One's Appearance Is a Reflection of What Is in One's Heart
(Clearwisdom.net) The Chinese have a saying: "One's appearance is a reflection of what is in one's heart." That is very true. The following story is an example.
A fad-chasing sculptor often made sculptures of demons and monsters. As time went on, he found himself becoming uglier and uglier. The doctors could not figure out why. Then he met a master of cultivation. The master told the sculptor confidently that he could cure his "illness," but in return, the sculptor had to sculpt one hundred Buddha statues for him. The master told him that the curing process would begin as soon as the sculptor began sculpturing. The sculptor gladly agreed.
The sculptor stopped all his other work and began focusing on the Buddha sculptures. In the process, he found his appearance gradually changing, and when he had finished the hundred Buddha statues, he looked even better than he originally did. When he gave the statues to the master, the master told him that it was not he who had cured his illness, but that the sculptor himself did.
The master told him that when he was making demons and monsters, his mind was filled with images of demons and monsters. As time went on, they became part of his appearance. But when he concentrated on making the Buddha statues, there was only Buddha's image in his mind. After a while, Buddha's benevolence, glory, and greatness all became part of his subconscious, and unknowingly his appearance gradually changed for the better. The artist's mind was rectified when he made his Buddha sculptures, and his appearance was restored. In a sense, wasn't he sculpting himself?
This reminds me of an incident that occurred at the Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance Art Exhibition held in September 2009 at the International Cultural Center in Busan, Korea. There was a sculpture of a Buddha in the exhibition. The statue was all white, with one hand erected in front of its chest and the other palm facing forward. The Buddha's face was filled with benevolence and love (see picture below). It is hard to explain, but whenever a person looked at this statue, he or she would be moved by the immense benevolence that emanated from it. Standing in front of it, one would automatically feel respect.
Mr. Suhl DaeSoo of Nongshan City, Korea, is 91 years old, having lived for almost an entire century. He stood in front of the Buddha statue for a long time with his hands in the "Heshi" position. He kept saying: "I was born in 1917 and have seen countless Buddha statues in numerous temples since I was young, but this is the most benevolent Buddha statue that I have ever seen. Indeed, take a look at that expression...."
The elderly man, who had seen it all, was astounded by the artwork in the exhibition. When he learned that all the artists were Falun Gong practitioners, Mr. Suhl said, "To be sure, without a pure heart these artists will not have been able to produce such work. These works could not have been created by an ordinary person."
Mr. Suhl put it well. He could see a person's mind through his artwork. Of course, he could also see what kind of people the practitioners who painted these paintings were and how they had achieved the state of a "pure heart." This was not only a matter of their state of mind when they created their works but also is related to the method with which they cultivate themselves.
Falun Gong practitioners follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance as described in Zhuan Falun. It follows that their works of art will reflect the glorious, wonderful, and benevolent image of a Buddha, because their works reflect what is in their hearts. Then, what will the appearances of these practitioners be? In the process of their assimilating with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, their appearance certainly will change for the better.
Take a look at their peaceful demonstrations, the marvelous parades by the Divine Land Marching Band, and the wonderful performances of the Shen Yun Performing Arts at so many places around the world. They have brought peace, glory, benevolence, and happiness to the world. At the same time, their actions of true goodness and forbearance also have left impressions on their faces. Take a closer look and one will find that they are very pure and benevolent, and all of them have possess a sense of earnestness and perseverance, which have long been traits of the group.
Although they have endured ten years of hardships, practitioners have always abided by Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Their image has become purer and purer. Just by looking at them, observers can tell what kind of a group these people are part of.
Written on Nov 4, 2009.