Saturday, January 31, 2015

Dancing with Emptiness


"Of what is the body made?  It is made of emptiness and rhythm.  At the ultimate heart of the body, at the heart of the world, there is no solidity.  Once again, there is only the dance."
-   George Leonard


Six Illusions About the Body
By Larry Dossey, M.D.
1.  The body is solid.
2.  The body is stable.
3.  The body is individuated.
4.  The body belongs to the Earth.
5.  The body is stationary.
6.  The body is mindless.


"We are but whirlpools in a river of ever-flowing water.  We are not stuff that abides, put patterns that perpetuate themselves."
-  Norbet Weiner, 1950


"Improved perception of our somatic feelings not only gives us greater knowledge of ourselves but also enables greater somatic skill, facility, and range of movement that can afford our sensory organs greater scope in giving us knowledge of the world.  Besides augmenting our own possibilities of pleasure , such improved somatic functioning and awareness  can give us greater power in performing virtuous acts for the benefit of others, since all action somehow depends on the efficacy of our bodily instrument."
-  Richard Shusterman, Body Consciousness, 2008, p. 126.


Awakening Somatic Intelligence: The Art and Practice of Embodied Mindfulness.  By Risa F. Kaparo, Ph.D..  North Atlantic Books, 2012.  408 pages.  ISBN: 978-1583944172.  VSCL. 

Awareness Through Movement; Health Exercises for Personal Growth.  Easy to Do Health Exercises to Improve Your Posture, Vision, Imagination and Personal Awareness.  By Moshe Feldenkrais.  San Francisco, Harper Collins, 1972, 1977.  173 pages.  ISBN: 0062503227.  VSCL.     

Body Consciousness: A Philosophy of Mindfulness and Somaesthetics By Richard Shusterman.  New York, Cambridge University Press, 2008.  Index, bibliography, 239 pages.  ISBN: 9780521858908.  VSCL. 

Soma, Body, Somatics, Somatic Psychology and Philosophy: Quotations, Bibliography, Notes




Friday, January 30, 2015

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Chapter 27

Daodejing, Laozi
Chapter 27

"Good walking leaves no tracks
good talking reveals no flaws
good counting counts no beads
good closing locks no locks
and yet it can't be opened
good tying ties no knots
and yet it can't be undone
thus the sage is good at saving others 
and yet abandons no one
nor anything of use 
this is called cloaking the light
thus, the good instruct the bad 
the bad learn from the good
not honoring their teachers
not cherishing their students
the wise alone are perfectly blind
this is called peering into the distance."
-   Translated by Red Pine, 1996, Chapter 27 





"Good travelers leave no trace nor track,
Good speakers, in logic show no lack,
Good counters need no counting rack.
Good lockers bolting bars need not,
Yet none their locks can loose.
Good binders need no string nor knot,
Yet none unties their noose.
Therefore the holy man is always a good savior of men, for there are no outcast people.
He is always a good savior of things, for there are no outcast things.
This is called applied enlightenment.  
Thus the good man does not respect multitudes of men.
The bad man respects the people's wealth.
Who does not esteem multitudes nor is charmed by their wealth, though his knowledge be greatly confused,
He must be recognized as profoundly spiritual."
-  Translated by Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 27  



"The first assignment for Daisetz "Great Simplicity" T. Suzuki in 1898 was to help Paul Carus with the Tao Te Ching.  Dr. Carus knew no Chinese, but he wanted this translation to a scholarly one and he had Suzuki supply a character by character gloss, as best he could, but Suzuki found himself unable to check Carus's use of Teutonic abstractions.  "The Chinese are masters in reproducing the most subtle changes in their innermost feelings," Suzuki wrote of his first collaboration with Carus, "thus, in order to translate passages from Lao Tzu, I had to explain to Dr. Carus the feeling behind each Chinese term.  But being himself a German writing in English, he translated these Chinese ideas into abstract conceptual terms.  If only I had been more intellectually equipped then," he thought later, "I might have been better able to help him understand the original meaning."
In order to supply a corresponding Chinese text, Suzuki cut out the Chinese characters from Chinese and Japanese books, and pasted them in the proper places on the manuscript pages, which where then reproduced photographically [and then printed in 1913]."
-  "How the Swans Came to the Lake," by Rick Fields, 1981, p. 139
 




"Good doers leave no tracks.
True words have no defects.
Skillful plans require no calculations.
Able closers need no locks and bars, yet none can open what they shut.
Real strength wants no cords, yet none can loose it.
It follows that the Holy Man when helping others, works in accordance with the unchanging goodness.
Hence, he rejects none.
He does the same when helping nature to develop.
Therefore, he rejects nothing.
This may be called “obscure perception.”
Thus a Good Man is the bad man’s instructor; the bad man the Good Man’s material.
Yet he does not esteem himself a teacher, nor does he love his material.
Although one may be wise, here he is deceived.
This is called “The Cardinal Mystery.”"
-  Translated by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, 1905, Chapter 27

 

"Translation," as T. S. Eliot wrote of the Fennollosa-Pound version of Noh plays, "is valuable by a double power of fertilizing a literature: by importing new elements which may be assimilated, and by restoring the essentials which have been forgotten in traditional literary method.  There occurs, in the process, a happy fusion between the spirit of the original and the mind of the translator: the result is not exoticism by rejuvenation."
-  "How the Swans Came to the Lake," by Rick Fields, 1981, p. 165



"A good traveler leaves no tracks, and a skillful speaker is well rehearsed.
A good bookkeeper has an excellent memory, and a well made door is easy to open and needs no locks.
A good knot needs no rope and it can not come undone.

Thus the Master is willing to help everyone, and doesn't know the meaning of rejection.
She is there to help all of creation, and doesn't abandon even the smallest creature.
This is called embracing the light.

What is a good person but a bad person's teacher?
What is a bad person but raw material for his teacher?
If you fail to honor your teacher or fail to enjoy your student, you will become deluded no matter how smart you are.
It is the secret of prime importance."
-  Translated by John H. McDonald, 1996, Chapter 27  



"No translation of the Tao Te Ching is sufficient to understand the text, as the Chinese is subtle and frequently brilliant, carrying a different range of connotations than English, and the Tao Te Ching plays repeatedly on the double and extended meanings of words, which can only be appreciated in the Chinese, unless you have read a wide array of English translations (and perhaps a commentary or two), which will start to convey to you the range of each word's meaning in its given context. Then you can build on what you understand on your own."
Richard Carter


"Perfect activity leaves no track behind it;
Perfect speech is like a jade-worker whose tool leaves no mark.
The perfect reckoner needs no counting-slips;
The perfect door has neither bolt nor bar,
Yet cannot be opened.
The perfect knot needs neither rope nor twine,
Yet cannot be united.
Therefore the Sage
Is all the time in the most perfect way helping men,
He certainly does not turn his back on men;
Is all the time in the most perfect way helping creatures,
He certainly does not turn his back on creatures.
This is called resorting to the Light.
Truly, “the perfect man is the teacher of the imperfect;
But the imperfect is the stock-in-trade of the perfect man”.
He who does not respect his teacher,
He who does not take care of his stock-in-trade,
Much learning through he may possess, is far astray.
This is the essential secret."
-  Translated by Arthur Waley, 1934, Chapter 27  



善行無轍迹.
善言無瑕讁.
善數不用籌策.
善閉無關楗而不可開.
善結無繩約而不可解.
是以聖人常善救人, 故無棄人.
常善救物.
故無棄物, 是謂襲明.
故善人者, 不善人之師.
不善人者, 善人之資.
不貴其師, 不愛其資, 雖智大迷.
是謂要妙.
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 27



shan hsing wu ch'ê chi.
shan yen wu hsia chai.
shan shu pu yung ch'ou ts'ê.
shan pi wu kuan chien erh pu k'o k'ai. 
shan chieh wu shêng yo erh pu k'o chieh.
shih yi shêng jên ch'ang shan chiu jên, ku wu ch'i jên.
ch'ang shan chiu wu.
ku wu ch'i wu shih wei hsi ming.
ku shan jên chê, pu shan jên chih shih.
pu shan jên chih, shan jên chih tzu. 
pu kuei ch'i shih, pu ai ch'i tzu, sui chih ta mi.
shih wei yao miao. 
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 27



"A good traveler leaves no trace.
A good speaker makes no slips.
A good accountant uses no devices.
A good door needs no bolts to remain shut.
A good fastener needs no rope to hold its bond.
Therefore the wise are good at helping people,
and consequently no one is rejected.
They are good at saving things,
and consequently nothing is wasted.
This is called using the Light.
Therefore the good teach the bad,
and the bad are lessons for the good.
Those who neither value the teacher nor care for the lesson
are greatly deluded, though they may be learned.
Such is the essential mystery."
-  Translated by Sanderson Beck, 1996, Chapter 27 




"Un buen caminante no deja huellas.
Un buen orador no se equivoca ni ofende.
Un buen contable no necesita útiles de cálculo.
Un buen cerrajero no usa barrotes ni cerrojos,
y nadie puede abrir lo que ha cerrado.
Quien ata bien no utiliza cuerdas ni nudos,
y nadie puede desatar lo que ha atado.
Así, el sabio siempre ayuda a los hombres,
por eso a nadie desampara.
El sabio siempre salva a las cosas,
por eso a ninguna descuida.
De él se dice que está deslumbrado por la luz.
Por esto, el hombre bueno no se considera maestro
de los hombres, sino que les enseña;
y el hombre que no es bueno estima como buenas las
riquezas que de los hombres obtiene.
No amar el magisterio ni la materia de los hombres,
y aparentar ignorancia, siendo iluminado,
Este es un principio esencial del Tao."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Capitulo 27


"The best action is free from marks either good or evil.
 The best words are free from stains either good or bad.
 The best calculator is free from calculation and measure.
 The best closure has no bolts, yet it cannot be opened.
 The best knot has no cord, yet it cannot be untied.
 Thus, the wise knows how to rescue men; hence, no one is excluded.
 He also knows how to rescue things; hence, nothing is excluded.
 This is called penetration to illumination.
 Therefore, the virtuous is the model for the unvirtuous.
 The unvirtuous is the origin of the virtuous.
 If one does not appreciate the virtuous or cherish the unvirtuous,
 Although one is intelligent, one is not free from confusion.
 This is called the indispensable wonder."
 -  Translated by Chang Chung-Yuan, Chapter 27 

 

Chapter and Thematic Index (Concordance) to the Tao Te Ching



Taoism: A Selected Reading List



 A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo on a Chapter of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes at least 16 different translations or interpolations of the Chapter in English, two Spanish translations, the Chinese characters for the Chapter, a Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin Romanization of the Mandarin Chinese words for the Chapter, recommended reading lists, a detailed bibliography; indexing by key words and terms for the Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization; some commentary, and other resources for the Chapter. 


  


Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Spring of Life in Old Age

"The enduring legacy of Taijiquan is that qi grows by the practice methodology, as a plant by tending and watering.  Along the way, the qi nutured in daily practice alleviates stress related illnesses.  In the longer term, the qi buildup invigorates and strengthens the body's constitution, and serves as a natural preventive medicine that shields against chronic ailments.  The alluring promise is that the store of qi preserves the "spring of life" in old age, as espoused in the verse of the Song of Thirteen Postues.

Yi shou yan nian bu alo chun
One gains longevity and prolongs the spring of life in old age."


-  C.P. Ong, Taijiquan: Cultivating Inner Strength, p. 156




Taijiquan: Cultivating Inner Strength  By C. P. Ong.  Bagua Press, 2013.  366 pages.  ISBN: 978-0615874074.  VSCL.  "This book diverges from traditional exposition on Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) as it engages rather than shuns the role of muscles in elucidating the cryptic practice dictum of “using yi (mind) and not li (muscle force).” It centers on the core principle of Taiji balance—the balance of yin and yang, but presents the metaphysics of balance the way the body comprehends it, developmentally, through practice in the musculo-skeletal framework. In the process, the fog of mystique lifts, and the many abstruse concepts of Taijiquan become clear. Taijiquan training is physical at the initial phase, but the slow-motion exercise nurtures a meditative discipline of the mind. As it progresses, the soft methodology grows into one of building qi-energy, and then the practice becomes more internalized. The process fortifies the body with qi and cultivates a holistic balance of the organ systems. The book explains how the training methodology, in pursuing Taiji balance, leads to the development of a highly refined strength called neijin (inner strength). By incorporating the training of “silk-reeling energy” in Taiji balance, the practitioner develops the coiling power (chanrao jin) that underlies the magic of Taijiquan kungfu."  Dr. Ong has a Ph.D. in mathematics from U.C. Berkeley.  C.P. Ong is a 20th generation Chen Family Taijiquan disciple of both Chen Xiaowang and Chen Zhenglei. He has traveled with them, as well as with Zhu Tiancai, for a few years in their U.S. workshop tours.

"Think over carefully what the final purpose is: to lengthen life and maintain youth."
Song of 13 Postures, translated by Benjamin Lo



Thirteen Postures of Taijiquan

Cloud Hands Taijiquan



The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi: 12 Weeks to a Healthy Body, Strong Heart, and Sharp Mind.  By Peter M. Wayne, Ph.D., and Mark L. Fuerst.  Shambhala Press, 2013.  240 pages.  A Harvard Health Publication. 





Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Will the Real Terrorists Please Stand Up



I seldom comment on the larger social and political matters that are reported and commented on each day on television news, radio programs, blogs, and newspapers.  “Expert” commentators and leaders, and political entertainers, can keep you tense and occupied for hours each day - if you allow them to do so.  I don’t!  

Far too many Americans are prone to anger, violence, and hatred.  Each year, around 14,000 people are murdered in America. Television programs feature sex and violence, video games are violent, and news reports are filled with the horrors of unending violence in America.  I think too many Americans find violence entertaining.  Lately, the Christian fundamentalists and Islamic fundamentalists are waving their scriptures and shouting out their condemnation of homosexuals, womens’ rights, atheists, people of other religions, cartoons, science, secular states, and whatever else strikes their angry superstitious fancies.  Racists and ethno-phobes are everywhere.  The drums of war make many Americans much happier.  Americans are prone to gun mania and gun worship, and enjoy killing animals … seriously, with this kind of prevalent mental illness it is no surprise that 14,000 people are murdered each year in America, and that 724,000 aggravated assaults occur each year in America.  The incessant American worries about "Islamic terrorists” seems weirdly disproportionate to what Americans really do to themselves in fits of rage, anger, meanness, criminal intentions, gang bravado, stupidity, drug induced stupors, insanity, and callousness.  

We spent over 3.5 trillion dollars fighting in Iraq, and a total of 4,491 U.S. military service members were killed in Iraq between 2003 and 2014.  After all that considerable effort to be aggressive and “a World Leader,” and fight the War on Terror, have we really stabilized Iraq and helped it become a highly productive or peaceful place to live in?  Americans killed over 109,000 people in Iraq since 2003; a nation not involved in the 9/11/2001 attack in New York, poor, and with no weapons of mass destruction.  Just another example of the penchant for violence that grips the American soul.  Give an American the most trivial excuse for bullying or anger or hatred or revenge or rage ... and bang bang your dead.  

On the other side of the coin, I've read that 90% of Americans own guns.  However, we rank at around 107th in murder deaths per 100,000 persons compared with other nations around the world.  If we would not count the impoverished areas of some large American cities, with their high unemployment among youth, gang affiliations, and drug business; murders per 100,000 would be substantially lower.  So, are Americans safer here?  Yes ... but, 14,000 murders per year still is shocking along with 724,000 aggravated assaults.  Americans bent on causing terror and violence is still our real threat.   

What solutions do I propose?  Few, really!  First, honesty about where the real violence occurs in America, and where the real dangers exist.  Second, high employment and better wages for the lower economic classes in the U.S.  Third, stop encouraging and preaching hateful and angry talk about others; and focus on self-reform, kindness, compassion, and patience. Fourth, acknowledge that Americans are prone to gun worship, and take delight in violence.  Fifth, stop being fooled and corrupted by macho motion pictures, violent video games, blowhard preachers, power hungry politicians, and political entertainment news; and, focus your daily actions on wholesome activities and constructive thoughts.  Sixth, be very suspicious of American warmongers.  

So, I turn off the TV and radio, read uplifting literature, walk and exercise, work in a decent occupation, stay at home, give money to good causes, mind my own business, and garden.  I try my best to not cause more violence, and try to discourage others from embracing hatred and violence. An old man like me can't do much more. 


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dragon Chi Kung Practices

"It is easier to leave a circle than to enter it.
The emphasis is on the hip movement whether front or back.
The difficulty is to maintain the position without shifting the centre.
To analyze and understand the above situation is to do with movement and not with a stationary posture.
Advancing and retreating by turning sideways in line with the shoulders, one is capable of turning like a millstone, fast or slow, as if whirling like a dragon in the clouds or sensing the approach of a fierce tiger.
From this, one can learn the usage of the movement of the upper torso.
Through long practice, such movement will become natural."
- Yang Family Old Manual, The Coil Incense Kung


"The East Asian Dragons are often associated with water, rain, vapors, fog, springs, streams, waterfalls, rivers, swamps, lakes, and the ocean.  Water can take many shapes and states, and Dragons are shape shifters and linked with transformation, appearing and disappearing, changing into something new.  Water is found in three states, depending upon the surrounding temperature: a solid (ice, snow), a fluid (flowing liquid), and a gas (fog, vapor, steam).  Since rainfall is often accompanied by thunder and lightening (thunderstorms and typhoons), the Dragon is sometimes associated with fire; and, since hot water and steam are major sources of energy in human culture, this further links the Dragon with the essential energy of Fire.  The Dragon is thus linked with the chemical and alchemical transformative properties of two of the essential Elements, both Water and Fire.  Dragons are generally benign or helpful to humans in East Asia, but their powers can also be destructive (e.g., flooding, tsunami, typhoon, lightening, steam, drowning, etc.).  There are both male and female Dragons, kinds or species of Dragons, Dragons of different colors and sizes, and mostly good but some evil Dragons.  Some Dragons can fly, some cannot fly; most live in or near water, a few on land.  The body of a Dragon combines features from many animals, representing the many possibilities for existential presence.  The Dragon in the East has serpentine, snake, or eel like movement qualities: twisting, spiraling, sliding, circling, swimming, undulating, flowing freely like water."  [See: The Dragon in China and Japan by Marinus De Visser, 1913]

Dragon Chi Kung features exercises that involve twisting, turning, screwing, spiraling, curving, wiggling, undulating, spinning, sinking down and rising up, swimming, circling, swinging, or twining movements are often associated with snakes, serpents and dragons.  There are many Qigong sets and specific Qigong movements that have been called "Dragon" forms, sets, or exercises.  Baguazhang martial arts feature much twisting, turning and circling; and, also include many "Dragon" sets and movements.  Silk Reeling exercises in Chen Style Taijiquan include twisting, twining, circling, and screwing kinds of movements. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

White Tara - The Female Buddha: Protects Us


Tara, Drolma, Green Tārā, White Tara, Liberator, Star Goddess, Savioress, Protector Bodhisattva, Maha-Devi, Divine Feminine, The Mother, Shakti
A Buddhist Goddess Worshipped in Tibet and India
Bibliography, Links, Quotations, Prayers, 21 Praises, Notes

 

Goddesses: Bibliography, Quotations, Links, Lore


"Goddess Tara is probably the oldest goddess who is still worshipped extensively in modern times. Tara originated as a Hindu goddess, a Great Goddess -- the Mother Creator, representing the eternal life force that fuels all life.  There are many embodiments of Tara, but the best known are the White Tara and the Green Tara.  The peaceful, compassionate White Tara gently protects and brings long life and peace. The more dynamic goddess, Green Tara is the "Mother Earth", and a fierce goddess who overcomes obstacles, and saves us from physical and spiritual danger.  In Sanskrit, the name Tara means Star, but she was also called She Who Brings Forth Life, The Great Compassionate Mother, and The Embodiment of Wisdom, and the Great Protectress.  Adopted by Buddhism, she become the most widely revered deity in the Tibetan pantheon.   In Buddhist tradition, Tara is actually much greater than a goddess -- she is a female Buddha, an enlightened one was has attained the highest wisdom, capability and compassion. . . one who can take human form and who remains in oneness with the every living thing."
-   Tara: Goddess of Peace and Protection 



"Mother of enlightened activity who creates all the enlightened ones,
By the power of supplicating to you through approaching, practice and devotion, bless me always
    to practice with devotion to you.
So that I and all sentient being may complete the two accumulations of merit and wisdom.
Then, may the four activities be accomplished and extraordinary and common siddhis be granted.
May pure vision of the deities and the mantra rise from the dharmadhatu,
And may we take enlightened activity as our path and stir the depths of samsara.
In the realm of the great dharmakaya, all appearances and existence are non-dual,
The two aspects of enlightened form appear according to the capacities of sentient beings,
May it always being benefit and well-being through the countless acts of perfect merit!
I take refuge until I am enlightened
In the buddhas, the dharma, and the sangha.
Through the merit I create by practicing giving and the other perfections,
May I attain buddhahood for the sake of all sentient beings. 
May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness;
May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering;
May all sentient beings never be separated from the happiness that knows no suffering;
May all sentient beings live in equanimity, free from attachment and aversion."
Green Tara: Two Meditation Practices





Om Tare Tuttare Ture SoHa
"Om Tah Ray Too Tah Ray Too Ray Svā Ha"       (Suggested English Pronunciation)

The meanings of this mantra are suggested as: 

"One who saves, save me.”

Om
=  The most sacred sound (Aum, Om, Ohm, Hum) for the Divine discussed in the Upanishads 
          OM is the body, speech, and mind of the Buddha.


Tare
= The One who liberates us from suffering,
          The One who frees us from suffering
          Tare is Dharma, the true path away from suffering, the wise words 
          Protection from mundane worldly dangers. 
          The Savioress from physical dangers, fears, and worries. 
          You are the mother, TARE, who liberates us from samsara and absolute dangers 


Tuttare
=  The One who liberates us from the eight fears,
               The One that liberates beings from danger
               The One who can vanquish the eight terrors
               The One who can protect and lead us on the right spiritual path.
               The Savioress from delusion, negative emotions, doubt, greediness. 
               She who ferries us across to safety. 
               You free us from the eight dangers, fears, harms, relative dangers 


Ture
= The One who liberates us from illness
           The One who that releases beings from sickness
           The One who can make us healthy and end our illnesses
           You protect us from all illnesses


Svāha or So Ha = Laying the Foundation, So Be It, Make it So
                          Svaha, according to "Monier-William’s Sanskrit Dictionary,"
                          means: "Hail!", "Hail to!" or "May a blessing rest on!"
                          May this come about
                          May blessings be upon 




 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Working in the Orchard

Karen and I worked outdoors in our home orchard on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 
Clear skies, warmer weather, and a slight wind made for pleasant working conditions. 

We finished pruning all of our 35 fruit trees.

We planted five new bare root trees: Peter's Pistachio (male and female), Gold Dust Peach, Indian Free Peach, and White Peach.  

We mowed and weeded in the orchard.


We checked the drip irrigation lines to make sure that all were working properly.

We cut down dead trees and shrubs.  

The Spirit of Gardening


















Saturday, January 24, 2015

Paddle Your Own Canoe

"Know many, trust a few, and always paddle your own canoe."
-  An unknown Zen Master

Set your course and take constructive action to get to your goal.  You are the one that needs to work, to change, to become, to transform yourself.  Others may be a source for good advice, and a few people are great aids to our progress, but we must work ourselves to accomplish the tasks at hand.

Willpower




Friday, January 23, 2015

Daodejing, Laozi, Chapter 28

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter 28

"Who knows his manhood's strength,
Yet still his female feebleness maintains;
As to one channel flow the many drains,
All come to him, yea, all beneath the sky.
Thus he the constant excellence retains;
The simple child again, free from all stains.

Who knows how white attracts,
Yet always keeps himself within black's shade,
The pattern of humility displayed,
Displayed in view of all beneath the sky;
He in the unchanging excellence arrayed,
Endless return to man's first state has made.

Who knows how glory shines,
Yet loves disgrace, nor e'er for it is pale;
Behold his presence in a spacious vale,
To which men come from all beneath the sky.
The unchanging excellence completes its tale;
The simple infant man in him we hail.

The unwrought material, when divided and distributed, forms vessels.
The sage, when employed, becomes the Head of all the Officers of government.
In his greatest regulations he employs no violent measures."
-  Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 28  



"Who his manhood shows
And his womanhood knows
Becomes the empire's river.
Is he the empire's river,
He will from virtue never deviate,
And home he turneth to a child's estate.

Who his brightness shows
And his blackness knows
Becomes the empire's model.
Is he the empire's model,
Of virtue ne'er shall he be destitute,
And home he turneth to the absolute.

Who knows his fame
And guards his shame
Becomes the empire's valley.
Is he the empire's valley,
For e'er his virtue will sufficient be,
And home he turneth to simplicity."

Simplicity, when scattered, becomes a vessel of usefulness.
The holy man, by using it, becomes the chief leader;
And truly, a great principle will never do harm."
-  Translated by Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 28 




"He who is aware of the Male
But keeps to the Female
Becomes the ravine of the world.
Being the ravine of the world,
He has the original character (teh) which is not cut up.
And returns again to the (innocence of the) babe.
He who is conscious of the white (bright)
But keeps to the black (dark)
Becomes the model for the world.
Being the model for the world,
He has the eternal power which never errs,
And returns again to the Primordial Nothingness.
He who is familiar with honor and glory
But keeps to obscurity
Becomes the valley of the world.
Being the valley of the world,
He has an eternal power which always suffices,
And returns again to the natural integrity of uncarved wood.
Break up this uncarved wood
And it is shaped into vessel
In the hands of the Sage
They become the officials and magistrates.
Therefore the great ruler does not cut up."  
-  Translated by Lin Yutang, 1948, Chapter 28  


知其雄, 守其雌, 為天下谿.
為天下谿, 常德不離, 復歸於嬰兒.
知其白守其黑, 為天下式.
為天下式, 常德不忒, 復歸於無極. 
知其榮, 守其辱, 為天下谷. 
為天下谷, 常德乃足, 復歸於樸. 
樸散則為器.
聖人用之, 則為官長.
故大制不割.
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 28  




chih ch'i hsiung, shou ch'i tz'u, wei t'ien hsia ch'i.
wei t'ien hsia ch'i, ch'ang tê pu li, fu kuei yü ying erh. 
chih ch'i pai shou ch'i hei, wei t'ien hsia shih.
wei t'ien hsia shih, ch'ang tê pu t'ê, fu kuei yü wu chi.
chih ch'i jung, shou ch'i ju, wei t'ien hsia ku. 
wei t'ien hsia ku, ch'ang tê nai tsu, fu kuei yü p'u.
p'u san tsê wei ch'i.
shêng jên yung chih, tsê wei kuan ch'ang.
ku ta chih pu ko.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 28   



"The Nature of Opposites and Change ...
 Be aware of your masculine nature;
 But by keeping the feminine way,
 You shall be to the world like a canyon,
 Where the Virtue eternal abides,
 And go back to become as a child.
 Be aware of the white all around you;
 But remembering the black that is there,
 You shall be to the world like a tester,
 Whom the Virtue eternal, unerring,
 Redirects to the infinite past.
 Be aware of your glory and honor;
 But in never relinquishing shame,
 You shall be to the world like a valley,
 Where Virtue eternal, sufficient,
 Sends you back to the Virginal Block.
 When the Virginal Block is asunder,
 And is made into several tools,
 To the ends of the Wise Man directed,
 They become then his chief officers:
 For "The Master himself does not carve."
 -  Translated by Raymond Blackney, 1955, Chapter 28
 


"Know the male
But keep to the role of the female
And be a ravine to the empire.
If you are a ravine to the empire,
Then the constant virtue will not desert you
And you will again return to being a babe.
Know the white
But keep to the role of the sullied
And be a model to the empire.
If you are a model to the empire,
Then the constant virtue will not be wanting
And you will return to the infinite,
Know honour
But keep to the role of the disgraced
And be a valley to the empire.
If you are a valley to the empire,
Then the constant virtue will be sufficient
And you will return to being the uncarved block.
When the uncarved block shatters it becomes vessels.
The sage makes use of these and becomes the lord over the officials.
Hence the greatest cutting does not sever."
-  Translated by D. C. Lau, 1963, Chapter 28   


"Conociendo lo masculino, y convirtiendose en lo femenino,
Se llega a ser la vía a través de la cual se mueve el Mundo,
Estar unido a la virtud,
Y renacer de nuevo.

Conociendo la luz y convirtiendose en la oscuridad,
Uno se convierte en el Mundo,
Llegando a ser la virtud,
Y volviendo al Tao.

Conociendo el honor y siendo humilde,
Uno se convierte en el valle del Mundo,
Llenandose de la virtud,
Y siendo como un tronco no cortado.

Cuando el tronco es cortado se convierte en herramientas.
Usadas por el sabio, son poderosas;
Así pues, un buen carpintero no desperdicia madera."
-  Translated by Antonio Rivas Gonzálvez, 1998, Capitulo 28




"Be familiar with Masculinity but watch over Femininity - and become the Valley of the World.
Being the Valley of the World, invariant Te will not leave you.
Turn back to being an infant.
Be familiar with what is pure and white but watch over what is dark and black - and become the Pattern for the World.
Being the Pattern for the World, your invariant Te Will be constant.
Turn back to being limitless.
Be familiar with what is praiseworthy but watch over what is disgraceful - and become the Valley of the World.
Being the Valley of the World, your invariant Te will be sufficient.
Turn back to being an Uncarved Block.
When the Uncarved Block is cut up then it becomes a government tool.
When the Wise Person instead uses it then it becomes head of the government.
Yes: A great carver does no cutting, a great ruler makes no rules."
-  Translated by Michael LaFargue, 1992, Chapter 28   



Chapter and Thematic Index (Concordance) to the Tao Te Ching



Taoism: A Selected Reading List



 A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo on a Chapter of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes at least 16 different translations or interpolations of the Chapter in English, two Spanish translations, the Chinese characters for the Chapter, a Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin Romanization of the Mandarin Chinese words for the Chapter, recommended reading lists, a detailed bibliography; indexing by key words and terms for the Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization; some commentary, and other resources for the Chapter.