In the course of your career, do not be disturbed whether you are in favor or out of favor with your superiors; watch the flowers as they bloom and droop outside your door. Pay no heed to whether you remain in or are removed from office. Be as nonchalant as the clouds drifting in the sky, and be as flexible as the manner in which they gather and disperse.
风来疏竹，风过而竹不留声 。雁渡寒潭，雁去而潭不留影。故君子事来而心始现，事去而心随空When the wind blows through a clump of scattered bamboos it makes a swishing sound. But as soon as it has passed, it leaves no sound behind, and silence reigns once more among the bamboos. When a goose flies over a pond in winter its reflection is seen on the water. But as soon as the goose has passed its reflection vanishes. So the mind of a real gentleman starts to work only when an event takes place or a problem arises. Once the matter becomes a thing of the past, his mind returns to stillness and repose.势利纷华，不近者为洁，近之而不染者尤洁；智械机巧，不知者为高，知之而不用者尤高A person who shuns power, wealth and luxury is clean. But a man who comes into contact with power, wealth and luxury and still remains unsullied is even cleaner. He who is unacquainted with wiles and intrigues is noble. But a person who is acquainted with wiles and intrigues but scorns to use them is even nobler.When a piece of writing reaches the acme of perfection, it is not because it contains some miraculous ingredient, but because it is written in exactly the right way. When a man refines his moral character to the point of perfection, he does so not with the aid of any magic formula, but by letting his pure inborn nature shine forth.
事有急之不白者，宽之或自明，勿躁急以速其忿；人有操之不从者，纵之或自化，毋操切以益其顽There are some things which, when we are anxious to understand them, become more obscure the harder we try to grasp them. But if you allow them to take their own course, they may become clearer. Therefore it follows that we should guard against impatience so as not to upset others. There are some people who, the more you try to guide them, the more rebellious they become. But if they are allowed to develop in their own way their stubbornness may melt away of its own accord. Therefore, we should not press them, and thereby make them even more stubborn.
水不波则自定，鉴不翳则自明。故心无可清，去其混之者而清自现；乐不必寻，去其苦之者而乐自存When there are no waves on the surface of the pond, the water is naturally still. When the dust is cleaned from a mirror, it is naturally bright. Therefore, it is not necessary to clean your heart; just get rid of muddy and misleading thoughts, and your pure spirit will naturally emerge. Likewise, it is not necessary to seek happiness; just get rid of the pain in your heart, and happiness will naturally abide there.
鱼网之设，鸿则罹其中；螳螂之贪，雀又乘其后。机里藏机，变外生变，智巧何足恃哉!When a trap is set for fish it sometimes happens that a frog blunders into it. A mantis stalks a cicada, only to fall prey to the unseen finch following it. There are wheels within wheels, and cataclysms can occur outside cataclysms. Of what value or reliability are man’s wisdom and schemes?千金难结一时之欢，一饭竞致终身之感。盖爱重反成仇，薄极反成喜也One thousand pieces of gold will not earn a moment of true friendship, but a simple kindness like offering a meal may earn a lifetime’s gratitude. Love, if taken to extremes, can arouse enmity, while no deep affection is required to generate great satisfaction.不责人小过，不发人阴私，不念人旧恶。三者可以养德，亦可以远害Do not take others to task for minor transgressions. Do not reveal others’ shameful secrets. Do not nurse old grievances. By sticking to these three precepts one will refine one’s moral character and keep harm at bay.宁守浑噩而黜聪明，留些正气还天地；宁谢纷华而甘澹泊，遗个清名在乾坤
It is better to preserve the innate simplicity of one’s nature and eschew sophistication, thereby leave a spirit of uprightness in the world. Likewise, it is better to turn one’s back on luxurious living and take delight in the plain and pristine, and thereby leave a fine name to the world.
选自Tending the Roots of Wisdom Paul White译本