Carefree in Minimalist’s Life

“The tailor bird builds her nest in deep woods,
she uses no more than one branch.”
Chuang Tzu

Bird

“The mole drinks off the river,
it can only fill one belly.”
Chuang Tzu

mole.jpg

Live with less,
then you can live with loss.

Autumn.jpg Wang Shu
Carefree
Take a light walk leisurely in autumn,
looking for what?
Wild winds blow in its own nature
with many wonder words.
Keep your heart carefree
to discover true meaning.
Love beyond material things,
then you’ll know the minimalist’s life.

Lone Boat.jpgWang Shu

Lone Boat
Everyone engages
in social life with passion.
Why not aspire
to seize gallantly
a lone boat,
reflect in leisure,
the deep green waters.

treesWang Shu

Red vs Green
If the red hot dusty world
can be less than the greenery,
that is happiness and harmony
for the universe.
But people all love
the red hot habit reaction,
they have become more and more
fanatic in rallying,
shouting “Communist Red”
and “Nationalist Red”.
Why not have fresh breeze
gently blows
and everywhere is luxuriant growth
dyed in vivid green.

Twilight.jpg Wang Shu
Worldly Status

Luck, whether chill or fervor,
rests in Heaven’s hands.
Wealth is transient and
not worth suffering for.
It does not matter who is poor
and despised in worldly status,
all end in a cup of dust.

Wang Shu
(national artist of Austria, also taught Chinese philosophy in Germany)
Wang Shu is a dear friend who inspired me to embark on the long journey to study Taoist philosophy of Lao Tzu and then Chuang Tzu. Hope his art and poetry will facilitate your appreciation for Chuang Tzu’s teachings.His poems are all in Chinese, some in German.

(To facilitate understanding of the western readers, I have taken liberty to excerpt from the poem“Slimming” and changed the title to “Lone Boat” as well as using “Communist Red”instead of “Orient Red” (a song of Mao’s Red China) and “National Red” instead of “Red all around the ground” (The highly  controversial national flag of Republic of China as the National Party is crumbling to pieces with pro-Taiwan- independence in power.”)

 

Monkey Parable and Metaphor

angry monkeys

Dual Path

Those who tax their intellect to strive for the one way they understand as Tao and don’t know different ways are all the same.They are like the monkeys who got angry when the trainer wanted to give them three acorns in the morning and four in the evening. The trainer then switched to four acorns in the morning and three in the evening. The monkeys were then happy.

funny-monkey

 

Nothing is lost in real terms, but the monkeys were consumed by joy or anger.This is “adapt and respond to what is”. The sage harmonizes conflicts and rest in the balanced Law of Nature; this is called the dual path.” Chuang Tzu.

What is the Standard?

“Man sleeping in dampness will suffer from backache or their lower limbs become paralyzed. Would eels be the same? Man climbing up tall trees would be frightened and trembling, would the monkeys feel the same? Of those three, which ones know how to live well?” Chuang Tzu.

 

Animal Metaphors

Thai Monk feeding teger by Paul Brown Rex Features

Feeding the Tiger

Don’t you know the one who rears the tiger? He never dares to feed it live animals that would stir up its anger to kill. He does not dare to feed it with whole carcasses that would stir up anger while it tears up the flesh. He times its appetite well and understands its rage. Tiger and man differs, but both cherish those who feed and care for them. The key is to go with their nature. They kill only when something goes against their nature.

(from Chapter 4, “Human World”, Book of Chuang Tzu)

Respect and Go Along with innate nature

We all know it is stupid to pick a fight with a tiger or a bear, but we do that all the time with difficult and violent people at work, at home or in social contexts. Temperaments of difficult people may not be too different from tigers or bears