Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Feldenkrais Techniques


I have taken 9 Feldenkrais' introductory 90 minute group classes from a local Feldenkrais practitioner, Christine Toscano.  I also practice this method alone at home.  I have also read a number of books on the subject.


Mrs. Toscano recommended we read Chapter 5 of the book by Norman Doidge, M.D., "The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity," (Penguin Books, 2016). The chapter covers the life and work of Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984).  He was a Ph.D. engineer, kudo master, movement therapist, author, and healer. The chapter discusses some of the core principles of his theory and methods as follows:

"1. The mind programs the functioning of the brain.
2. A brain cannot think without motor function.
3. Awareness of movement is the key to improving movement.
4. Differentiation: making the smallest possible sensory distinctions between movements - builds brain maps.
5. Differentiation is easiest to make when the stimulus is smallest.
6. Slowness of movement is the key to awareness, and awareness is the key to learning.
7. Reduce the effort whenever possible. Relax.
8. Errors are essential, and there is no right way to move, only better.
9. Random movements provide variation that leads to developmental breakthroughs.
10. Even the smallest movement in one part of the body involves the entire body.
11. Many movement problems, and the pain that goes with them, are caused by learned habit, not by abnormal structure." 


Awareness Through Movement.  Easy-To-Do Health Exercises to Improve Your Posture, Vision, Imagination and Personal Awareness.  By Moshe Feldenkrais.  HarperOne, Reprint edition, 2009.  192 pages.  ISBN: 978-0062503220.  VSCL. 

Awareness Heals: The Feldenkrais Method for Dynamic Health.  By Stephen Shafarman.  Da Capo Lifelong Books, 1997.  224 pages.  ISBN: 978-0201694697.  VSCL. 


The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity.  By Norman Doidge, M.D..  Penguin Books, 2016.

Change Your Age: Using Your Body and Brain to Feel Younger, Stronger, and More Fit.  By Frank Wildman, Ph.D..  Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2010.  240 pages.  ISBN: 978-0738213637.  VSCL. 


Embodied Wisdom: The Collected Papers of Moshe Feldenkrais.  Edited by Elizabeth Beringer.  Foreword by David Zemach-Bersin.  North Atlantic Books, 1st Edition, 2010.  256 pages.  ISBN: 978-1556439063.  VSCL.  







Moshe Feldenkrais.png




Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Muscle-Tendon Transformation Exercises

Yi Jin Jing

The Yi Jin Jing Qigong is a popular qigong exercise set from China. "Yi Jin Jing Qigong" means "Muscle and Tendon Transforming Exercises."

In most cases, this qigong regimen consists of 12 movement sequences. There are some versions of the Yi Jin Jing with many more movements (22, 49, 108, 216). Some of the longer versions of the Yi Jin Jing include movements from the Eight Section Brocade Routine, the Animal Frolics Routines, the Louhan Routine, or the Bone Marrow and Brain Washing Routine.

Most people practice a 12 movement version of the Yi Jin Jing that was described in a book published by Pan Weiru in 1858 called "Essential Techniques for Guarding Life." Also, Wang Zuyuan published a book in the 1880's titled "Illustrated Exposition of Internal Techniques" that described the same qigong routine as did Pan Weiru. 


Names of the Yi Jin Jing Qigong Movements
Opening Form
1. Wei Tuo Presenting the Pestle 1
2. Wei Tuo Presenting the Pestle 2
3. Wei Tuo Presenting the Pestle 3
4. Plucking Stars on Each Side
5. Pulling Nine Cows by Their Tails
6. Showing Talons and Spreading Wings
7. Nine Ghosts Drawing Sabers
8. Sinking the Three Bodily Zones
Three Plates Falling on the Floor

9. Black Dragon Displaying Its Claws
10. Tiger Springing On Its Prey
11. Bowing Down in Salutation
12. Swinging the Tail
Closing Form

Some claim that the Yi Jin Jing was created by the famous Zen Patriarch Bodhidharma (Da Mo) around 520 CE, and refined over centuries by Shaolin monks, while others argue for an even more ancient Daoist lineage.



There are numerous instructional DVDs available now for the 12 movement verion of the Yi Jin Jing. I like the instructional book and DVD by the Chinese Health Qigong Association:

Yi Jin Jing: Chinese Health Qigong. Compiled by the Chinese Health Qigong Association. Beijing, China, Foreign Languages Press, 2007. 95 pages, charts, includes an instructional DVD. ISBN: 9787119047782. VSCL. "Qigong is an aspect of traditional Chinese medicine that involves coordinating breathing patterns with physical postures to maintain health and well-being. Yi Jin Jing/ Tendon-Muscle Strengthening Exercises is an accessible, fully-illustrated guide to a particular qigong exercise that focuses on turning and flexing the spine. Based on the twelve traditional routines of Yi Jin Jing, the exercises covered in the book feature soft, extended, even movements that invigorate the limbs and internal organs. In particular, practice of the Yi Jin Jing exercises improves flexibility, balance and muscular strength, and has a beneficial effect on the respiratory system. Each routine is described step-by-step and is illustrated with photographs and key points. The authors also point out common mistakes and offer advice on how to correct these. Complemented by an appendix of acupuncture points and accompanied by a DVD, this book will be of interest to Qigong and Tai Chi practitioners at all levels, students of martial arts and anyone interested in Chinese culture."
Singing Dragon.



For a good book on the theory of the Yi Jin Jing, read Qigong: The Secret of Youth: Da Mo's Muscle/Tendon Changing and Marrow Brain Washing Classics. By Yang, Jwing-Ming, Ph.D., 1946-. An Advanced Qigong Regimen for the Serious Practitioner. Boston, Massachusetts, YMAA Publication Center, 2000. Second Edition 2000, First Edition 1989. Index, appendices, charts, 312 pages. ISBN: 1886969841. VSCL.




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Friday, February 23, 2018

Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu, Chapter 17

Daodejing, Laozi

Chapter 17

"Those of preeminent wisdom and purity 
knew this Tao intuitively from their birth,
and so possessed it.
Those of the second rank—the men of virtue—approached it nearly,
and eulogised it.
Those of the third rank—who were still
above the commonalty—stood in awe of it.
Those of the lowest rank held it in light esteem.
Their belief in it was superficial, or imperfect;
while there were even some who did not believe in it at all.
The first spoke only with forethought and calculation,
as though honouring their words.
When their public labours were achieved,
and affairs progressed unimpeded, the  people all said,
"This is our natural and spontaneous condition.""
-  Translated by Frederic Henry Balfour, 1884, Chapter 17



"A leader is best
When people barely know that he exists,
Not so good when people obey and acclaim him,
Worst when they despise him.
'Fail to honor people,
They fail to honor you;'
But of a good leader, who talks little,
When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,
They will all say, 'We did this ourselves.'"
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 17  



"In the highest antiquity people scarce knew
That rulers existed among them; In the next age attachment and praise for them grew, In the next people feared they might wrong them;  And then in the next age the people despised The rulers whom fate set above them, For when faith by the rulers no longer is prized, The people no longer can love them. Those earliest rulers! what caution they had In weighing the words they were using; How successful their deeds! while the people all said We are what we are by our choosing.
"
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 17



"With the highest rulers -
Those below simply know they exist.
With those one step down -
They love and praise them.
With those one further step down -
They fear them.
And with those at the bottom -
They ridicule and insult them.

Who does not trust enough
will not be trusted.
Hesitant and undecided!
Like this is his respect for speaking.
He completes his tasks and finishes his affairs
Yet the common people say,
"These things all happened by nature."
-  Translated by Bram den Hond, Chapter 17 




太上下知有之.
其次親而譽之.
其次畏之.
其次侮之.
信不足焉有不信焉.
悠兮其貴言.
功成事遂百姓皆謂我自然.  
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 17



t'ai shang hsia chih yu chih.
ch'i tz'u ch'in erh yü chih.
chi tz'u wei chih.
ck'i tz'u wu chih.
hsin pu tsu yen yu pu hsin yen.
yu hsi ch'i kuei yen.
kung ch'êng shih sui pai hsing chieh wei wo tzu jan.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 17



"Of great rulers the subjects do not notice the existence.
To lesser ones people are attached; they praise them.
Still lesser ones people fear, and the meanest ones people despise.
For it is said: 'If your faith be insufficient, verily, you will receive no faith.'
How reluctantly the great rulers considered their words!
Merit they accomplished; deeds they performed; and the hundred families thought: 'We are independent.' "
-  Translated by D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 17    



"Of the best ruler,
The people only know he exists.
Next comes one the love and praise.
Next comes one they fear.
Next comes one they abhor.
When you are lacking in trust,
Others have no trust in you.
Of the work of one who is short with his words,
The hundred families say,
We have done it ourselves!"
-  Translated by Herrymoon Maurer, 1985, Chapter 17 



"Acerca de los antiguos todo lo que se sabe es que existían.
Los sucesores fueron amados y alabados, y los siguientes fueron temidos.
Los que vinieron después aborrecidos.
Sí no te tienes plena confianza, otros te serán infieles.
Entonces las palabras rituales estaban medidas.
El mérito de las obras tenía plenitud.
Todo el mundo decía:
"Estamos en armonía con nosotros mismos"."
-  Translation from Logia Medio Dia, 2015, 
Capítulo 17


"In ancient times
The people knew that they had rulers.
Then they loved and praised them,
Then they feared them,
Then they despised them.
The rulers did not trust the people,
The people did not trust the rulers.
The rulers were grave, their words were precious.
The people having finished their work,
and brought it to a successful issue, said:
"We affirm the Self.""
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 17 




A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters (Verses, Sections) of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes over 25 different English language translations or interpolations for that Chapter, 5 Spanish language translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin transliterations (Romanization) of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter, and 2 German and 1 French translation of that Chapter.  Each webpage for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words, phrases, and terms for that Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization.  Each webpage on a Chapter of the Daodejing includes recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, and other resources for that Chapter.  Each webpage includes a Google Translate drop down menu at the top that enables you to read the webpage in over 100 languages.


Chapter 17, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu


Chapter Indexing for the Tao Te Ching


English Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index


Spanish Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index


Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices


Taoism: A Selected Reading List


Concordance to the Tao Te Ching (2018 Project)   


One Old Daoist Druid's Final Journey  

Monday, February 19, 2018

New Winter Experiences


I lived in the East Los Angeles metropolitan area from 1946-1998, and in Red Bluff, California, from 1998-2017.   We rarely saw snow fall and it melted quickly in these areas.  We always had to drive up into the mountains, e.g., the San Gabriel or San Gorgonio Mountains in the LA area, or Mt. Lassen or Mt. Shasta in Red Bluff if we wanted to play in and enjoy the snow.

Here in Vancouver, Washington, where we live now, snowing is a more common occurrence.  I think that last year Vancouver had about 8 - 10 inches of snow.  The nearby foothills and mountains (Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Ranier, and Mt. Hood of the Cascades) have lots of snow. 

Last night, about three inches fell as temperatures dropped and the cold front rolled into the Northeast Pacific Coast region.

We live about 500 miles north of Red Bluff, and 300 miles south from Vancouver, Canada.













Taijiquan 24 Form


"At this period of wushu, the Nanking Central Kuoshu Institute in 1956 tasked the choreography of a Taijiquan routine what would be more suitable for popular dissemination among the masses, in keeping with the government's egalitarian agenda.  The traditional forms were just too long and time consuming to practice, and the traditional methods too arcane and demanding for mass propagation.  The challenge was to reduce the one hundred-odd movements of the traditional Yang Style Taijiquan, prevalent then, to its core, by removing the many repetitive movements as well as the less essential ones.  Thus, the 24-Form Taijiquan set was created.  Instrumental in this simplification effort was Li Tianji (1913-1996) who had been appointed a wushu research fellow at the Institute.  Under official auspices, the 24-Form Taijiquan quickly became the standard form, taught throughout China as part of physical education curriculum in schools and colleges.  It is perhaps the best know Taijiquan form in the world today.  As widespread as it is, the 24-Form is at best an abridged version of the traditional Yang form, a synopsis of the art."
-  C. P. Ong, Taijiquan: Cultivating Inner Strength, 2013, p. 7.  






I practice this Taijiquan form twice every day.  It takes from 5 to 7 minutes to perform.

You can do this indoors by adjusting to the space available, or outdoors.  When done slowly and gently you don't need to do any warmup exercises unless your knees are problematic.  A lovely Taijiquan form!  Good for persons of all ages.  This form is a cornerstone of my personal T'ai Chi Ch'uan practices. 

The first Taijiquan form I learned in 1986 was the Standard 24 Movement T'ai Chi Ch'uan Form in the Yang Style of T'ai Chi Ch'uan.  At that time there were no books or instructional videotapes on this popular form.  Since that time, nearly 31 years have past.  Now there are dozens of books and instructional DVDs and webpages on the subject of the 24 Form. 


My webpage on the Standard 24 Taijiquan Form has been the most popular webpage on the Cloud Hands Website for many years. In the sidebar of this blog, you will find a quick index to this webpage.


Standard Simplified Taijiquan 24 Form.  Research by Michael P. Garofalo, M.S. This webpage includes a detailed bibliography of books, media, links, online videos, articles, and resources.  It provides a list of the 24 movement names in English, Chinese, French, German and Spanish, with citations for sources of the movement names.  It provides detailed descriptions of each movement with black and white line illustrations and  photographs.  It includes relevant quotations, notes, performance times, section breakdowns, basic Tai Chi principles, and strategies for learning the form.  The Peking (Bejing) Chinese National orthodox standard simplified 24 movement T'ai Chi Ch'uan form, created in 1956, is the most popular form practiced all around the world.  This form uses the Yang Style of Taijiquan.  Published by Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Taijiquan, Red Bluff, California:  Webpage URL:  http://www.egreenway.com/taichichuan/short.htm.  

This webpage provides many good suggestions for a person learning this form on their own if there is no Tai Chi class in their area. 

The best book that I have seen on the subject is:

The Yang Taiji 24 Step Short Form: A Step by Step Guide for All Levels
By James Drewe
London, Singing Dragon Press, 2011.
382 pages, black and white photographs, charts, detailed descriptions, training tips.


I give information on many other fine books by other good authors on the 24 Form in my webpage: Cheng Zhao, Foen Tjoeng Lie, Eric Chaline, Le Deyin, etc.. 

My students tell me that their favorite instructional DVD on the 24 Form is:

Tai Chi - The 24 Forms
By Dr. Paul Lam


I have taught this lovely Tai Chi form to hundreds of people since 2000.  Everyone tells me how much they enjoy learning and practicing this gentle form.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Dao De Jing, Laozi, Chapter 16

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Chapter 16


"Reach the pole of emptiness (hsü-chi),
Abide in genuine quietude (ching).
Ten thousand beings flourish together,
I am to contemplate (kuan) their return (fu).
Now things grow profusely,
Each again returns (kuei) to its root.
To return to the root is to attain quietude (ching),
It is called to recover life (ming).
To recover life is to attain the Everlasting (ch'ang),
To know the Everlasting (ch'ang) is to be illumined (ming).
Not knowing (chih) the Everlasting (ch'ang),
One commits evils wantonly.
Knowing the Everlasting one becomes all containing (yung).
To be all containing is to be public (kung).
To be public is to be kingly (wang).
To be kingly is to be like heaven.
To be like heaven is to be like Tao.
To be like Tao is to last long.
This is to lose the body without becoming exhausted (pu tai)."
-  Translated by Ellen M. Chen, 1989, Chapter 16 


Commentary by Ellen M. Chen on Chapter 16:



Tao Te Ching: A New Translation and Commentary.  By Ellen M. Chen.  Paragon House, 1989.  Detailed glossary, index, bibliography, notes, 274 pages.  ISBN: 978-1557780836.  One of my favorites.  VSCL.  "Ellen M. Chen received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Fordham University.  She taught philosophy at St. John's University, retiring in 1996." 


In Praise of Nothing: An Exploration of Daoist Fundamental Ontology.  By Ellen M. Chen.  Xlibris, Corp., 2010.  250 pages.  ISBN: 978-1456826093.  VSCL.  "Ellen M. Chen received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Fordham University.  She taught philosophy at St. John's University, retiring in 1996. This volume, In Praise of Nothing, will be followed by a volume on Daoist Cosmology: On the Harmony of Opposites."











Other translations, interpolations, and interpretations of Chapter 16:


"Attain to the goal of absolute vacuity;
 Keep to the state of perfect peace.
 All things come into existence,
 And thence we see them return.
 Look at the things that have been flourishing;
 Each goes back to its origin.
 Going back to the origin is called peace;
 It means reversion to destiny.
 Reversion to destiny is called eternity.
 He who knows eternity is called enlightened.
 He who does not know eternity is rushing blindly into miseries.
 Knowing eternity he is all-embracing.
 Being all-embracing he can attain magnanimity.
 Being magnanimous he can attain omnipresence.
 Being omnipresent he can attain supremacy.
 Being supreme he can attain Tao.
 He who attains Tao is everlasting.
 Though his body may decay he never perishes."
 -  Translated by Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904, Chapter 16



"Be utterly humble
And you shall hold to the foundation of peace.
Be at one with all these living things which, having arisen and flourished,
Return to the quiet whence they came,
Like a healthy growth of vegetation
Falling back upon the root.
Acceptance of this return to the root has been called 'quietism,'
Acceptance of quietism has been condemned as 'fatalism.'
But fatalism is acceptance of destiny
And to accept destiny is to face life with open eyes,
Whereas not to accept destiny is to face death blindfold.
He who is open-eyed is open-minded-
He who is open-minded is open-hearted,
He who is open-hearted is kingly,
He who is kingly is godly,
He who is godly is useful,
He who is useful is infinite,
He who is infinite is immune,
He who is immune is immortal."
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 16 




"Attaining perfect emptiness
 Remain patient and sincere
 The myriad beings arise as one
 Through this we observe the return
 Of beings in numberless multitudes
 Each coming home to its root
 Return to the root means serenity
 It may be called a return to a higher order
 Return to higher order speaks of the enduring
 To comprehend the enduring speaks of clarity
 To not comprehend the enduring
 Is to recklessly create suffering
 To comprehend the enduring (is) tolerance
 Tolerance becomes justice
 Justice becomes sovereignty
 Sovereignty becomes celestial
 The celestial becomes the path
 The path is then continuous
 The death of self is nothing to fear"
 -  Translated by Bradford Hatcher, 2005, Chapter 16




"Bring about emptiness to the extreme.
Guard true stillness.
The ten-thousand things rise together.
I therefore observe their return:
Those ten-thousand plants—each plant—returns
Going back to its root.
Going back to the root is said to be stillness.
This is called returning to life.
Returning to life is called the Constant.
Understanding the Constant is called clarity.
Not understanding the Constant:
Reckless actions—misfortune.
Understanding the Constant, forgive.
Forgive, then be unbiased.
Be unbiased, then be whole.
Be whole, then be Heaven.
Be Heaven, then be Tao.
Be Tao, then be eternal.
Not having a body, there is no danger."
-  Translated by Aalar Fex, 2006, Chapter 16  



"Empty the self completely; Embrace perfect peace.
 Realize that all beings alike go through their processes of activity and life,
 and then they return to the original source.
 Returning to the source brings peacefulness and stillness.
 This stillness is the flow of nature, and signifies that the beings have lived their allotted span of life.
 Accepting this brings enlightenment and tranquility,
 ignoring this brings confusion and sorrow
 If one can accept this flow of nature; one can cherish all things.
 Being all-cherishing you become impartial;
 Being impartial you become magnanimous;
 Being magnanimous you become natural;
 Being natural you become one with The Way;
 Being one with The Way you become immortal:
 Though the body will decay, the Way will not."
 -  Translated by John Discus, 2002, Chapter 16   




致虛極.
守靜篤.
萬物並作.
吾以觀復.
夫物芸芸, 各復歸其根.
歸根曰靜.
是謂復命.
復命曰常.
知常曰明.
不知常, 妄作凶知常容.
容乃公.
公乃王.
王乃天.
天乃道.
道乃久.
沒身不殆.
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 16




zhi xu ji.
shou jing du.
wan wu bing zuo.
wu yi guan fu.
fu wu yun yun, ge fu gui qi gen.  
gui gen yue jing.
shi yue fu ming.
fu ming yue chang.
zhi chang yue ming.
bu zhi chang, wang zuo xiong zhi chang rong.
rong nai gong.
gong nai quan.
quan nai tian.
tian nai dao.
dao nai jiu.
mo shen bu dai.
-  Pinyin translation, Daodejing, Chapter 16 
 
 
 
"Effect emptiness to the extreme.
 Keep stillness whole.
 Myriad things act in concert.
 I therefore watch their return.
 All things flourish and each returns to its root.
 Returning to the root is called quietude.
 Quietude is called returning to life.
 Return to life is called constant.
 Knowing this constant is called illumination.
 Acting arbitrarily without knowing the constant is harmful.
 Knowing the constant is receptivity, which is impartial.
 Impartiality is kingship.
 Kingship is Heaven.
 Heaven is Tao
 Tao is eternal.
 Though you lose the body, you do not die."
 -  Translated by Charles Muller, 1891, Chapter 16


"Vacía tu Ego completamente;
Abraza la paz perfecta.
El Mundo se mueve y gira;
Observale regresar a la quietud.
Todas las cosas que florecen
Regresarán a su origen.

Este regreso es pacífico;
Es el camino de la Naturaleza,
Eternamente decayendo y renovandose.
Comprender ésto trae la iluminación,
Ignorar esto lleva a la miseria.

Aquel que comprende el camino de la Naturaleza llega a apreciarlo todo;
Apreciandolo todo, se convierte en imparcial;
Siendo imparcial, se convierte en magnánimo;
Siendo magnánimo, se convierte en parte de la Naturaleza;
Siendo parte de la Naturaleza, se hace uno con el Tao;
Siendo uno con el Tao, se alcanza la inmortalidad:
Piensa que el cuerpo perecerá, el Tao no."
-  Translated by Antonio Rivas Gonzálvez, 1998, Tao Te Ching, Capítulo 16



"To arrive at ultimate quietness
Steadfastly maintain repose.
All creatures together have form;
I see them return again to their root.
The Master creatures come to perfect form,
Continuously they return to their root.
Continuous return to the root is called repose,
Repose is called the law of return,
The law of return is called eternity.
To know eternity is called illumination.
To ignore eternity is to draw misfortune on oneself,
To know eternity is to be great of Soul,
To be great of soul is to be a ruler,
To be a ruler is to be greater than all,
To be greater than all is to be conscious of Life,
To be conscious of Life is to endure.
The body shall disappear but not decay."
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 16  




Audio Recordings (Podcasts) in English by Mike Garofalo

Here is an audio recording of selected translations from Chapter 16 of the Tao Te Ching. This reading includes translations by Isabella Mears 1916, Charles Muller 1891, John Discus 2002, Bradford Hatcher 2005, Stephen Addis 1993.  Reading and recording by Michael P. Garofalo at the Valley Spirit Center in Red Bluff, California.  Recorded on December 5, 2016. MP3 format.  12.7 MB.    




A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters (Verses, Sections) of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes 25 different English language translations or interpolations for that Chapter, 5 Spanish language translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin transliterations (Romanization) of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter, and 2 German and 1 French translation of that Chapter.  Each webpage for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words, phrases, and terms for that Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization.  Each webpage on a Chapter of the Daodejing includes recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, a Google Translate drop down menu, and other resources for that Chapter.   



Chapter 16, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu


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


English Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index


Spanish Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index


Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices


Taoism: A Selected Reading List



Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Ongoing Home Improvements



Our garage in July of 2017.




Our garage in February of 2018.

Vertical shelving installed, everything organized into plastic storage bins and fully inventoried on a spreadsheet, new washer and dryer installed, workbench area set up on west side of garage, room on east side to park a car where I am standing or use the same cleared space for an exercise area.  

Moving keeps you quite busy.
Having fun may be habit forming.



Our fireplace corner in June of 2017.




Friday, February 09, 2018

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Chapter 15


Daodejing, Laozi

Chapter 15



"The Tao masters of antiquity
Subtle wonders through mystery
Depths that cannot be discerned
Because one cannot discern them
Therefore one is forced to describe the appearance

Hesitant, like crossing a wintry river
Cautious, like fearing four neighbors
Solemn, like a guest
Loose, like ice about to melt
Genuine, like plain wood
Open, like a valley
Opaque, like muddy water

Who can be muddled yet desist
In stillness gradually become clear?
Who can be serene yet persist
In motion gradually come alive?

One who holds this Tao does not wish to be overfilled
Because one is not overfilled
Therefore one can preserve and not create anew."
Translated by Derek Lin, 2006, Chapter 14, Tao Te Ching



Commentary on Chapter 15 of the Tao Te Ching by Derek Lin, 2006:

"The concept of emulation is central to the Tao.  The ancient masters recognized that they did not understand the Tao completely but that they could learn from it by emulating nature.  We can learn from them in the same way.  The ancient masters were not given to frivolous or reckless acts.  They handled responsibilities with serious regard; they resolved issues by carefully considering all sides, without jumping to conclusions.  The masters were careful, but not uptight.  They went about their activities with a certain looseness, which took nothing away from their concern for others and for doing a good job.  They could be relaxed without being lax, and thus achieve excellence effortlessly; they could be unattached without being uncaring, and thus focus on the process instead of the result.  "Plain wood" is a reference to simplicity.  By keeping everything simple, the ancient masters experienced the profound happiness of the uncomplicated present.  The ancient sages were known for their openness.  They gladly considered new ideas without dismissing anything out of hand.  They treated everyone, even difficult people, with infinite patience.  Being opaque means these masters never put themselves on display, despite their spiritual refinements.  They had no interest in showing off their brilliance.  The image of muddy water becoming clear refers to the gradual revelation of a master's inner qualities.  The masters had tremendous depth, so it would take time for people to really know them.  The serenity of a sage can be mistaken for passivity or apathy.  It may be difficult for people to understand how anyone can embody tranquility and dynamism simultaneously.  The ancient masters were therefore never full of themselves.  Like them, we can cultivate quietly, preserving a sense of calmness without drawing attention to ourselves or creating a disturbance."


Tao Te Ching: Annotated and Explained.  Translation and Annotation by Derek Lin.  Foreword by Lama Surya Das.  "An inspiring, precise translation of the ancient Chinese wisdom classic─ with facing-page commentary that brings the text to life for you."  Woodstock, Vermont, 2006.  167 pages.  



 





Other Translations, Interpretations or Interpolations of Chapter 15:


 "The skillful masters of the Dao in old times, with a subtle and exquisite penetration, Comprehended its mysteries, and were deep also so as to elude men's knowledge.
As they were thus beyond men's knowledge,
I will make an effort to describe of what sort they appeared to be.
Shrinking looked they like those who wade through a stream in winter;
Irresolute like those who are afraid of all around them;
Grave like a guest in awe of his host;
Evanescent like ice that is melting away;
Unpretentious like wood that has not been fashioned into anything;
Vacant like a valley, and dull like muddy water.
Who can make the muddy water clear?
Let it be still, and it will gradually become clear.
Who can secure the condition of rest?
Let movement go on, and the condition of rest will gradually arise.
They who preserve this method of the Dao do not wish to be full of themselves.
It is through their not being full of themselves that they can afford to seem worn and not appear new and complete."
-  Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 15  



"The Sages of old were profound
and knew the ways of subtlety and discernment.
Their wisdom is beyond our comprehension.
Because their knowledge was so far superior
I can only give a poor description.
They were careful
as someone crossing a frozen stream in winter.
Alert as if surrounded on all sides by the enemy.
Courteous as a guest.
Fluid as melting ice.
Whole as an uncarved block of wood.
Receptive as a valley.
Turbid as muddied water.
Who can be still
until their mud settles
and the water is cleared by itself?
Can you remain tranquil until right action occurs by itself?
The Master doesn't seek fulfillment.
For only those who are not full are able to be used
which brings the feeling of completeness."
-  Translated by John H. McDonald, 1996, Chapter 15 



"Of old, those who were leaders in good actions examined mysteries with deep penetration; searching deeply, they did not understand; even Masters did not understand; therefore their actions were void of strength.
They were timid, as those who cross a torrent in winter; irresolute, as those who fear their neighbors; grave, as strangers before their host; they effaced themselves as ice that melts; they were rough as undressed wood, empty as a valley, confused as troubled water.
Who is able by quietness to make pure the troubled heart?
Who is able by repose to become conscious of Inner Life?
He who safely maintains his consciousness of Life will find it to be inexhaustible.
Therefore he will be able, though not faultless, to renew perfectness."
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 15 



"Profound indeed were the most excellent among the ancients, penetrating, fathomless;
inasmuch as they were fathomless it becomes necessary to employ far fetched symbols when speaking of them.
Irresolute? as if fording a stream in winter.
Timid? as though fearful of their neighbors.
Grave? as if they were guests.
Elusive? like ice about to melt.
Simple? like raw material.
Expansive? like the space between hills.
Turbid? like muddy water.
Who can still the turbid and make it gradually clear;
or quiet the active so that by degrees it shall become productive?
Only he who keeps this Tao, without desiring fullness.
If one is not full it is possible to be antiquated and not newly fashioned."
-  Translated by C. Supurgeon Medhurst, 1905, Chapter 15  



古之善為士者, 微妙玄通, 深不可識.
夫唯不可識.
故強為之容.
豫兮若冬涉川.
猶兮若畏四鄰.
儼兮其若容.
渙兮若冰之將釋.
敦兮其若樸.
曠兮其若谷.
混兮其若濁.
孰能濁以靜之徐清.
孰能安以久動之徐生.
保此道者不欲盈.
夫唯不盈.
故能蔽不新成. 
-  Chinese Characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 15 



ku chih shan wei shih chê, wei miao hsüan t'ung, shên pu k'o shih.
fu wei pu k'o shih.
ku ch'iang wei chih jung.
yü yen jo tung shê ch'uan.
yu hsi jo wei ssu lin.
yen hsi ch'i jo jung.
huan hsi jo ping chih chiang shih.
tun hsi ch'i jo p'u.
k'uang hsi ch'i jo ku.
hun hsi ch'i jo cho.
shu nêng cho yi ching chih hsü ch'ing.
shu nêng an yi chiu tung chih hsü shêng.
pao tz'u tao chê pu yü ying.
fu wei pu ying.
ku nêng pi pu hsin ch'êng.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 15 




"The Tao of those eminent for wisdom in the olden times was subtle, mysterious, recondite, and penetrating.
Its depths were unrecognizable by others.
The non-adepts, being unable to learn it, strove by main force, therefore, to act it out in practice.
They endured the hardships of their search as those who ford streams in the winter.
Cautious were they, as those who dread the ridicule of their neighbors.
Reverent were they, as those who entertain a visitor.
Expansive were they, as ice on the point of melting.
Simple and unpolished were they, as unhewn wood.
Vacant were they, as a ravine.
Undiscerning were they, as turbid water.
Who is able to make turbid water grow gradually clear by reducing it to quiescence?
Who is able to impart unending life to that which is at rest by setting it in perpetual motion?
Those who preserve this Tao desire no fullness; wherefore, having no fullness,
they are able to guard it in their hearts for ever and it never requires to be renewed."
-  Translated by Frederic Henry Balfour, 1884, Chapter 15  




"Los sabios perfectos de la antigüedad
eran tan sutiles, agudos y profundos
que no podían ser conocidos.
Puesto que no podían ser conocidos,
sólo se puede intentar describirlos:
Eran prudentes, como quien cruza un arroyo en invierno;
cautos, como quien teme a sus vecinos por todos lados;
reservados, como un huésped;
inconstantes, como el hielo que se funde;
compactos, como un tronco de madera;
amplios, como un valle;
confusos, como el agua turbia.
¿Quién puede, en la quietud, pasar lentamente de lo
turbio a la claridad?
¿Quién puede, en el movimiento, pasar lentamente
de la calma a la acción?
Quien sigue este Tao
no anhela la abundancia.
Por no estar colmado
puede ser humilde,
eludir lo vulgar
y alcanzar la plenitud."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Tao Te Ching, Capítulo 15



"Those of yore who have succeeded in becoming masters are subtle, spiritual, profound, and penetrating.
On account of their profundity they cannot be understood.
Because they can not be understood, therefore I endeavor to make them intelligible.
How cautious they are!
Like men in winter crossing a river.
How reluctant! Like men fearing in the four quarters their neighbors.
How reserved! They behave like guests.
How elusive! They resemble ice when melting.
How simple! They resemble rough wood.
How empty! They resemble the valley.
How obscure! They resemble troubled waters.
Who by quieting can gradually render muddy waters clear?
Who by stirring can gradually quicken the still?
He who cherishes this Reason is not anxious to be filled.
Since he is not filled, therefore he may grow old;
Without renewal he is complete."
-  Translated by D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 15


"Those good at practicing Dao in antiquity
were subtle and wonderful, mysterious and penetrating.
They are too deep for us to know.
And precisely because they cannot be known,
so I am forced to figure them out.
Cautious, oh,
as if crossing a river in winter!
Hesitant, oh,
as if afraid of the surrounding neighbors!
Dignified, oh,
they were like guests!
Yielding, oh,
they were like ice about to melt!
Simple, oh,
they were like a piece of natural wood!
they were like valleys!
Vast, oh
confused, oh,
they were like turbid water!
When left still, the turbid
slowly turns clear.
When roused, the quiet
gently comes to life
To keep this Dao
is not to desire to be filled.
And precisely because they do not desire to be filled,
they can, therefore, remain hidden
and stay unfinished."
-  Translated by Joseph Hsu, 2008, Chapter 15  



A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters (Verses, Sections) of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes 25 different English language translations or interpolations for that Chapter, 5 Spanish language translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin transliterations (Romanization) of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter, and 2 German and 1 French translation of that Chapter.  Each webpage for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words, phrases, and terms for that Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization.  Each webpage on a Chapter of the Daodejing includes recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, and other resources for that Chapter.  Each webpage includes a Google Translate drop down menu at the top that enables you to read the webpage in over 100 languages.


Chapter 15, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu


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


English Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index


Spanish Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index


Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices


Taoism: A Selected Reading List