By Nhat Quan
Your appearance is divided into two sides:
- Appearance is the outside
- The inside is the face of the soul.
Some people have a beautiful appearance like a blooming flower, as bright as the morning sun, just a glance will make you admire their beauty. That is physical beauty. There are people whose spirit is as serene as a flower that has just bloomed. Although their appearance is not really outstanding, it is easy to create sympathy for others. That is the beauty that comes from within, and people get these characteristics through cultivation.
Indeed, cultivating the body and nurturing the mind will bring you excellence in both mind, knowledge, and appearance. Cultivating your body and mind is to help your soul and appearance become more and more brilliant, making your eyes more and more open to being able to see and face the world with a better vision.
So what is true cultivation?
Cultivate means changing from a bad person to a virtuous, dignified person. You correct yourself, transform petty habits, study, focus on learning, and practice to become a generous, honest person. Life confines itself to the strictly regulated teachings of a certain religion.
The body is the human form, yourself, your own self
So, cultivate yourself:
- In a common sense is to cultivate morality to progress.
- In the religious sense is to give up a normal life to follow the precepts of a certain religion.
Thus cultivating the body is building your life to a place of peace and harmony. You can consider the thought of self-cultivation as a system of human thought. If talking about human life, then this road has two turns:
- One is the road to a common cause for everyone;
- The second is the path to enlightenment for good people.
Here, you look back at the main features of those two paths to see more clearly the meaning and role your practice needs to be developed:
- The road to manhood:
On the path to a common cause for everyone, the Buddha outlined the path of self-cultivation and behavior:
* About self-cultivation: If you want to be a good, honest person, you must cultivate yourself. Self-cultivation is the way to guide you in the right way to act on which the five precepts for lay Buddhists are fundamental. That way was the first basis for the king to the common man. From the rich to the poor, everyone has self-correction at the root. If you want to correct yourself into a fully virtuous person, you must first keep your body to yourself. The path of self-cultivation here focuses on two points virtue and wisdom. Ethics: It is talking about Ethics not outside of the framework of ties that bind people to a good manner. Education: Education is essential, but learning must go hand in hand with practice. Cultivating oneself according to Buddhism, although there are many Buddhist scriptures, in summary, there are four verses of Buddha Kasyapa said:
- Do not do evil deeds. Diligent in doing good work.
Keep your mind clean. That is the Buddha's teaching.
Therefore, according to Buddhism, cultivation is to avoid doing evil but to do good and at the same time to keep a pure mind.
In addition, every day you also have to pay respects to the Buddha, read and recite sutras, gradually correct your conduct, keep your manners peaceful, be honest, have a genuine mind, and be compassionate. That is self-cultivation. If everyone cultivates themselves, the home becomes peaceful and the society becomes peaceful. Therefore, the term body cultivation means correcting oneself, cultivating one's body and life according to the scriptures and precepts of morality, correcting oneself, and doing good. According to Buddhism, talking about Buddhists who practice at home keep the five precepts, and the ten precepts of good karma.
Self-cultivation is methodical efforts, persistent exercises of the will to change bad or dangerous tendencies, to develop virtues, and to make yourself good. In other words, self-cultivation is a form of discipline, which is not only necessary for you but also very related to the evolution of the nation and society. That is why the cultivation of the body that every Buddhist who wants to follow the Buddha must strive to complete is like that.
When you cultivate a body that has been lived according to a principle, or a framework, your mind will become mature. Nurturing the mind is a natural requirement of each of you at the level of your developed awareness. All of you need to improve yourself, strengthen your emotions and will, overcome bad habits, and make you know to distinguish good from evil. Therefore, nurturing the mind is the way to form moral qualities in each individual. Creating for each individual the ability to cultivate is a requirement of moral education in society.
If you want to progress in the practice of cultivating the body, and nurturing the mind, you must have a definite will. You have to see for yourself what you lack in action, need to develop more moral qualities, and how move forward. Your self-awareness and self-contemplation manifest from your definite will. Thus, the premise of cultivating the body and nurturing the mind is the attributes of perception, emotion, and will of the individual who has good merit. So, what are the conditions for conducting mindfulness?
First, each individual must be aware of who they are, appreciate you properly, and always have a serious critique of their own ethical behavior. Complacency, arrogance, or low self-esteem are all contrary to this condition.
 Second, each individual must have a vision of the future life, of the ideal of their life. Because a person who actively cultivates your morality knows where you have to go, and what kind of person you will become.
Third, each individual must have qualities, strong will, must have willpower towards themselves, because when you have willpower, you will conduct self-cultivation continuously and systematically.
Fourth, the process of cultivating the body and mind of each individual must be guided, evaluated, and shaped by a teacher regularly.
Fifth, there must be a motive for nurturing the mind, accumulating correct and good morality, and having great social significance.
 In order for your body and mind cultivation to be good and successful, each of you must always be aware of:
Cultivating the body and nurturing the mind refers to one's quality, morality, temperament, and understanding of one's life. It is a kind of qualification, which requires you to go through a long time of training and retraining to achieve it. Whether you cultivate or not, is not based on status, money, and appearance that can be assessed. Therefore, the ancients advised that:
- Live in the world, don't let yourself be like running water, floating, let the circumstances push you! Cultivate and nurture your body well so that in the future you will become a precious person who will always be respected.
Here are the principles that make you a dignified person:
1- Self-examination
Self-reflection is a deep examination of your own mistakes, which is not only self-blame but also an apology to others. When conflicts and conflicts arise between people, only self-reflection, guilt, and self-blame can resolve conflicts, turn conflicts into harmony, and turn war into friendship. So blaming others is not equal to blaming yourself!
The sage of the past and present examine himself. The petty person does not look back at himself but often rebukes heaven and earth, blames people, full of anger, and often tends not to admit his fault. Whatever happens, they say it's someone else's fault, thinking that they're right. In fact, not admitting fault is a kind of mistake. A righteous gentleman, who often finds his own shortcomings without blaming others, then even though he does not practice the Way, he is already in the Way!
A person who knows how to admit mistakes and accept mistakes not only does not lose anything, on the contrary, it also shows that he is a person with a generous heart. Living in the world, learning to admit mistakes is a kind of good morality, and it is also a method of spiritual practice.
2- Gentleness
Be soft and gentle. Human teeth are hard, so it's easy to break, but the tongue is soft, so it stays. Therefore, it must be soft and gentle so that life can be long. A gentle mind is the greatest progress of spiritual practice. Once you have a gentle heart, you can live a long and happy life.
3- Tolerance
 In this world, there is one thing that everyone has to admit, it is a little patience, the wind is calm, the waves are calm, take a step back, the sea is wide and the sky is high! Forbearance helps everything to be peaceful and dispels disaster. When you have patience, you can discern good and bad, and right and wrong in the world, so everyone loves you.
4- Compassion
Compassion is a kind of energy that radiates from within a person's interior. You are always noble, open-minded, and indifferent, do not blame, or resent others, and do not care about fame and profit. This is the high realm of cultivation
5- Know how to listen
If you do not understand, listen, and communicate with others, it will often create discord, disputes, and misunderstandings. There are things that you have seen with your own eyes that are not necessarily true as you think, so please conciliate, and listen to understand others.
6- Discharge
Human life has things like a burden on its shoulders. When you need to hold it, you pick it up, when you don't need it, put it down! If when you need to let go, but you are also determined not to put it down, life will be heavy with pain. Human life is a process of cultivation, this is also wisdom. Your spiritual practice is precious in cultivating the mind, using your mind to remain motionless to face all situations in life, trying to study, and constantly striving, you will eventually be perfect.
7- Be an honest person
You often hear the sentence:
-- The highest goodness is water.
If you want to keep yourself like the high and beautiful character of water, you must first be honest. True nature is a treasure that heaven bestows on each person. If you have a genuine nature, and a sincere heart, when you treat your family members, you will reach the level of loyalty, filial piety, love, and sincerity. When it comes to friends, you will not have a calculating mind, but always be pure, carefree, and wholehearted. With respect to others, you will be able to be tolerant and generous, without calculation.
8- Stay calm
You don't care about winning or losing things, watching the flowers bloom in front of the yard, leaving or staying at will, watching the clouds gather in the sky. Tranquility is a kind of calm mind, a kind of spirit, a kind of high realm. You keep calm is to keep the will, to keep the heart, to keep your poverty. Only if your mind is not moving can you maintain your true self. Stillness is not silence, it is being in no agitation that can keep the mind balanced. It is a kind of inner state that comes about through behavior itself. You have a calm mind that can leap free from all worldly fascination. It can also gradually remove greed and delusional attachments, from which the mind is clear.
9- Facing difficulties
In difficult circumstances is not scary, but what is scary is losing confidence, losing your will. In life, most things do not go as people want, so being in a difficult situation requires people to praise you, encourage you, believe in yourself, and affirm you. Doing so, you will discover that your life has a new vitality, making you a new life every day.
Once you have a goal, a method, and a direction for cultivating your body and mind, you have to train, strengthen, or overcome difficulties. Regular self-examination and self-assessment are indispensable jobs for those who cultivate themselves and nurture their minds, because only then will you have a basis to encourage yourself to rise up and strengthen your confidence. Therefore, the concept of Audrey Hepburn:
- Cultivation can help you change your skin and flesh from spirit to appearance. Thereby:
- The meaning is the flower bud
Words are flowers
Work is a sweet fruit.
Buds and flowers are beautiful but only to behold. If you want to enjoy the sweet fruit, you have to take action. Likewise, the meaning of your life depends on your actions. Virtue is the noblest, purest thing in the soul of every human being. Action is what manifests on the outside, thereby expressing each person's personality.
Your good qualities are shown through actions. If your gestures and actions are right, it means you are a person of good character and virtue. On the contrary, if you have bad gestures and actions, then you may be an imperfect person in terms of personality. So living in the world, you must definitely cultivate your body and nourish your mind, don't let yourself loose like flowing water, drifting, surrendering to circumstances, and then having to regret it!
Once you practice the nine principles above, you will achieve the following eight results:
1- Patience.
Patience can nurture happiness!
Everyone's life will encounter unfavorable and unsatisfactory things, then you definitely need to be patient. Because from ancient times until now, people who can do great things must have a great will, and people with great will must have great patience. Patience is not an avoidance, but a kind of accumulation of energy. If you have patience, you won't usually make a mistake caused by the moment. Thus, blessings will be born.
2- Honesty
Kindness can nurture virtue!
Intelligence is a kind of heaven given to you, and honesty is a type you choose. Honesty is the best human morality in the world. Honesty may not make you achieve everything you want, but it will help you always have inner peace. So virtue is born from there
3- Rejoice
Excited to make your face beautiful!
A cheerful and vivacious attitude is the secret of human longevity. The best method for you to maintain your youthfulness is to always keep yourself happy, and comfortable inside. It's not because you're old that you don't have fun, it's because you're not old because you're having fun! Therefore, smiling is the best way to create your beauty, the simplest and fastest way to connect people together. Therefore, the face is more and more beautiful.
4- Compassion and gentleness
Compassion can nourish the mind!
Why do some people have a gentle and kind face after middle age, while others have a fierce face full of resentment? That is because they are always compassionate, maintaining a kind heart towards everyone in the world. Because the sign is born of the mind, the sign also changes according to the mind. So when the mind is beautiful, the appearance will also be beautiful! Therefore, to say that Compassion is to nourish the mind.
5- Love.
Love can nourish action!
When you are filled with love, your every move is filled with love. A person who always compares and calculates in his heart, no matter what time it is, it is often difficult to go along! Therefore, your actions must always be honest and transparent.
6- Honesty
Honesty can cultivate uprightness!
Sincerity is the most important principle in relationships. You always want others to treat you honestly, so be honest with others first, you will get the same. If you are honest and pure, your appearance is also dignified and beautiful. Therefore, the self-nature becomes benevolent.
7- Diligence, hard work
Diligence can make you rich!
There is an old saying:
- Heaven will compensate the diligent!
It means that, if you are diligent, you will be helped and compensated by heaven! Having friends after earning money is almost spent, but there are friends who still maintain your financial ability. That's because diligence can generate wealth, and thrift can save wealth!
8- Tolerance, and generosity.
Tolerance can accumulate essence!
If you understand tolerance, your heart is bound to be large. You always do not compare detailed calculations, nor will you be happy and complacent because of the small profit. People who always calculate in detail will definitely live very tired. Sometimes taking a step back is a step forward! Take a step back, the sea is wide and the sky is high! Take a step back and make more friends! Therefore, vital energy always protects itself.
Thus, cultivating the body and nourishing the mind is a positive way that will affect and change your appearance. If you all have a sense of training and cultivation, then all of you will have a beautiful and brilliant appearance. That's why somewhere in the scriptures the Buddha pointed out to you a precious philosophy:
- Each person's hands are used to work and serve sentient beings of all kinds, not to claim or plunder. In other words, your hands can not only solve personal problems but also have the ability to help others.
- The brain of each of you is used to repent of the sins you have done, forgive others, and can also help you to constantly improve, but not be stubborn and condemn others.
Please also note, the cultivation of body and mind should not be identified with your face and your honor. When you know how to cultivate your body and mind, no matter how talented you are, when facing any part of society, you still let those people express their voices. Those who rely on the rich and rely on the strong often oppress the poor and the weak, which are inherently not acts of a person who knows how to cultivate.
Therefore, your life must be full of vitality, you must know how to repent on your own, sober up on your own, and grow up on your own, without having to complain to others all day. In the dictionary of body and mind cultivation, there is no word "fear", or "reproach", only the words "respect" and "humility". When you know how to cultivate your body and nourish your mind, you will know that living in moderation will never be tit-for-tat.
In short, the purpose of cultivation is to first cultivate the body and nourish the mind, and then to be liberated. So you have to rely on your inner self to evaluate, accept or reject the outer. Conscience has become the regulator of your moral behavior. Thus, studying is a tendency towards moral formation due to the influence of external influences, first of all, due to the educational impact of the religion you are following.
So you can understand that the moral cultivation of body and mind is a systematic self-conscious action that each individual performs towards himself, in order to overcome unethical behaviors while fostering, and reinforcing ethical behavior.
The noble qualities in the human soul are always a goal that you reach for, that is virtue. Those qualities adorn your soul, making you perfect yourself. Virtue is the noblest, purest thing in your soul. In fact, virtue is not a difficult thing to attain. It's not too sublime, just the smallest enough to judge a person. Virtue is simple, unfussy, and uncomplicated to achieve. But you shouldn't oversimplify it. Don't just think of small that you don't do and then lull yourself to sleep by saying:
- What I did was the best.
A good society is a society with people who do many good deeds, know how to cultivate body and mind, and know how to perfect their souls.
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