Alice Lin

Alice Lin

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Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 1

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第一章

道可道,非常道。
名可名,非常名。

無名天地之始;
有名萬物之母。

故常無欲,以觀其妙;
常有欲,以觀其徼。
此兩者,同出而異名,

同謂之玄。
玄之又玄,
衆妙之門。

Image result for image of Tao te ching

Image is from Wikipedia

 

1. On the Eternal Tao

The Tao that can be told of
Is not the Eternal Tao;
The Names that can be given
Are not Eternal Names.

Non-being(Nothingness) is the origin of Heaven and Earth;
Being(Significance) is the Mother of All Things.

Therefore:
We can perceive the Mystery of Something
Coming out of Nothing, through this Nothingness
If we use Significance, we will be able to understand the Difference
Between All Things and their Inter-Relationships.

These two (Nothingness and Significance)
Are derived from the same Source
And yet, they are of Different Names
So we call it Mystery.

We use these two Extremes
to call the Eternal Tao.
It is the Mystery of Mysteries.
This is how it becomes the Gate of Mystery to All Life.

Lao Tzu did mention Tao in two other chapters – Chapter 62, where he says that “Tao is the mystery of all things,” and in Chapter 67, where he says that “The whole world regards my Tao, but it is so large that it is beyond understanding. People do not view it as ordinary Tao. If you can describe what Tao looks like, gradually it can be boxed in, and it will no longer be a mystery. In other words, it is neither the Eternal Tao nor the Eternal Truth.”

Photos That Will Melt Your Heart

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Life will always be a little disappointing
Destiny is unfair, society is cruel, and love is gone.
I want to strive to make a good life for my family
But I feel powerless from time to time

In the face of various disappointments
Some people have complained, were lost, been confused and become numbed
And even give up on themselves
While some people choose to stay and face it
After realizing the truth of life, still love it

Those who see the light in their hearts and their eyes
Can always have ordinary or difficult days and live the tenderest of all

 

1) Under a bridge in Xi’an, a homeless man creates art

Although he did not have any formal teaching, he uses his brush to paint the beauty from books and his memories

The soul has nowhere to set, so he chooses to wander
Although material is scarce, the spirit is rich,
Enough to let the man overcome his old sadness.

 

2) In the labor market, a drillmaster does calligraphy in his spare time, stroke after stroke, so focused that the noise from men playing cards next to him do not disturb him.

There is a quiet heart, and there are lotuses everywhere

3) A man who often came to the library to read books, and carefully washed his hands many times before sitting at his desk and turning the pages quietly.
His name was Wei Zhao, and after his death, people realized that he had been quietly donating to poor students all his life.

4) A scavenger, a grandfather, is studying seriously on the subway.

How cute to see the way he reads his book

5) Victoria of Brazil, a middle aged mother who raised her children by collecting junk, was admitted to Brazil’s most prestigious institution after self-teaching using the books that she found in
garbage dumps.

 

6) At the door, a young mother lights a candle and sings a happy birthday song to her child

 

7) A house suddenly caught fire, but the parents escaped with their children. They watched their burning house, and it was too late to save the house when the fire engines came. The father told the family: “The house can be rebuilt, what is most important is that you are safe. We can not change, we should just face it.” So the family took a happy group photo in front of the burning house.


When we have each other, then we have a home.

 

8) A dog disabled in a car accident faced euthanization if no one adopted her.

Until she met Mike, a man who went through the same misfortunes as her, so she and Mike became close friends.

Life is not perfect, but no difficulty can bring us down.

Think positive, and do not fear sadness.
 

 

9) On the street corner at late night, a little boy squatted at a wooden table, doing his homework diligently by the light from the restaurant nearby. Five years ago, his house was destroyed by a fire and his father passed away. His mother begged for a living, but he still loved to study, despite the hardships of life.


Life is hard, but please have faith.
 

 

10) A boy who was learning to play the flute had no audience, but a little black cat appeared to be in love with it.


“Ah…actually, I do not understand, but I wanted to accompany you.”

 

11) One summer afternoon, a father who had not come home for a long time had a serious afternoon tea and dance with her.

Every day, every meal deserves to be taken seriously and gently

 

12) After the war, a teenager was quietly reading in the doorway of a bombed bookstore. There was chaos around him, but his heart was still.

In an age when most people are rushing down the road, be a person who occasionally looks up at the stars.

……

 

Maugham said in “The Moon and Sixpence” that I had tried my best to live an ordinary life, which was probably the fate of the majority.
However, in this lifetime, some people have been looking down to the ground for sixpence, while some people have looked up to see the moon in the sky.
As to the bored life, some people choose to accept fate, but the heart of those who don’t paint a flower in a dull life, and draws poems from suffering.
What is more important than life is attitude and life style. The person who loves life, regardless of the fate of his cards, always tries to play fairly.
There is no such thing as a rich life, but you can try to put down the book and take a long afternoon nap.
Otherwise you may not have time to park your car and leave a footprint in the path of the waves of the maple trees, nor you can make time for playing chess to enjoy the temporary break.
When you start to live your life seriously, you will find that meals and your vegetable are really good, and you won’t be complaining anymore. You will only be in awe of life.
Whatever the world does to you, may you be as brave and hopeful as ever.

 

Note: The original Chinese text was from QQ_shijuezhi. It is rather long, so I took the liberty to pick major sections to translate into English here. May you find time to enjoy this article.

When Confucius met Lao Tzu

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UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization )has previously done a statistical analysis of cultural masterpieces, discovering that the works that most entered foreign language publishing circulation were “the Bible,” followed by Lao Tzu’s “Tao Te Ching.” The reason why there is such a shocking amount of translation, printing, and reading of Lao Tzu’s work is that it contains the human spirit of the world’s constant speculation and alertness.

There are two literary giants in the history of Chinese literature – Confucius and Lao Tzu. When I was in school, we learned the writings of Confucius, but I never really had the chance to learn the philosophy of Lao Tzu until later in life.

Image result for image of Lao Tzu and Confucius

The image is from ModernAgeSpirituality

Confucius’s writings are more about moral code and conduct: of benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and faith. He writes on restraint and of conforming oneself. The Tao, the Way of Lao Tzu, is the teaching that the purpose of man’s journey on earth is to go back to the origin. He instead writes of introspection and of finding oneself.

Lao Tzu and Confucius did meet each other a few times in China when they lived about 2,500 years ago. According to “Shiji,” or “The Records of the Grand Historian,” one such instance was when Confucius went to Luo Yang, the capital city, to meet Lao Tzu to enquire about rituals and proper etiquette.

When he came back from his meeting, he didn’t speak for three days. His students grew concerned and asked their teacher what had happened. Confucius said: “I know how a bird can fly. I know how a fish can swim. But I do not know how Lao Tzu could rise and fly like a sublime dragon riding on clouds in the sky.”

“Birds can fly but will fall at the hunter’s arrow. Fish can swim but will be caught by the fisherman. Beasts can run but will drop into people’s nets and traps. There is only one thing that is out of man’s reach. That is the legendary dragon. A dragon can fly into the sky, ride on clouds, dive into the ocean. A dragon is so powerful, yet so intangible to us. Lao Tzu is a dragon, and I will never understand him.”

This is all the more reason for me to post Lao Tzu’s teachings, which I will do about once a week every Wednesday. May we all gain enlightenment from his words.

Respect All Living Creatures

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One summer, the ants crawled into my counter of the dressing room from outside to get away from heat. Looking at them, I suddenly realized that they are biological beings just like us.  I could not just kill them because to do so is equivalent to murder. So I decided to communicate with them, I begged them to go home or return where they came from. Surprisingly, I could not find any trace of them when I came back several hours later. Same things happened in several occasions.

There was an unusual occurrence that I remember quite well. It was in the early morning; I saw hundreds of ants appearing on the floor of my bathroom. I was shocked to see so many of them, and they darken the floor. Again, I begged them to go home. Honestly, they would be killed or wiped out if my family members were to see them. I made sure I closed my door tightly when I went out.

I came home after a few hours. I was shocked to see the spotless floor, so clean as if someone came to mop the floor. I worried that someone might have come in to clean my room, and killed all the ants. Hurriedly, I went to ask her daughter. She assured me that no one dared to touch “mother’s ants.”  I finally realized that we can communicate with the ants. I also believe that we can correspond with many other creatures.

It was cold a few days ago; I first saw the ants appearing in my bathroom. This was the first time that I saw ants came to my new home. I did the same thing as before. I told them to go home, and they disappeared. It happened three times.

It reminded me what had transpired in the past with ants, when I read the following article. Indeed, all living beings should be respected. I am most touched by South African who would stop and wait patiently until little creatures safely travel across the road.

Why did the tiny caterpillar cross the road? To form an incredible 17ft long convoy

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1308342/Why-did-tiny-caterpillar-cross-road-To-form-incredible-17ft-long-convoy.html

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:00 PM on 2nd September 2010

This is the moment a group of tiny caterpillars formed an incredible 17ft long convoy to cross a road.

Some 136 caterpillars made the single line and wriggled top-to-toe across the road, linked by a thin silk thread which set their path.

And their safety-in-numbers approach had the desired effect as the slow-moving convoy was easily seen by motorists, who were held up for 20 minutes as it made its way across.


Bumper to bumper: This slow moving convoy of migrating caterpillars was spotted in the Kruger National Park by Jamie Rooney, from High Wycombe, Bucks

This incredible convoy is the ultimate commuter train – a trail of tiny caterpillars heading off into the bush. An amazing 136 caterpillars wriggled top-to-toe across a road on their migratory route in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Hold up: Traffic stopped while the slow-moving
caterpillar convoy crossed the road

The spectacle was captured on camera by British tourist Jamie Rooney, who was visiting the famous Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Jamie, from High Wycombe, Bucks, was in a Jeep full of tourists when their driver slammed the brakes just inches from the crawling caterpillars.

Jamie, 38, who works in website sales, said: “It was an incredible sight.

‘We were out driving in Kruger National Park for a safari, when all of a sudden the driver shouted out and slammed on his brakes.’

‘He managed to stop just in time in front of this amazing trail of caterpillars, which was stretching across the road.’

‘Conservation is a massive deal in South Africa and the idea is that if there is any living creature in the road you have to wait patiently until it is safely across.’

‘We got out to get a closer look and counted 136 caterpillars in convoy, all moving together across the track.’

‘They were following a very, very thin silk thread on the ground and it took them about 20 minutes to get across the road safely.’

‘Our guide had never seen it before, but he’d heard about it and explained they were migrating into the bush where they would disperse.’

‘It’s like the mass migration of bigger animals like wildebeest, but on a different scale and pace.’

‘When they arrive in the bush, they turn into chrysalis and then butterflies.’

‘It’s a rare sight. It was an absolute joy to watch and a great experience to be able to get down close and see it first hand.’

The Fox and the Tiger

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One day, a tiger was walking around the forest. Suddenly, he saw a fox and caught it. He thought, “I will have an enjoyable lunch today.”

However, the cunning fox knew that he would be doomed if he didn’t lie. He told the tiger, “I am one sent by the king of heaven. If you eat me, the king will not forgive you, as I went sent by him to be the king of the forest.”

The tiger replied, “Prove that you’re the king of the animals.”

The fox said, “Just follow me, and see how the other animals treat me.”

The tiger followed the fox deep into the forest, and on the way, they saw rabbits, goats, deer, and bears. When they saw the tiger, they were afraid and ran for their lives. After they had walked around, the fox proudly told the tiger, “You see? All the animals in the forest fear me.” What the tiger didn’t realize was that they were actually afraid of him. But he believed the fox’s lie and the fox escaped his fate of being eaten.

The fox not only escaped the fate of being eaten but also got to strut around the forest as if he was feared as much as the tiger.

Image result for image of Tiger Image result for image of fox

Image from Design Concepts For Life                           Image from Water Valley Ranch

This story is from Chinese saying, “狐假虎威.” It is used to refer to those who bully or frighten others by relying on other people’s power. We should recognize their tactics.

 

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