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.



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.



I only know contentment

May I offer you a contentment coin and a scoop of refreshing water from the contentment well. More on “I only know contentment”

I pictogram

The Character “Five” and “Mouth” constitute “I”, it is also the first character in a number of two-character surnames and is pronounced as “Wu”, a common Chinese surname, the same pronunciation as the ancient word for “I”.

The pictogram originally was five horizontal strokes and then evolved into a cross between two horizontal strokes.

So “I” have five mouths: a mouth to eat, talk, sing, yell or console.How do you want to use your mouth? What do you want your “I” to be?

Only Pictogram
The character of “Only” is made up of “Mouth” and “Bird”. The “Bird” pictogram is literally the drawing of a short tail bird.

The bird only has one mouth, it eats very little.

Know Pictogram
“KNOW when to stop. That’s superb”. Chuang Tzu.

The character of “Man” on top of the character of “Big” constitute the character of “Arrow”. The character of “know” or “wits” is made up of “arrow” and “mouth”. Man who considers himself as big uses his mouth like an arrow. In other words, the person with a big ego talks sharply to hurt others.

The pictograms of “man” is a drawing of a body with a long arm and leg while “big” is a man with arms stretched out so he looks big. The drawing of a pointed end on a device for shooting an arrow is the “arrow” pictogram. The drawing of the mouth is obvious as the “mouth” pictogram.

In Buddhsim, mindfulness of body, speech and mind are very important in the practice.Zen practitioners have very few words, they eat and talk very little. Wits and knowing are key teachings of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu.

Remember not to use the mouth to talk like an arrow to hurt anyone.
Enough Pictogram

The character of “Enough” or “Foot” is made of “Mouth” and “Stop” or “Still”.
Interestingly the “Stop” or “Still” pictogram is a drawing of three toes representing the five toes.

The toes are still when our feet are still or stop. When we have enough food or material things, we stop our mouths whether it is eating or complaining.

Now all together.

i-only-know-enoughThe empty square in the middle represent the mouth. The pictogram on top is five and make up the character of “I” with the mouth below it. The “Bird” pictogram on the right make up the character of “Only” with the mouth on its left. The “Arrow” pictogram on the left make up the character of “Know” with the mouth on its right. At the bottom is the “Still” or “Stop” and make the character of “Enough” or “Foot” with the mouth on top.

Viola! “I only know enough.” May you be content!

ONE with environment Meditation (Lying Down )

(Do the lying down meditation outdoor if possible.
Otherwise, lie down in bed or on the floor and imagine the outdoor.)

Lie down on the ground,
Mother Earth below;
stare at the sky,
Father Heaven above.
Imagine your body as
the horizontal stroke of “One”.

Above and below

Breathe in from the toes up
and hold at the head,
breathe out from the head
down to the toes.
Breathe normally.
Watching mindfully.

Your belly supple like a baby,
rising and falling.
Contain any anger, grudge, hatred
or negative emotions at heart
in a bubble.
Let your heart fast.
Void of emotions.

Say out loud or in silence,
“May I have compassion
to embrace anger
with all my heart,
may I have mercy
to absorb all injustice
with an open heart,
dissolve all grudges
and negative emotions
with a loving heart.”

Bubble Reflection

Let the bubble rise above the body
into the vast empty sky.
Watch the floating clouds
come and go like your thoughts
or what appears and disappears
in the mirror.
Fast your mind.
Void of thoughts.

Stare at the sky until
your eyes are cleansed by tears.
See your true nature as
the clear sky in the morning.

Free Your Life

ZEN TAO in Water

“Man does not reflect in flowing water but reflects in Still Water.” Chuang Tzu.

Water Reflection of crane.gif Still Water and Crane

More Photos  ” Superb good is like water” Lao Tzu.

Water is very important in Taoist teachings and a key element in pictograms of many Zen keywords. Zen and Tao are about going with the flow, fluid to any circumstances without fixed views or attachment, living with few or less, reducing the self or ego to very small or nothingness.

Pictogram of water, few and small

The pictogram of “water” is depicted by a stream drawn with a line in the middle and wavy strokes to represent the ripples.The pictogram of “few” is the water pictogram reduced to four wavy strokes to depict a few raindrops while “small” is depicted by three wavy strokes or drawing of three rain drops.


One Origin: Universe & Man

“Heaven, Earth and I came into existence together. All Things and I are One.” Chuang Tzu.

The pictogram of “Man” is a drawing of a small head and body with long limbs. “Big” is a man with stretched limbs and “Heaven” is the horizontal stroke of “One” above a big man while “Origin” is depicted by another horizontal stroke over the horizontal stroke above man with bent limbs.

Man with a big ego,don’t forget Heaven above us. The universe of Heaven, Earth and Man all came from one Origin.

One Origin


Paradox Babbles

Forget about Debates

Even if I debate with you, if you won over me and I did not win; are you really right and I am really wrong? If I won and you did not, am I really right and you are really wrong? Or either one of us is right, or one of us is wrong? Are we both right or both wrong? You and I cannot understand each other; everyone can be disillusioned with the dark.

Who can we ask to make sure it is right? If we ask someone who agrees with you, he already agrees with you, how can he make the right judgment? If we ask someone who agrees with me, he already agrees with me, how can he make the right judgment? If we ask someone who has different opinions from both of us, he is different from both of us already, how can he make the right judgment. If we ask someone who has similar opinion to both of us, if he is similar to both of us already, how can he make the right judgment? If nobody can understand each other, who are we waiting for?

(from Chapter 2 “All Things Equal”, The Book of Chuang Tzu)

Free Easy Mind Cover Image 1560x2500


Transform Things 1

The pictogram of “Things” is made up of the radical of “Bull” and the drawing of the wing representing the bird. They have opposite perspectives looking up from the earth and down from the sky.Things have different perspectives but we all live in one universe.

Similar to “Things”, the pictogram “Transform” or “Evolve” is made up of two men looking in opposite directions:one stands up on his feet, the other on his head.

Conflicts come from people
with different perspectives;
if we turn our view upside down
we can see the other perspective
and transform our way of thinking,
evolving differences in one.