Archive for October, 2018

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 61

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大國者下流,天下之交,天下之牝。
牝常以靜勝牡,以靜為下。
故大國以下小國,則取小國;小國以下大國,則取大國。
故或下以取,或下而取。
大國不過欲兼畜人,小國不過欲入事人。
夫兩者各得其所欲,大者宜為下。
The big country is like the downstream of the river
It is the converging point of the world
The female of the universe.

The female always overcomes the male with quietude
Lying low in stillness.

Thus if the big country is humble to the small country
Then it can conquer the small country
If the small country is humble to the big country
Then it can be accepted by the big country
Thus one uses the lower position to take
The other uses the lower position to be accepted

The big country wants to gather and protect people
The small country wants to be sheltered
So that both obtain what they wish
The big country should place itself low

The big country should be like the downstream of the river so that whole world will meet here. She is in the position of the females. Softness and quietness of female overcome the strength of the males. Therefore big country shows the humbleness and respects to the small country and it will win over the submission of the small country. Whereas the small country humbles and respects the big country, and it will gain the trust from the big country in return.

A big country does this is for the sake of receiving all and shelter them. A small country does so is for mutual respect and non-aggression. Therefore, reaching the mutual respect through humbleness, both big or small countries achieve the best strategy. The key is that a big country should be humble and respect the small country in good faith.

Doing by Doing Nothing

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On Friday night, I watched my favorite program, the Voice: China. They usually have four very notable singers as judges. These judges each pick 5 or 6 students out of all of the contestants that enter. It was very competitive, and sometimes all the judges would like a single singer and try to get them to join their team. After many auditions, each judge was happy with who they selected. They would train their contestants, and then each judge’s team would compete with the others.

The image is from Cfensi – WordPress.com.

The other night, when I watched it, instead of competing, the contestants did duets with one judge and then were critiqued by the other judges. I happened to watch this group belonging to Jay Chou, with two female students. The song the first one sang was called Peace. I thought she sang well, but when the second one sang, I felt more at peace, even though her song was more lively and lighthearted. Afterwards, the judges picked the singer they liked the most.

The thing that got to me was that a judge mentioned that the girl who sang Peace had tried so hard to express her feeling that she did not sing with peace as well, so the listener could not feel it either.
At first, I thought his criticism was tough, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that this is what I was trying to reach when I start to read Lao Tzu. As you can see, the second singer won the competition, and the judges voted for her overwhelmingly because her singing was full of joy and calmness, and sounded more natural and helped the listener feel the same. You didn’t feel that she tried at all, that she was just being herself and made the song her own. It simply flowed naturally.

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 60

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治大國若烹小鮮。
以道蒞天下,其鬼不神;非其鬼不神,其神不傷人;
非其神不傷人,聖人亦不傷人。
夫兩不相傷,故德交歸焉。

Rule a big country as you would fry small fish.
Who rules the world in accord with Tao
Shall find that the spirits lose their power.
It is not that the spirits lose their power,
But that they cease to do people harm.
It is not (only) that they cease to do people harm,
The Sage (himself) also does not harm the people.
When both do not do each other harm,
The original character is restored.
(Translation by Lin Yutang )

Ruling the country is like cooking a small fish.
Approach the universe with Tao,
And evil is not powerful.
Its power will not be used to harm others.
Not only will it not harm others,
But the sage himself will also be protected.
They do not hurt each other,
And the Virtue in each one refreshes both.
(Translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)

 

The image is from Food channels recipes.

Governing a country is like cooking a small fish. If you keep turning the little fish, again and again, it will fall apart. Similarly, if a ruler continually disturbs and interfere in the affairs of the people with excessive rules and regulations, the country becomes chaotic, and everyone suffers.

In the presence of Tao, peace, and harmony prevail in the society. If demons lose power and the rulers (sages) refrain from meddling people’s lives, then they all can coexist peacefully. In a world with profoundly rooted virtue, they do not harm each other, they forgive each other, and synchronize with each other.

This is the doctrine of Tao, which is what Zhuangzi said Heaven and Earth coexist with him and he and all things are united as one. (莊子「齊物論」「天地與我並生,萬物與我為一」)

I Want You To Live

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This entry was originally posted on November 19, 2011. I do not know why it was no longer in my blog. Luckily I also published it on my Chinese blog, so I can copy and repost here to share with you the story of my life and what makes me who I am today.

Many years have passed; thousands of days gone by.
I told myself that I needed to write you a letter even though I had no place to send it.
But I could not bring myself to write.
Today, I will finally do it because it has been on my mind for too long.
Dear God, please help me.

I love you, Ming.
It seems unreal that you left us so long ago.
I still remember that you tried so hard to tell me something.
Nothing came out of your mouth, and you had no strength to write it on my palm.
I did not understand what you wanted to say to me at that time.
It wasn’t until a year later that I finally realized that what you wanted to tell me was:
“I love you.”

How I wish that I could have told you, “I love you, too.”
Oh, God! I love you wholeheartedly even until now.
I am so sorry that I did not tell you before your passing.
I was busy dealing with the hospital,
So that they would not give up on your treatment.

I remember vividly the day the director of the ICU came to see me.
Heartlessly, he announced that the hospital would stop your blood transfusions the next day.
As much as I tried to plead, beg and reason with him, he still would not budge an inch.
He said that you were going to die anyway,
That he did not want to waste anymore of the blood supply.
Yet he refused blood donations from our church members.

At that point, I knew I was dealing with a person who had no feelings.
To make matters worse, the hospital made one mistake after another.
A year before you were hospitalized, we had gone in for a check up.
But it wasn’t until a year later – after you were hospitalized – that we received the report that your blood was abnormal.
A report delayed due to the hospital’s negligence.
And when you were hospitalized, the doctor closed his eyes to the non-stop bleeding from you surgical wound.
And they made many more mistakes…
I could not hold in my anger any longer, so I told him:
“Doctors are not God. They are responsible for treating patients.”
He had no right to terminate a patient’s life.
If he stopped your blood transfusion,
You would die as a result.
I told him that I would consider him a murderer.

Following my forceful statements, he finally decided to give me three days before taking any action.
Our church offered a three-day fast; it seemed he dare not do anything during that period.
Thank God for giving me these precious 72 hours so I could fight this giant (hospital).

In and out of your room, I was too busy to call people to get help.
Sister Huang came to help and stay by your side.
I did not want to tell you the truth for fear it would upset you.
I wanted to do everything I could to get you a blood transfusion.
I swore to myself that I would not let them block the treatment you needed as long as I was still alive.
I just wanted to keep you alive with all my strength.
It was an uphill battle, but I wanted to fight until my last breath.

I remember that once, when you almost could not endure the pain anymore, you said
I was so cruel for not letting you go.
Oh, God! How could I live without you in this world?
I loved you so much that I wanted to keep you alive.

The ICU director felt my determination.
He sensed that this family would not give up without a fight.
He wanted to figure out whether we were able to go up against him.
He sent a doctor to watch me the next morning.
Facing him was this poor lady who had no energy left.
No strength. Only a desire for her husband to live.
Three hours later, this doctor left in embarrassment.
He told me that he believed I would get my wish.

God sent many angels to help us.
Did you know that, Ming?
Several white doves appeared at your hospital window during that time.
A friend helped to contact several Chinese newspapers about our story.
Our daughter sent out news releases to local newspapers.
Telephone calls inquiring about this story poured in to the hospital from all over.

Ming, I do not know whether you knew it or not.
The hospital could not handle the pressure from the media.
On the third day, the hospital gave in and sent me a formal letter to acknowledge
That they would continue to give you blood transfusions.
Dragging my tired body to your room, but retaining hope, I went back to your side.
It seemed that the fire of life was rekindled.
My long absent smile found its way back … again.
Just as I thought there was hope…
You slipped away quietly several hours later.

I could not understand what had happened.
Should I blame heaven or someone?
Why did God let me fight this battle if you could not live?
This took away my last precious time to be with you.
Oh, God! I could not understand why it ended like this.

All these years I was puzzled and confused.
I also could not let go of my regrets.
I wanted to write to ask for your forgiveness.
I was not able to be with you until the end.
I did not have the courage to write to you until now.
Now I am enlightened. Now I comprehend.
It is not that I wanted you to live on…
You wanted me to live on…

Going through this fierce battle with the hospital,
I regained my spirit to fight… my spirit of life.
You wanted me to live and not give up.
You wanted me to love again.
You wanted to see me smile again and again.
You wanted me to live.

Ming, I love you!
Today, I finally realize your love for me is extremely deep.
I want to return my love to you.
I will live happily.
Today I received my first trophy for winning my dance competition.
It was then I was enlightened.
I will be the champion of life.
Do not worry, for your love has prepared me to walk on
This champion way of life!

 

 

 

This entry was posted by Alice Lin on November 19, 2011, at 7:50 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.

 

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 59

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治人事天莫若嗇。
夫唯嗇,是謂早服;早服謂之重積德;重積德則無不克;無不克則莫知其極;莫知其極,可以有國;有國之母,可以長久;是謂深根固柢,長生久視之道。
In caring for others and serving heaven,
There is nothing like using restraint (harvesting).

Restraint (Harvesting) begins by giving up one’s ideas.
This depends on Virtue gathered in the past.
If there is a good store of Virtue, then nothing is impossible.
If nothing is impossible, then there are no limits.
If a man knows no limits, then he is fit to be a ruler.
The mother principle of ruling holds good for a long time.
This is called having deep roots and a firm foundation,
The Tao of long life and eternal vision.
(Translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English.)

The image is from Harvesting Rice, Agri-Crop | Deped K to 12.

The best way to manage people and serve heaven is to follow the laws of nature just as farmers do when they harvest grain. Harvesting grains is a simple way to follow Tao.

The average scholar interprets it as “being frugal, restrained, perseverant, and stingy.” But if we check the origin of the word 「嗇」(the last word of the first sentence of the Chinese text-治人事天莫若嗇), it has the meaning of harvesting of grain by the farmer. In my opinion, harvesting grain is the best way to reflect the law of natural growth. it is the core idea of Laozi’s Taoism and the essence of “Taoism is natural law.”

The general idea is to do things according to the laws of nature and to practice virtue. Then the practice of virtue will be invincible. There is no limit to the way of nature. When the Tao of nature cannot be exhausted, it is the beginning of a nation. When one knows not what the limit shall be, he may be the ruler of a state.

When he has a firm spiritual foundation in the Tao, he will be everlasting.
It is like the plant which roots are deep and which flower stalks are firm so that they will last longer. Similarly, through the principle of harvesting and cultivating virtue, the ruler will make the country he founds to continue for generations.

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