Chapter of the Week: #67

I'd try some basic yoga before meditation. It seems more practical for kids to move around and be active than to sit still and do "nothing." You might want to consistently reiterate to relax and be aware of your breath during the poses. Maybe tell them to close their eyes and just become aware of their breath and body. After all, this seems to be the "gateway," at least in my experience, and it doesn't need much explaining.

Get some of that mediation fluff music on iTunes and play it for them. Kids minds are malleable and the soft music will likely go a long way.


  • edited June 2008
    Each week we address one chapter of the Tao Te Ching. The Tao Te Ching can be obscure, especially if you think you're supposed to understand what it's saying! We find it easier and more instructive to simply contemplate how the chapter resonates with your personal experience. Becoming more aware at this fundamental level simplifies life. This approach conforms to the view that true knowing lies within ourselves. Thus, when a passage in the scripture resonates, you've found your inner truth. The same applies for when it evokes a question; questions are the grist for self realization.

    Chapter 67
    The whole world says that my way is vast and resembles nothing. It is because
    it is vast that it resembles nothing. If it resembled anything, it would, long
    before now, have become small.

    I have three treasures which I hold and cherish.
    The first is known as compassion,
    The second is known as frugality,
    The third is known as not daring to take the lead in the empire;
    Being compassionate one could afford to be courageous,
    Being frugal one could afford to extend one's territory,
    Not daring to take the lead in the empire one could afford to be lord over the vessels.

    Now, to forsake compassion for courage, to forsake frugality for expansion, to
    forsake the rear for the lead, is sure to end in death.

    Through compassion, one will triumph in attack and be impregnable in defense.
    What heaven succors it protects with the gift of compassion.

    Read commentary previously posted for this chapter.
    Read notes on translations
    Now, do it too at Wengu!
  • edited December 1969
    [Note: I italicize phrases I borrow from the chapter, and link to phrases I borrow from other chapters to help tie chapters together. While making it more tedious to read, :? the Tao Te Ching is best pondered in the context of the whole.]

    If it resembled anything, it would, long before now, have become small is why I even resist calling it ‘the Tao’ (as folks often do). What is ‘it’? I can’t quite put my finger on ‘it’ until I give ‘it’ a name. Clearly, [chref=32]only when ‘it’ is cut are there names[/chref]. Oops. Did I just [chref=1]named[/chref] it ‘it’? This feels surreal.

    Now, compassion, frugality, not daring to take the lead are more my speed. These qualities of character are treasured across the board. They have a profoundly practical impact upon one’s personal life. They are virtues which all religions tout and you would think they could stand alone without the backing of ‘Tao’, ‘Christ’, ‘Allah’, ‘Buddha’ or what not. Must everything be linked to some ultimate ‘[chref=4]God[/chref]’, ‘Tao’ or other omnipotent authority? Certainly! We are tribal species; our hierarchical instinct drives us to appoint ourselves a ‘boss’ to lead the way. Of course, in shining that light of recognition on a ‘boss’, some of the light reflects back upon us. Life is a house of mirrors, is it not?

    The translated, nearly literal:
    All below heaven say my way is great resembling nothing.
    Only great man, for this reason, resembles nothing.
    If it resembled anything, long ago such trifling as well as man.
    I have three treasures of which I hold and protect:
    The first I call kindness,
    The second I call thrift,
    The third I call not daring to act before all below heaven acts.
    Being kind, I can be brave,
    Being thrifty, I can spread out,
    Not daring to act before all below heaven acts, I can succeed steadily.
    Abandoning kindness for daring,
    Abandoning thrift for spreading out,
    Abandoning the rear for the front ,
    Because of kindness, one can normally succeed in the fight,
    Because of kindness, keeping watch becomes the rule.
    Because of kindness, heaven helps and protects.

    The literal, nearly translated:
    heaven below all say (call; name; meaning; sense) I (we, self) way big similar (like; seem; appear) not resemble.
    man only (alone) big hence similar (like; seem; appear) not resemble.
    like (seem; as if, if) resemble, long time, its (such) thin (fine, delicate, careful, trifling) also (too; as well) man.
    I (we, self) have three treasure (precious; treasured) hold (support; maintain) and protect (defend; keep; maintain; guarantee) of:
    one say (call; name; meaning; sense) kind (loving, mother),
    two say (call; name; meaning; sense) thrifty (frugal),
    three say (call; name; meaning; sense) no bold (dare, courageous, venture) do (act; be) heaven under first (earlier, before, in advance).
    kind (loving, mother), hence ability (skill; able; can; be able to) brave (valiant),
    thrifty (frugal), hence ability (skill; able; can; be able to) wide (vast; extensive; numerous; spread),
    no bold (dare, courageous) do (act; be) heaven under first (earlier, before),
    hence ability (skill; able; can; be able to) accomplish (succeed; become; turn into; achievement; result) implement (capacity) long (steadily)
    present (now) abandon kind (loving, mother) just brave (valiant),
    abandon thrifty (frugal) just wide (vast; extensive; numerous; spread),
    abandon back (rear; later) just first (earlier, before, in advance),
    die (extremely; implacable; fixed; rigid) 'final particle'.
    man kind (loving, mother) use (take; because of) war (warfare; fight) norm (rule) success (superb, can bear),
    use (take; because of) guard (keep watch; observe) norm (rule) resolutely (originally; as a matter of course).
    heaven support (take; handle, by) rescue (save; help) of use (take; because of) kind (loving, mother) protect of.
  • edited December 1969
    you really studied the tao te ching? wow... where did you learn it? i am very impressive
  • edited December 1969
    [cite] TingYin:[/cite]you really studied the tao te ching? wow... where did you learn it? i am very impressive
    Now, I’m impressed that you are impressed. This reminds me of folks who visit my garden. Only those who are viscerally aware of gardening notice what I do in the garden – ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Of course, the same applies to all aspects of life. I guess it is an 'on the same wavelength' kind of thing. By the way, does TingYin = 听因 = 'listen follow'? I always get a kick out of knowing the character meaning.

    Also, you and centertao member ‘riverwolf’ are neighbors - of sorts. Say hi.

    You’re question, “where did you learn it” is an interesting one. I actually don’t think it is possible to ‘learn’ it. Rather, I feel we grow into it as we age; the one great advantage of aging!
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