A gift of 4 words from a Japanese Buddhist Temple – part 2

The 2nd word that was received from the temple is Modesty.

It means being humble, not over rating oneself, unpretentious in thought, unassuming.

Without Modesty a student is like an overturned container. No knowledge can be transmitted to a haughty person, just like an over turned cup, you can’t pour in any water.

On the other hand if one is humble, new layers of meaning continue to unfold even though one may have listen to the same dharma topic many times.

This simple word of advice is applicable to both secular and religious pursuit.

When we are modest, we continue to discover new things. Our mind is open for new information. We are open to new methods of doing things. In short, we continue to improve.

If we take the 1st word of advice, Introspection and reflect deeply.

Did we ever shut out new opportunities in life because of our arrogance? Only we have the answer….


Another advantage of a modest heart is that we do not judge a person too hastily. As we live, we accumulate experience in life. Then we are prone to categorise people, events and situations according to our past experience. Basically we jump into a conclusion and decide to hate or like a person even before really knowing them.

I think it is better not to assume we know everything and be more open minded in life. In that manner we continue to learn as long as we live.

Hope the 2nd gifted word brings you happiness in life. May all be well and happy.


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