Work and Rest

Update: 05/08/2016
In recent years, there has been a trend of living a free and easy life. The advocates for the initiation think that people should not work too hard or sacrifice all in exchange for money as this can lead to loss of peace in our mind.

Work and Rest


 There are two types of people in society. The first one is too greedy and ambitious. They just pursue success, show eagerness to earn money and reach beyond their targets while the latter kind live without purpose and desires for progress.

 Please be noted that there is a kind of people satisfied with their little achievements while other never feel satisfied with what they have achieved. They are quite different. The first kind is the one who can feel happy in every situation regardless of whether they can earn more or less. They are hardly ever in depression and  neither hurt nor harm others. They are living a life of contentment

 They are also considered the ones who do not have the desire for progress. For example, today (s)he has read a specialized book and feels it is enough and doesn’t want  to read or study more. It is not a proper manner in studying because there are kinds of book that we just need scanning or skimming while others that we need to read carefully and reread several times. But for sure, one book cannot help us improve the qualification and specialized knowledge is boundless.


The second category is the one who rushes to earn money and success at any cost without any rest, to become the richest guy of an area, a country, or even in the world. Those unlimited desires are quite non-sense!  Chasing after such unreal targets may frustrate, depress and stress you out because once you get it, then you may be afraid that it will lose one day. It is like playing games of cards. Regardless of whether we win or lose, we may want more and more without any satisfaction or sense of sufficiency.


If we want to live happily, we should know how to satisfy with what we have, which might lead us to peace in mind and happiness in life. Additionally, we should know how to enjoy our free time properly. It is necessary for us to have daily break-time and space to relax and refresh our mind. In fact, someone can give their mind a rest while exercising or moving and  contrarily, some can let their bodies have a rest while their mind are not,  both of which are not true relaxation then.


We need to have our mind relaxed, give your brain a rest regularly. For example, while drinking tea, we should enjoy that moment and the tea gentle flavor, or together with friends we chat about everything so that we can free the mind and body.


Noticeably, rest does not mean sleeping. Westerners prefer going to bars or coffee shops not to sleep but to relax and refresh their mind and their bodies making them comfortable and this rest has the same effect as sleeping. It is also the time for them to gradually recover and adjust their physiological function. Some artistic Chinese spend hours sitting in teahouses. The idle time should generate some good things otherwise constantly sitting in teahouses would create boredom and dullness. Previously in mainland China, some people had hobby of keeping and breeding birds and spent most of their time on it. They were always busy with taking care of birds in the morning, then lingered in tea shops watching and chatting about birds, then went home to sleep at night ... In the eyes of society, it is a large waste. At the other extreme, some people are so busy at work that they drink all tea in one gulp. This manner should be adjusted, too. We should set ourselves in a middle path, balance work and relax in an appropriate way. Keep in mind that working is another mood of relax and vice versa, relax is an art of work. And regardless of work or rest, we should do them with tranquil mind.

Venerable Master Sheng Yen

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