Confucian meditation

from the Great Learning

The Way of learning to be great consists in manifesting the clear character, loving the people, and abiding in the highest good.
Only after knowing what to abide in can one be calm.
Only after having been calm can one be tranquil.
Only after having achieved tranquillity can one have peaceful repose.
Only after having peaceful repose can one begin to deliberate.
Only after deliberation can the end be attained.
Things have their roots and their branches.
Affairs have their beginnings and their ends.
To know what is first and what is last will lead one near the Way.
Note: Confucian meditation, called Quiet Sitting, has as its aim neither to find the Self nor to empty the mind, but rather to make the mind level and receptive to knowledge.  According to the school of Wang-yang Ming, investigation of outward reality should begin with the investigation of one's own mind.  Cf. Doctrine of the Mean 1.4-5, pp. 228f.; Great Learning 7, p.. 928; Chuang Tzu 5, p. 553; 23, p. 928.
from World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts, Ed. Andrew Wilson

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page uploaded 9 February 1999