Liaofan’s Four Lessons – Introduction

Liaofan’s Four Lessons was written in the 16th century in China by Yuan Liaofan. He wanted to teach his son four lessons:

  • Learn about destiny
  • To tell the difference between good and bad
  • Learn how to correct his faults
  • Learn how to practice good deeds to cultivate both virtue and humility

His father was a good example of the benefits of these four lessons since he had changed his destiny. Recreating destiny has long been a wish for those who believe that everything in life is predetermined.

  • Those who accomplish good deeds in their past lives will enjoy long and happy lives now
  • While those who committed bad deeds in their past lives still undergo short lives and deprivation

But there are exceptions. Destiny can be changed! Although everything we have experienced in this life is the result of thoughts and actions from our past lives and has been predetermined, it is not absolute. We can still modify our destiny with our current thoughts and behavior. There are four chapters or lessons in this book:

  • "Learning to Change Destiny" – the law of cause and effect
  • "The Ways to Reform" – Developed from understanding causality
  • "The Ways to Cultivate Goodness" – the primary lesson, that of cultivating and accumulating goodness
  • "The Benefits of the Virtue of Humility" – the conclusion