The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Four: The Way of Humanity


The Founding Master said, “There are four dharmas for teaching one’s children. First is teaching via the mind: by placing a locus for faith in one’s mind, and maintaining a state of mind that is upright, wholesome, and serene, one leads the children to model themselves on that mind. Second is teaching via conduct: by first conducting oneself correctly and maintaining right measure in one’s actions, one leads the children automatically to model themselves on that conduct. Third is teaching via speech: by frequently talking to them about the exemplary words and wholesome actions of the buddhas and bodhisattvas, sages and saints, and distinguished and accomplished persons, one leads children to remember and adopt those examples, and teaches them through gentle and rational words about human affairs and universal principles. Fourth is teaching via severity: this is a method of teaching through strict authority when children are immature; it is not a method to be used often. Therefore, in teaching the children in one’s household, if one applies these four methods from the time a child is in its mother’s womb until it becomes an adult, they will be of great help in turning that child into a good person.”