establish oneself and help others in establishment (己立立人 ) - First secure for yourself a stable position in society and then help those less fortunate to secure a stable position too.
18. To achieve goals and help others in achievement (己達達人) - Set and reach one's own goals and help others do so too.
19. To bring the world into peace (挽世界為清平 ) - Work to transform the world into a peaceful, honest, and orderly society.
20. To transform hearts into goodness (化人心為良善 ) - Enlighten the minds of people, by your actions and your words, and enable them to return to a natural state of benevolence.
21. To hope for the world of Great Unity (冀世界為大同 ) - By pursuing this path, to bring the world into a state of harmony, equality, fraternity, and justice.