Passing through one autumn after another, we learn the true meaning of the sorry feelings brought along by the season. It is deprivation rather than affluence, and pains rather than pleasures, that opens our eyes to the mirror of life. The mirror urges us to look into ourselves with an objective view. The objective view is often painful, but we can learn from it the honesty of a farmer who reaps whatever harvest he meets, however meagre it may be.
Ashes from burnt leaves are buried around trees. They are meant to fertilize existing trees, rather than to give birth to new ones. Autumn meditations are similar in kind. They are aimed not at acquiring new ideas, but at reassuring ourselves of what we already know.

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