Thursday, November 25, 2021

Saturday, November 20, 2021

A Reason for Gratitude

      In honor of the coming American holiday, Thanksgiving, I thought I'd offer some quotes on gratitude.

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.  (Epictetus)

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.  (Eckhart Tolle) 

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.  (Oprah Winfrey)

Saturday, November 13, 2021

A Book to Ponder, Part 2

     Last week we were discussing Deng Ming-Dao's XXX, which is a book of short examples from three Chinese traditions -- Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism.  I wanted to share a particularly lovely translation of a chapter of the Tao Te Ching that Mr. Deng translated: 

Among the ten thousand things, 

Tao is the most profound.  

It is the treasure of good people, 

and the protector of bad people.  

Beautiful words are sold at the market.  

Noble deeds can be presented as a gift.  

Even bad people are not abandoned.  

A king is enthroned as the son of heaven 

and appoints is three ministers.  

The nobles may present their jade disks 

and parade their teams of horses, 

but it's not as good as presenting Tao.  

Why did the ancients prize Tao so much?  

Was it not because:  

if could be had by any who sought it, 

and that the guilty could find forgiveness in it?  

That is why it is the treasure of the world. 

     Something to ponder, no? 

Saturday, November 6, 2021

A Book to Ponder

      We now call to order the chapter meeting of the Deng Ming-Dao Admiration Society.  Our point of discussion for today's meeting is his book, The Way of Heart and Beauty: The Tao of Daily Life.   It is a book well worth reading and savoring.

     Like many of his other books, Mr. Deng offers small chapters, usually a page or two in length.  In this case, he takes writings from three Chinese traditions -- Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism.  Most of the chapters tell a short story, some almost fables, some offering a brief discussion of some philosophical point, some poetry.  They are all interesting, both to compare the three traditions viewpoints as well as to find pearls of wisdom for one's own life.

     That said, I rather wish that the author had offered some hints for interpretation of the more esoteric chapters.  Perhaps something like what Stephen Mitchell did for his translation of the Tao Te Ching.  Or perhaps my heart is not ready to open the nuggets of those chapters yet.  In any case, I am sure you will find your own nuggets to treasure in this worthwhile book.  Recommended.