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.”)

 

No Different from Each Other

“Whether alike or different,
we still belong to a certain group,
and then we are really no different from each other.”
(Chuang Tzu)

Jane Goodall's quote
Jane Goodall

Carl Sagan.jpg
via More Trees Less Assholes

Thich Nhat Hahn’s “Please Call Me by My True Name” comes to mind with terrorists’ attacks in Belgium and Pakistan, the refugee children in Europe and the four-year-old girl decapitated by a random killer near a Taipei MRT.

“I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands,
and I am the man who has to pay his ‘debt of blood’ to, my people,
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.”
“I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks,
and I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda”.

Starving Children

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.

 

Reflect on Conflicts with Water Cycle

Lie down on a stretch of grass and gaze at the sky. (If not possible just lie down on the floor or bed and imagine. See the floating clouds.

Blue Sky Reflection

 

Imagine a few small rain drops falling from the cloud to a stream and flows to the valley, merging with rivers to the vast infinite ocean.Everything is one in the universe.

water cycle

“All Things and I are One.” Chuang Tzu.

Hold a small ice cube in your hand. It melts and then watch it evaporates . Solid,liquid and gas are different forms of water. Conflicts may be different views on the same thing in the universe.

Ice Cube

Drink a glass of water.Imagine the water passing through the membrane of each cell, moisturizing it. Water becomes part of our body. It is “me”. We are 60-80% water. And then it is eliminated from our body as urine, dirty and smelly.

Clean and Dirty, right and wrong, good and evil, likes and dislikes are One.

“All things evolve in one.” Chuang Tzu.

 

 

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

Pictograms

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.