Tao Te Ching

All posts tagged Tao Te Ching

Do You Know Your Yin from Your Yang?

Published 28/02/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

My Dear Friends,

Living in China and having a long personal history of martial arts, Chinese history, culture and my own spiritual practice embedded in China for the past fifty years, has; over the years made me very interested in Daoism/Taoism, Lao Tzu/ Lao Zi, the Dao De Jing/Tao Te Ching, I Ching..there are so many ways they are represented globally 🙂 The difference between Daojia 道家 , Taoist Philosophy and Daojiao 道教, Daoist Religion brings even more confusion to the western world let alone understanding the I Ching (The Book of Change), the oracle of fortune, a guide to success and a dispensary of wisdom. The ancestor of all Chinese philosophy, it is the primary source for the pragmatic mysticism of the Tao Te Ching, the rational humanism of Confucius, and the analytic strategy of Sun Tzu’s Art of War and of course the wonderful Yin 酓 Yang 昜 in traditional Chinese and Yin阴Yang 阳 in modern simplified Chinese.

Yin_Yang_art

Yin is the black side with the white dot in it, and yang is the white side with the black dot in it. The relationship between yin and yang is often described in terms of sunlight playing over a mountain and a valley. Yin (literally the ‘shady place’ or ‘north slope’) is the dark area occluded by the mountain’s bulk, while yang (literally the ‘sunny place’ or ‘south slope’) is the brightly lit portion. As the sun moves across the sky, yin and yang gradually trade places with each other, revealing what was obscured and obscuring what was revealed.

Yin is characterised as slow, soft, yielding, diffuse, cold, wet, and passive; and is associated with water, earth, the moon, femininity , and nighttime.

Yang, by contrast, is fast, hard, solid, focused, hot, dry, and aggressive; and is associated with fire, sky, the sun, masculinity and daytime.

Yin and yang applies to the human body. In traditional Chinese medicine good health is directly related to the balance between yin and yang qualities within oneself. If yin and yang become unbalanced, one of the qualities is considered deficient or has vacuity.

Anyways, I could go on forever trying to explain Yin Yang, The Dao/Tao so I thought I would share with you this very short cartoon animated Ted Talk video explaining Yin Yang, I hope you enjoy it and that it will inspire you to learn more about Daoism 🙂

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

Seeing The Humour In Our Predicament

Published 28/09/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

images-3 images-1 images-2 imgres-1 How-Laughter-Improves-Your-Memory imgres images

 

“If it were not laughed at, it would not be sufficient to be Tao.” – Lao Tzu,Tao Te Ching

Did you ever have a bad day? Everything seems to go wrong and you are completely lost in anger, frustration and self-pity. It gets worse and worse, until the final moment when, say, you have just missed the last bus. There is some critical point where it gets so bad the absurdity of it all overwhelms you and you can do nothing but laugh. At that moment you uplevel your predicament, you see the cosmic joke in your own suffering.

Meditation, because of the space it allows around events, gives you the chance to see the humor of your predicament. Awareness of the passing show of one’s own life allows a lightness to enter it where only a moment before there was heaviness.

Humor puts things in perspective. There are many levels of humor – there is a humor of survival, a humor of sex and gratification, a humor connected with power. Beyond all these there is a humor that is filled with compassion. It is reflected in the tiny upturn in the mouth of the Buddha, for he sees the humor in the universal predicament: all beings are lost in illusion, yet he knows that they will awaken from that illusion for they are, at heart, already enlightened. He knows that what seems so hard to them is from another perspective their own path to liberation.

Often the perspectives about yourself and the universe that you arrive at through meditation make you want to giggle or laugh. This giggle is without malice. It’s a cosmic giggle, one that I identify with my guru, Maharaj-ji. For his giggle was not of this world. It was not a social or personality giggle, but rather a cosmic chuckle, the delight in the fun of it all. His giggle was from the plane that gives us the term “lila,” the divine dance of life.

– Ram Dass

 

A DAY WITHOUT LAUGHTER IS A WASTED DAY!

Namaste with Love My Friends

Always

Mark

Wisdom of time gone by from Lao Tzu that Still Echoes Today. The Circle of Life

Published 25/09/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

Be-content-quote-16-9

Lao Tzu was a philosopher and poet of ancient China. He is best known as the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching and the founder of philosophical Taoism, but he is also revered as a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions. Although a legendary figure, he is usually dated to around the 6th century BC and reckoned a contemporary of Confucius, but some historians contend that he actually lived during the Warring States period of the 5th or 4th century BC. A central figure in Chinese culture, Lao Tzu is claimed by both the emperors of the Tang dynasty and modern common folk of the Li family as a founder of their lineage. Throughout history, Lao Tzu’s work has been embraced by various anti-authoritarian movements.

Lao Tsu taught that all straining, all striving are not only vain but counterproductive. One should endeavor to do nothing (wu-wei). But what does this mean? It means not to literally do nothing, but to discern and follow the natural forces — to follow and shape the flow of events and not to pit oneself against the natural order of things. First and foremost to be spontaneous in ones actions.

In this sense the Taoist doctrine of wu-wei can be understood as a way of mastering circumstances by understanding their nature or principal, and then shaping ones actions in accordance with these. This understanding has also infused the approach to movement as it is developed in Tai Chi Chuan.

img03

Understanding this, Taoist philosophy followed a very interesting circle. On the one hand the Taoists, rejected the Confucian attempts to regulate life and society and counseled instead to turn away from it to a solitary contemplation of nature. On the other hand they believed that by doing so one could ultimately harness the powers of the universe. By ‘doing nothing’ one could ‘accomplish everything.’

Lao Tzu writes:

The Tao abides in non-action,
Yet nothing is left undone.
If kings and lords observed this,
The ten thousand things would develop naturally.
If they still desired to act,
They would return to the simplicity of formless substance.
Without form there is no desire.
Without desire there is tranquillity.
In this way all things would be at peace.
In this way Taoist philosophy reached out to council rulers and advise them of how to govern their domains. Thus Taoism, in a peculiar and roundabout way, became a political philosophy. The formulation follows these lines:
The Taoist sage has no ambitions, therefore he can never fail. He who never fails always succeeds. And he who always succeeds is all- powerful.
From a solitary contemplation of nature, far removed from the affairs of men, can emerge a philosophy that has, both in a critical as well a constructive sense — a direct and practical political message. Lao Tzu writes:

Why are people starving?
Because the rulers eat up the money in taxes.
Therefore the people are starving.
Why are the people rebellious?
Because the rulers interfere too much.
Therefore they are rebellious.

Why do people think so little of death?
Because the rulers demand too much of life.
Therefore the people take life lightly.

Having to live on, one knows better than to value life too much.

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

Do You Still Love Yourself, Do You Need a Reminder of How Great You Are?

Published 15/09/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

img_0863

Some days, I’m not so sure!
I wake up and start my day, I amble out of bed
Feeling tired, lethargic and grumpy
More sleep needed maybe, more time to rest, to lie dormant and be; just me!

coffee-espresso-international-space-station

A pick me up coffee to raise my spirits, its heady smell and strong taste slapping me awake like a hand to my face
Or does it help suppress my mind, control my senses and take away my creativity
Breakfast…Oh no, that’s for wimps, no time for that in my busy life
Off to the bathroom for me instead, the slow walk to that place of awakening

images

The mirror lies before me, standing proud and tall the size of my wall, no place to hide
I’m naked for my eyes to see, Ohh a sight for sore eyes and not for the faint at heart
Too much fat hiding my chin, my eyes are red and sleepy, lids wanting to close and sleep once again
Plenty of excess around my middle, my arms my hips, my rear, it appeared overnight, I think!

Is my hair receding even further, is that a spot on my face
I’m no teenager, where have they come from, maybe a memory of day’s gone bye
What’s that hair doing coming from my ears and nose, should it not be on my head
It wasn’t there yesterday, my body it would seem to be out of control

tumblr_mb3fwtOL6l1rtq0bfo1_500

A clean shave is what I need and into the shower I go
The fresh warm water cascading down upon my head
Awakening my body and my soul
Water cleansing, washing away my negativity, bringing life back to my body like rain to a seed

The towel meets my skin, rough and soft all at the same time
The water disappearing into the fabric, leaving my skin soft and dry
A splash of aftershave hits my jaw, awakens my senses to the sweet smell of summer
Stepping into my trousers, and a fresh shirt completes my attire

IMG_4131

Looking into the mirror a new man, a new day, a new opportunity
I love my self again, I’m happy in my skin, I’m proud of what I have achieved
I’m off to start a fresh day, out into our wonderful world, more people to help, more spirits to lift
Opening the door, the sun greets my face it awakens me to mother nature, warm and gentle welcoming me once again

Stepping down my steps I feel my breath, catching the fresh morning air
Feet touching the ground with a steady momentum, taking me on to more challenges in life
I hear the sounds of our world, the noise of the city, millions moving towards their day, but if I listen carefully there is so much more to hear

nomo

The quietness of nature, birds in song, the soft rustling of leaves as the gentle breeze passes through the trees
Mothers walking their children to school, grandparents exercising in the gardens their slow Tai Chi movements, bringing life to their aging bones
Ladies dancing under the trees, awakening their limbs and bringing smiles of joy to their faces

80455134-Thai_Chi

I am indeed grateful for all I have in my life
I have a gift, the gift of sight, the gift of sound, the gift of smell, and the gift of touch
The ability to realize all that is around me, the gift is LIFE itself
So easy to forget in our crazy non stop world, so easy to loose sight of what we have, So easy to fall into the hands of the media and follow their never ending tales of doom and gloom

I do love my life; I do love my world
I’m thankful and grateful for another day to share this gift with you

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

Going With The Flow Of Life

Published 04/08/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

surfs up

In Taoism the Tao ‘Wu Wei’ is often compared to a river. When we talk about going with the flow, we are describing the Tao as having a definitive direction, just like a river flowing in a certain way. Since we live in the Tao, it is important to understand its direction, just as those who swim in a river must understand how its currents work and how this effects their ability to swim, or not.

Moving in flow with the Tao is like swimming downstream. It requires little or no effort at all and you can travel a large distance in a very short time without expending all your energy. Moving against the Tao is like swimming upstream. No matter how hard you try and how hard you swim against the flow of the river, you will struggle to get anywhere and very soon you become exhausted and will possibly drown.

This is why harmony, peace and love are emphasised in the teachings of the Tao. They represent the same flow as the Tao. The more you move with them, the more we experience the effortless grace that they bring to our lives. Life is smooth and easy, and you can go along way in a short time.

To swim with the flow, focus on the positives within your life. Like attracts like, so as soon as you mindfully turn your attention to the goodness of life, you start heading in the same direction. Even the smallest act of appreciation, like a slight movement of a fish to align itself to the powefful current of the river, can be all that you need to turn your life around.

Stop living your life of negativity, go with the flow of life, be thankful for the blessings your life has to offer you and open your heart to a new way of life.

Namaste with Love my Friends
Always
Mark

He Who Speaks

Published 11/06/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

IMG_2930

He who speaks
does not know
He who knows
does not speak

He who understands
does not preach

Temper your judgements and
your words

Smooth out your differences and
forgive disagreements

Dull your cleverness and
simplify your motives

Be open to the world as it
unfolds

Then, friendship and enmity
Profit and loss
Honor and disgrace
Will all be the same:
The world unfolding

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

Quietness

Published 06/06/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

Yongfu Monastery

Quietness.

Rare perfection seems incomplete,
Yet does not decay

Rare abundance seems empty,
Yet does not fail

A rare truth seems contradictory;
Rare cleverness seems stupid;

Rare eloquence seems awkward.

As spring overcomes the cold,
And autumn overcomes the heat,
So do calm and quiet
overcome the world.

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

Contentment

Published 05/06/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

In Prayer

Contentment.

What is dearer, health or reputation?

What has more worth, health or possessions?

What is more troublesome, profit or loss?

Passionate love incurs great expense

Great riches incur great fear
But contentment comes at no cost

He who knows when to stop
Does not continue on into danger
And so may long endure

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

Zen Needs No Translation, Only Understanding

Published 03/06/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

Zen

I love this comment from Alan Watts and quotation by a Japanese Zen Master.

Think about it for a while 🙂

Namaste with Love
‘Always’
Mark

Walking, Just Walking in Peace.

Published 27/05/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

IMG_1951

As I walk, I walk in peace
One step at a time, one step at a time
No priorities, no judgment, no destination
Just walking in peace, walking in peace

My feet touch the ground, I’m home, I’m home
At home, in love and in awe of mother earth
She saves me, provides for me and protects me,
The mother of all, our keeper, our life
One step at a time, one step at a time, she gives life to our world

The rays of the sun caressing my skin, awakens my senses and lighting my way
The wind gently cooling my brow, filling my lungs with compassion and love
Birds sing in the trees, their games of love on wings above, flying so high touching the sky
As I walk in peace, one step at a time making my way through life

I stop, close my eyes and just be
Listening to the world that surrounds me
The bees gently working their magic, passing the love from bud to bud
The flowers in bloom their scent, pure passion and love

My breath is slow, in out, in out, my mind empty of thought, pure calm
Aware of my surroundings a joy to behold, a picture of joy unfolding before me
A wonderful world with so much to offer, plenty for everyone and free for us all
If only we could all walk in peace, walk in peace

One step at a time, one step at a time
Our world is forever changing, one step at a time, one step at a time
On the road to peace, the road to peace
A new world of happiness, of love, peace and joy is unfolding
One step at a time, one step at a time

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

Gratitude, Be Thankful For Your Day

Published 26/05/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

My dear friends,

I posted this video a year or so ago but when I woke up this morning I realised how thankful I am to be me and I have so much in my life to be grateful for. This past weekend has been simply wonderful and I have seen so many happy loving faces, experienced the beauty of nature and had the opportunity to eat lovely food and spend time with beautiful people so I felt it was about time I shared this video with you again in celebration of my re-awakening this morning.

Just a few things i’m continually grateful for.

My lovely wife, her smile, her boundless energy and deep support and love for me
My four wonderful children, their differences and their love for who they are, their friends and their lives
My two wonderful puppies, their endless energy and unconditional love for us
My Life, my health and the gifts I was born with
My work and what that has enabled me to do during my lifetime
My education and how it has helped me throughout my life and how learning keeps me young at heart and of mind
The beautiful sunny day
The birds singing in the gardens below my window
My colleagues for all they do for me, for each other and for our clients
My blog, my blogging friends all around the world, your continued support and friendship amazes me daily
The fresh food I made up for my lunch and the freshly ground coffee
My spiritual awareness and practice and the gifts that allow me to help others who need my support
My weekend and the chance to travel to another province in China
For the smiles I see and the joy that brings to my heart
The thought of peace
My meditations and mindfulness practice
My love for my wife, my children, my family, my friends, my colleagues, humanity and mother earth

I do hope you will take the time to stop for a while and to watch this wonderful video and I hope it will bring as much joy and happiness to you as i has done for me

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

I See

Published 22/05/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

I See

I see your indifference
But I want to warm the cold heart
I see,
In fact, I am yet to accept your indifference

I see your pain
But I want to end the pain
I see,
In fact, I did not accompany your pain

I see your selfishness
But I judge your selfishness
I see,
In fact, it was driven by my selfishness

I see your anger
But try to get rid of your anger
I see,
In fact, I did not let you feel angry

I see your anxiety
But I feel worry about your anxiety
I see,
In fact, I start being anxious
I see your weakness
But I do not know which hand shall I use to give you a hug
I see,
In fact, I am feeling weak now as well

I see your beauty
And I appreciate your beauty
I see,
I am getting beautiful now as well

I see your kindness
And I am delighted with your kindness
I see,
Originally I have such kindness as well

I see you are true
And believing in your truth
I see,
Originally I am also being true

I see you are firm
And see the gentle accompanying
I see,
I am firm and gentle now

I see you are strong
And feeling the flexibility of the strength
I see,
I start having such power now
I see your humbleness
And feeling the self-confidence inside
I see,
I start am being humble as well

I see your peacefulness
And feeling the peaceful mercy
I see,
I am walking towards mercies now

I see your open-heart
And hugging your open-heart
I see,
In fact, I am opening my heart as well
I see you giving
Without any condition
I see,
In fact, I am learning how to share myself

I see your purity
Simply just,
Do what you want to do
Love who you want to love
Walk on the road you want to
Cry when you feel pain
Laugh when you feel happy
Rest when you feel tired
Go on when you are fine
I see myself too

If only see it, that’s only seeing
And accepting what we see
But not immediately thinking what shall be changed
Through seeing
I see myself
And I also see
The original purity and completeness of life

seeing the light

我看见你的冷漠
却想去温暖这个冷漠
我看到
其实我还没接纳你的冷漠
我看见你的痛苦
却想去结束这个痛苦
我看到
其实我并没有陪伴你的痛苦

我看见你的自私
却去评判你的自私
我看到
其实真正涌动的是我的自私
我看见你的愤怒
却想躲开你的愤怒
我看到
其实我没有允许你可以愤怒

我看见你的焦虑
却去担心你的焦虑
我看到
其实我已开始陷入焦虑
我看见你的无力
却不知道要伸哪只手来抱你
我看到
其实当下我也无力
我看见你的美丽
并欣赏着你的美丽
我看到
当下我也开始美丽
我看见你的善良
并喜悦着你的善良
我看到
原本我亦善良
我看见你的真实
并相信着你的真实
我看到
原本我也如此真实
我看见你的坚定
并看到相守的温柔
我看到
我正坚定并且温柔
我看见你的坚强
并感受着柔韧的力量
我看到
我正承接到这样的力量
我看见你的谦卑
并感受到内在的自信
我看到
我也开始低头谦卑

我看到你的淡定
并感受到平静的慈悲
我看到
我正在走近慈悲
我看见你的敞开
并拥抱你的敞开
我看到
其实我也正在敞开

我看见你的付出
不带任何条件
我看到
其实我也学会将自己分享

我看见你的纯粹
只是
做自己想做的事
爱自己想爱的人
走自己想走的路
痛了就哭,喜了就笑
累了就歇,好了就走
我也看到了自己

如果对于看见
只是看见
并接纳所有的看见
而不要想要马上去改变
透过看见
我看见了自己
也看到
生命原本的纯粹与全然

Allow your emotions and feelings to enter your life without judgement

Published 19/05/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

The guest house

The ‘Guest House’ A fantastic way to think about our emotions and feelings. Welcome them into your life, don’t judge them for they may be coming to you for a reason!

Mindfulness and meditation practice allows us the valuable time to connect deeply with our inner self, to spend time with ourself and to listen to what is going on with our mind, body and soul. Lets take a quick look at emotions and feelings through the use of meditation and mindfulness and as Rumi says, ‘welcome them into our guesthouse’.

As we sit or lie and start our meditation, we close our eyes and relax our body, concentrate on our breath, in and out, in and out, we can take our time to bring our awareness to our breath, focussing our attention only on our breath, the feeling of our breath as it raises our stomach, inflates our chest or the coolness of the air entering through our nose, the key is to allow the time for our mind to become calm and concentrating on the breath certainly helps us do this, it may take you some time because you may; at the beginning get caught up with thoughts flashing into your mind, you will hear sounds which break your concentration, feel an itch, cough, hear your children playing, the phone ringing etc, but please take my word for it; with practice it gets easier 🙂 So, back to our breath, in and out, in and out, feel the cool air entering your nose, in and out, in and out, feel the air inflating your chest, be aware of the gap/time in -between the top of your in-breath and before the out=breath starts, then feel the air slowly leaving your lungs, moving up through your throat and up and out of your nose, in and out, in and out. If your mind starts to wander, don’t worry, its normal, just recognise the fact that it happened and bring your focus back to the breath, in and out, in and out.

As thoughts enter your mind place a label on them ‘thought’ or thinking’, you can label them more deeply if it help you like such as ‘ work’, ‘children’, chores’ or whatever helps, but try to regain your composure and bring your awareness back to your breath, in and out, in and out.

Emotions and feelings may arise  like ‘Happiness’ or ‘Anxiety’, if they come; then accept them in, concentrate on your breath, in and out, in and out, what is ‘Happiness’ why are you feeling Happy? Concentrate on your breath and get acquainted with the emotion of’ happiness’, where did it come from and what are the feelings behind it, maybe your feeling so happy that you have given yourself some time for yourself, maybe your heart is telling you it loves you. This is your journey of discovery so enjoy the feeling. If ‘Anxiety arrives, then accept it too, why is it there, what made it arrive? Do you feel anxious because your spending valuable time on yourself? does that make you anxious? Are you anxious of not knowing the outcome? Are you anxious of time and wanting the session to end? Get acquainted with the emotion and allow it to come and to go.

Concentrate on your breath, in and out, in and out.

 

find-your-way-home-rumi

 

Also from Rumi as posted by Dr Victoria Lee

The purpose of emotion
A certain sufi tore his robe in grief,

and the tearing brought such relief….

his teacher understood the purity

of the action while others

just saw the jagged appearance.

If you want peace and purity

tear away the coverings.

This is the purpose of emoton, to let

a streaming beauty flow through you.

Call it spirit, elixir, or the original

agreement between yourself and God.

Opening into that gives peace, a song of

being empty,

pure silence.

In this poem, dear Rumi guides us once again toward deepening our spiritual experience. Stripping away the covering imposed by the false self is always the path. This means letting go of our attachment to the ideas we have about ourselves, as well as to the ideas others have about us. The most fundamental of these may be our limiting beliefs–I am incapable, the world is too harsh, I am too old, too young, too attached to obligations, too unable to feel anything transcendent, too ____; when we allow all that to dissolve, Rumi famously tells us that we will find glints of treasure in the dirt of the demolition of the house we’ve built out of false ideas about who we are. Then the streaming beauty emotion is meant to allow us can flow through us.

Then we may look in the mirror–and in every human and animal face–and know that:

Inside you are sweet beyond telling. There is a sun in everyone!

May you look in the mirror today, dear visitor, and look deeply into any human face; look into the eyes of a child. See the longing and see the beauty!

 

Mindfulness and meditation my dear friends can bring you so much awareness and help you come to terms with your emotions, feelings and pain.

Good luck on your personal journey of discovery.

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

The Devoted Buddhist, a Story of Deception

Published 16/05/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

IMG_2278

The Devoted Buddhist
最虔诚的信徒

One upon a time in ancient China, there were two thieves, Jia and Yi, who found themselves down on their luck. Both had been starving for days when they came across a Buddhist temple. The smell of cooked food wafted from its general direction and made them even hungrier.

Yi was the first to speak “Let’s go ask for some food.”
Jia replied. “What if they are not willing to share? We may need to resort to force.”
Yi shook his head. “That is not a good idea. These monks come from the Shaolin lineage.
They are quite capable of defending themselves. You and I would have no chance against them.”

Jia thought for a moment and said, “I have an idea. We’ll tell them we are devout Buddhists.”

Yi was doubtful. “But we are not religious at all.”
“You can say that about yourself if you want. I am going to be the most devoted Buddhist they have ever seen. “ Jia said as he knocked on the door.

“Yes?” A monk opened the door.
“May merciful Buddha bless you!” Jia exclaimed. “ I bring you humble greetings from the Shaolin temple, where I am an enthusiastic patron serving the monks, who of course belong to the same honorable lineage as yourself. O Great Master.”

“How about you, sir?” The monk turned to Yi. “Are you also of our faith?”
“Uh…No, I am not very religious.”
“Very well. Please come in, gentlemen. “ The monk pointed to the hallway and said to Yi: “Sir, the kitchen is in that direction. You will find that it is well stocked. Please help yourself to whatever food you want.”

The Monk then took Jia’s hand with a friendly smile: “Sir, you can follow me to the inner chamber. Since you are of our order, you must already know today is a fasting day. We are glad to see you come such a long way to join us in meditation.
“This way please.”

The Tao

This is the ultimate Tao story about deception. With a few quick strokes, it sketches the human tendency to deceive, and the consequences that follow.
Lau Tzu addresses the same subject in the Tao Te Ching chapter 65 with the following lines:-

Therefore, using cleverness to govern the state
Is being a thief of the state
Not using cleverness to govern the state
Is being a blessing of the state

We can understand the above when we recall that Lao Tzu habitually uses this king of metaphor for one’s self, and the country as a metaphor for life. Thus, governing the state simply means life management. Cleverness, in this context, refers to the ploys we use to deceive. Just like Jia in the story, we think of ourselves as being quite clever when we conjure up our various tricks.

Lao Tzu’s message is clear: In practicing deception against others, we are actually stealing from ourselves. We may think we have gained a benefit, but it is an illusion that will soon be revealed as a loss. This describes Jia’s fate in the story. He hoped to win and advantage, but ended up depriving himself of a much-needed meal when his trick backfired on him.

At a deeper level, this story addresses not just the immediate effect of deception, but also it’s eventual consequence. Jia’s ploy backfired right away, but real life may not work out this way. Sometimes it takes a while for the true consequence to unfold. We may think, for a short time, that we have gotten away with it, but the sages teach us that there is no escape from Karma. We will have to answer for our actions sooner or later.

images

I do hope you have enjoyed this Buddhist story and the metaphors used by Lao Tzu to explain the process and the consequence?

Namaste with Love my friends
Always

Mark

My Heart is Filled With joy Today, My Future is Clear and My Pathway Open, Thank You!

Published 26/03/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

happysomebody

My Heart is filled with joy today, my future is clear and my spiritual pathway is once again open, and that its due to you my friends, to our Sangha, our support network, it is due to you that I am feeling how I do today, sunshine is in my heart, sunshine is in my smile and as soon as I go out i’m sure sunshine will be in my step as I walk the streets of Shanghai:)

Yesterday was a dark day, I was down and I reached out to you and you came, you extended your kindness, your love, your blessings and you words of comfort, each word brought a tear to my eyes and as I read them the tears flowed freely, each tear took away my pain, it flushed the darkness from my heart and brought the sunshine back to my smile…So thank you my friends, together we can heal our world, we can make a difference to the lives of others, we are gaining strength as a Sangha.

I’m off to a CSR event today, to speak with like minded souls, to connect to people and organisations in need of help and to find ways to do good once more, to give back for the love, the happiness and the success I have achieved during my lifetime.

My Blessings, my love and my thoughts are with you all today, enjoy them with a smile 🙂
Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

Just Breathe and Love Your Life

Published 08/03/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

Just Breathe

Just Breathe

Enjoy Your Life

Be Thankful For What You Have In Your Life

Allow the Air to Purify Your Soul

Cleanse Your Mind Of Negative Thoughts

Just Breathe

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

Another Dawn, Another Day and Shanghai Wakes

Published 02/03/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

b70601ee-bb60-4aee-ba3e-3a427f01bb1d-620x413

The sun’s broken free from it shroud in the clouds
It’s rays of golden light cascading down on me through my window
The warmth gently caressing my skin and it’s godly goodness energizing my soul
Giving me strength, compassion and hope for yet another day

The pollution is lifting so I can breathe; my lungs filling with air like an air balloon rising
My heart pumping ever stronger with a beat, beat, beat
Fueling my body, every organ, every muscle, every cell invigorated with gods blessings
Waking me up and bringing me to my senses

My eyes are opening like a flower to a Bee, looking, really looking to see what surrounds me,
Buildings rising like a Phoenix from the ashes, mountains of dust filling the air, with a clanging and thumping of metal on metal
Cranes lifting higher and higher, rising up to the heavens making way for ivory towers of ‘Face’ in the sky
Whilst bulldozers are clearing away the memories of China past and history from another day

People passing, chasing their dreams, some walking some running, car after car like ants in a line
Heads down, no eye contact, texting away, talking aloud and shouting ’Wei’
No time for smiles the rush hour is on
Horns blaring, there’s no time to wait, bicycles jostling like horses at the starters gate

Progress bringing wealth and gadgets galore, Pizza Hut, KFC, McDonald’s and a Walmart store
Houses and cars, the wedding, One baby and more
Progress is here to stay, trapping us in for one more day
I sigh, I frown and I’m sad to say; progress is here but its wiped all the smiles away

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

looking down Shanghai

3aaf553c-c923-41bb-be0d-fca3911fe171-620x421

The Phoenix

Published 25/02/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

The Phoenix.

A truly wonderful introduction to the legend and meanings behind the Phoenix written by one of my blogging friends Jeannine over at http://angelvoicehealing.wordpress.com .

I also note from the post that Jeannine is to marry her sweetheart soon after 29 years 🙂

May they be blessed with pure light energy and a happy, loving and compassionate life together.

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

If I could and sit and chat for one hour with anyone; living or dead, who would I choose?

Published 18/02/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

bench

I have thought long and hard about this question because there are so many people both living and dead that inspire me from Plato and Socrates to Jesus, The Buddha and Lord Shiva to Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Winston Churchill, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Enzo Ferrari, Oprah, Amma, Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Paulo Coelho, Pema Chödrön….etc, the list could go on and on…then I came up with my choice

My Father

If I could bring him down from heaven and sit on that bench and chat with him again for one full hour, wow! That would be amazing 🙂 My list of questions would be endless, all the things I wish I had asked him but never did, how is the life now, what is he doing, what is he experiencing, advice for me on my journey etc

And You?

Who would you choose and why?

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

Happy Chinese New Year, The Year of The Horse

Published 29/01/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

chinese-new-year-2014-cards

My Dear Friends,
Tomorrow is Chinese New Years eve so I will be going off line and travelling with my wife to the mountains of central north China where we will spend the Chinese New Year holiday with her family on their farm. This time is spent honouring family members, passed ancestors and the younger generation where we come together as one and enjoy the festivities, so I would like to take this opportunity in wishing you all

A Very Happy Chinese New Year
Gong Xi Fa Chai 恭喜发财
Xin Nian Kuai Le 新年快乐
2014 The Year of the Horse

So if you were born in :- 1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, and 2002 then you were born in the Year of the Horse.

images-1

xinnian_kuaile_2013_by_erraticpion387-d5ptv2w

images-2

the-lunar-new-year39s-eve4
Horse people are active and energetic. They got plenty of sex-appeal and know how to dress. Horses love to be in the crowd, maybe that is why they can usually be seen in such occasions like concerts, theaters, meetings, sporting occasions, and of course, parties.
The horse is very quick-witted and is right in there with you before you have had the chance to finish what you are saying: he’s on to the thought in your mind even before you’ve expressed it.
In general, the Horse is gifted. But in truth they are really more cunning than intelligent – and they know that. That is probably why, most of the horse people lack confidence.
Chinese believe that because horses are born to race or travel, all Horse people invariably leave home young. The Horse despises being pressured to act for the good of the group or made to feel guilty. No matter how integrated they seem to be, a Horse’s inner self remains powerfully rebellious. Although they have boundless energy and ambition, Horses have a hard time belonging. The Horse is hot-blooded, hot-headed and impatient. Horse people are a bit of an egoist, well, selfish sometimes, that it is rare for them to interest themselves in any problems except their own. And though this egoist works only for themselves and for their own success, their work nevertheless benefits everybody.
The Horse is a worker, adepts at handling money and a good financier. But unfortunately, they are also famous for suddenly losing interest on something. In their relationship with the opposite sex, the Horse is weak. They will give up everything for love.
Being born a Horse, there are many contradictions in their character. Horses are proud yet sweet-natured, arrogant yet oddly modest in their approach to love, envious but tolerant, conceited yet humble. They want to belong, yet they are burdened by their need for independence. They need love and crave intimacy yet often feel cornered, pressured. But the truth is, the Horse is an individual, who depends only on their own wits and labour to get what they want

Chinese New Year is an important traditional Chinese holiday celebrated on the first day of the year of the Chinese calendar. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Year’s Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festiva; on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calandar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the “Lunar New Year”.
The source of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Traditionally, the festival was a time to honor deities as well as ancestors. Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mauritious, Philippines, Macau, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and also in Chinatowns elsewhere. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the lunar new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors.
Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese new year vary widely. Often, the evening preceding Chinese New Year’s Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red color paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of ‘Good Fortune’ or ‘Happiness’ ‘wealth’, and ‘longevity.’ Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes (Hong Bao) .
Although the Chinese calendar traditionally does not use continuously numbered years, outside China its years are often numbered from the reign of the 3rd millennium BC Yellow Emperor. But at least three different years numbered 1 are now used by various scholars, making the year beginning in 2013 AD the “Chinese Year” 4711, 4710, or 4650.

images-3

images

Namaste with Love
Always

Mark

%d bloggers like this: