Seleccionar página

Asking abou the Dao

viajar-beijing

Now is the time to ask him something about Taoism, I decided, and I poured out my questions. He looked up at me with his innocent, childish eyes, his smile gentle but, I thought, slightly ironical.

‘Take time, observe and learn,’ he said simply. ‘Words spoken in haste will not stick; a cup of water splashed into a parched field will do it no good. It is only a slow and gentle rain that will saturate the soil and produce life.’ He became silent ready to resume his work.

 His rebuke abashed me. I saw what he meant. He probably thought I was an idle tourist, or worse, a young writer, who wanted to learn something about Taoism in an hour or so, and then write a smart article, boasting of the mysteries revealed to him. Seeing my obvious confusion, the old man relented. His face was all smiles now, but his eyes became thoughtful.

  ‘If you want to learn about the Eternal Tao, do not be casual and in a hurry. Don’t glean too much from too many books, for each book is full of opinions, prejudices and corruptions.

Read only one book and only one—our Old Master’s Taoteking, and then try to understand it, not by juggling the words and meanings, but intuitively, through your heart and spirit. Don’t ask too many questions, but patiently watch what we Taoists do, and perceive the hidden motives of our actions, and not that which is only for display.

Do not be guided so much by your intellect as by faith, love and your heart, which is another name for understanding and compassion. What you need is wisdom, and not knowledge; for if one has wisdom, knowledge will come naturally. Always remember that the Eternal Tao is Infinite Wisdom, Infinite Love and Infinite Simplicity.’ And with this the old man took up his pickaxe and resumed his hoeing of the bush.

From: Peter Goullart. The monastery of Jade Mountain. 1961

More posts on Chinese culture

Legends of the Mother Goddess: Intro
Legends of the Mother Goddess: Intro

From Leyendas de la Diosa Madre. Pedro Ceinos Arcones. Miraguano, 2007. Anyone who approaches the literature of the minorities of Southern China will discover numerous works where the leading role is played by a female goddess or deity. Whether dedicated to the...

Buddha as a true man: a different tale
Buddha as a true man: a different tale

In the fourth chapter of India in the Chinese Imagination: Myth, Religion, and Thought (edited by John Kieschnick and Meir Shahar, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014),  Nobuyoshi Yamabe contributes an article (Indian Myth Transformed in a Chinese Apocryphal Text:...

Yu garden in Shanghai: Archetype of Chinese garden
Yu garden in Shanghai: Archetype of Chinese garden

Pedro Ceinos Arcones. Yu garden in Shanghai: Archetype of Chinese garden. Dancing Dragons Books.  2019. (Excerpts from the book) The Yu Garden is Shanghai's main monument and the one that best summarizes the city's history over the past few centuries. A private garden...

The dog in China’s ancient tombs
The dog in China’s ancient tombs

Pedro Ceinos Arcones. La Magia del perro en China y el mundo.  Dancing Dragons Books.  2019. (Excerpts from the book) The dog in China’s ancient tombs In China, dogs buried with their owners have been discovered in archaeological sites belonging to the most important...

Some philosophical schools in Buddha’s times
Some philosophical schools in Buddha’s times

Peter Harvey. Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. Cambridge University Press. 2013. (Excerpts from the book. Page 11 and ff.) In its origin, Buddhism was a Samana-movement. Samanas were wandering ‘renunciant’ thinkers who were somewhat akin to the early Greek...

The origin of Chinese characters
The origin of Chinese characters

The origin of Chinese characters in John C. Didier, “In and Outside the Square,” Sino-Platonic Papers, 192, vol. 1 (September, 2009) The technology of writing appears suddenly and morphologically fully developed on Shang oracle bones and, later, bronzes at about the...

More posts on China ethnic groups

To marry a goddess in Yunnan (Jinuo nationality)
To marry a goddess in Yunnan (Jinuo nationality)

Pedro Ceinos-Arcones. China's last but one matriarchy: The Jino of Yunnan. 2018 Jinuos’ main religious specialists are bailabao, mopei and zhalai or Blacksmith. The oldest man of the main clan in the village is called zhuoba or mother of the village; the oldest of the...

Childbirth in Naxi culture
Childbirth in Naxi culture

The rituals performed at birth suggest that in the Naxi traditional thought the entering of the Sv life god in a person is a gradual process developed during the last term of pregnancy and the first days of life, and that this process is considered complete in a first...

The wonderful culture of the Jinuo
The wonderful culture of the Jinuo

Hidden in the tropical mountains of China’s southern border lives one of its most interesting minorities: The Jino nationality. With a population of only 21,000 people they are one of the less known ethnic groups in China, who in the past were often confused with the...

Introducing the Dong nationality
Introducing the Dong nationality

The Dong are one of the minorities of China with a large population. According to the census of the year 2000 their population was 3,000,000 people. They live mainly in Guizhou Province (approximately 1,800,000 people), along a fringe of flat lands that cross the...

The Dai of Dehong Prefecture
The Dai of Dehong Prefecture

Santasombat, Yos. Lak Chang: A Reconstruction of Tai Identity in Daikong. Canberra, AUS: Pandanus Books, 2001. p 1. (Introduction) The Tai ethnic group, in its different branches, is beyond any doubt one of the most widespread of any ethnic group in the Southeast...

The sacred forests of the Dai
The sacred forests of the Dai

The sacred forests of the Dai: Protecting the ancestors - protecting nature. Among the indigenous peoples that inhabit the south of China, there are a good number that have near their villages a small grove that they consider sacred. Usually they believe that this...