If nothing is done, then all will be well.

panorama-1993645_1280.jpg

“Not exalting the gifted prevents quarrelling.

Not collecting treasures prevents stealing.

Not seeing desirable things prevents confusion of the heart.

 

The wise therefore rule by emptying the hearts and stuffing bellies,

By weakening ambitions and strengthening bones.

If people lack knowledge and desire,

Then it is best not to interfere.

If nothing is done, then all will be well.

– Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English.”

 


 

Bible, with my smallest knowledge, teaches not to worship false god. It also teaches not to be driven by the matters.

And Bible teaches to give yourself to God, the Creator, and to not go ‘creating’ things yourself.

If any other form of spiritual teaching explains these in their own ways, please share. I would like to learn. All these different teachings are communicating something essential  – in language and stories that might just reach the heart of its people. And I hope that by learning different perspectives, my own understandings might just deepen.

This verse brings me to think about our tendency to “want to help.” How often in history did things go wrong because a person or a group pf people made it their mission to “help others” by interfering with another’s way of life? How often did things go wrong because somebody thought of ‘improving’ the way of others, solely depending on their own perspectives and values?

This may draw arguments from many do-gooders out there. But I would still insist that it is worth getting in touch with the true cause of why we are ‘helping.’

 

Front and back follow each other

wolf-62898_640

“Under heaven all can see beauty as beauty only because there is ugliness.

All can know good as good only because there is evil.

 

Therefore having and not having arise together;

Difficult and easy complement each other;

Long and short contrast each other;

High and low rest upon each other;

Voice and sound harmonise each other;

Front and back follow each other.

 

Therefore the wise go about doing nothing, teaching no-talking.

The ten thousand things rise and fall without cease,

Creating, yet not possessing,

Working, yet not taking credit.

Work is done, then forgotten.

Therefore it lasts forever.

– Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English.”

 


 

In martial art, the true master will not likely challenge another in their own pursuit of “mastery”. Black belt karate master, in Japan, is legally bound never to engage in any level of contest outside their studio; they are not viable even to push away a drunk on the street whom decided to violate their personal space. One would, in that vulnerability, learn something other than a mere physical strength. A master once told me that you would then learn to uphold such presence that even the most violent would be defused before them. That, he said, was his discipline.

People who has faced their death, no matter how, often appreciate their lives more than ever. Some say that we are afraid of death without having to really lived. Some of us have been there and we are no longer afraid. Fear is a reasonable things to experience. However, we breathe through the fear and overcome such, that we are no longer afraid of fear itself; and so, you can finally live without the feeling of being chased by something you cannot necessarily predict…..just maybe.

 

 

These two spring from the same source-

wave-1913559_640.jpg

“The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.

The name that can be named is not the eternal name.

The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.

The named is the mother of ten thousand things.

Ever desire less, one can see the mystery.

Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations.

These two spring from the same source but differ in name;

This appears as darkness.

Darkness within darkness.

The gate to all mystery.

–  Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English.”


I am particularly drawn to these two lines this time.

“Ever desire less, one can see the mystery.

Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations.”

May be, just may be, this is where we are going wrong with the ideas of ‘spirituality’ out there. May be, we are going wrong because we are seeking manifestation, instead of the mystery of life. Because, think about it… what can a little mind of human do before the mystery of the Universe? Since whatever the ‘great deed’ we achieved were born of the matters anyhow, no matter how grand we declare to be, we would have not even truly left our own backyard yet.

We can be stoked that we can create things.

Or we can open our eyes and see the creations.

And if we are lucky, we could perhaps see us being a part of the creation. I wonder what role the Universe has in mind for me? Could I be willing and courageous to play a role, even if the given role did not appear “ideal” to my eyes?

Could I just be…?

Reblog: Green Sea Turtle Refuge~

There is a folk story about a sea turtle in Japan.
A fisherman, Taro, one day saved a Sea Turtle from a group of naughty children and released it back to the sea.
Some time after, a turtle appeared before Taro, thanked him for saving its life, and wished to invite him to visit an underwater paradise. Turtle took Taro on its back, and it turns into a beautiful woman as they arrived at the paradise. Taro spent some time at the paradise, which was all about pleasure and luxury, however he eventually asked the woman if she would take him back to the shore; that he needed to go home. She gave Taro a box of gift, and made Taro promise never to open the box.

Upon return, Taro realises that he had been gone for hundreds of years and he no longer knew a person in his old fishing village. He desperately looked for any familiarity, and finally, could not resist opening the box . When he opened to look inside the box, all it came out was smoke. And the smoke turned Taro into a very old man.

It feels as though the story is filled with messages. What is it about the paradise, the home, the gift, the good deed, you, the reward, and life?

I remember having to answer a question – what should Taro have done? I do not know if there is one correct answer to this question.  But it certainly gives a lot to think about.

dsc06005
San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge has a residential group of approximately 60 protected Eastern Pacific Green Sea Turtles. No one knows how they got here, but it is assumed they were caught many decades ago in Mexico, brought to the bay alive, and escaped from fishing pens, prior to being slaughtered. They settled successfully in the bay due to waters that are artificially warmed by nearby industry.

dsc06001-1
This is the only area on the west coast of the US where green sea turtles are known to congregate and thrive.
dsc06040
These turtles are an endangered species due to habitat destruction, illegal poaching, inadvertent fish netting, boat strikes, and plastic ingestion.
dsc06043
San Diego Bay Wildlife Refuge is one of the few safe sanctuaries for these peaceful and VERY large turtles. The largest turtle ever measured here weighed 530 lbs, which is the largest known green turtle in the Eastern Pacific.
dsc06039
There…

View original post 122 more words

What is success? -Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is Success?

To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by
a healthy child, a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed
easier because you have lived;

This is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Can you commit a crime and walk away un-noticed?

bird-386725_1280

“Can you kill a person and walk away without ever being held accountable?”

My grandfather asked me out of the blue. I was about 8 or 9 years old, and killing was not on my card by any chance – I was somebody who had to be taught it was ok cut cut a piece of paper with the scissors, that it would not have ‘hurt the paper’ if I cut it.  I remember my grandmother almost burst with disapproval, however quietly, but only held herself together with the strong faith in her husband and the intension behind his words.

We were sitting over a pot of green tea. Hot water was poured into the pot, and we were waiting for it to steep. “What do you think?” he asked me. And he went on laying the tea cups on the table before us.

I had to think.

If I killed a person: starting right there, it required a great amount of imagination. If I did, the police man would come and catch me. But what if nobody saw it? Is it possible to commit such an act without ever being seen? What about preparation? What would I need to do to hide everything after the act? Could it be possible to do all of those steps without ever being seen? – remember,  Japan is a collectivist nation with an extremely high context culture. If you planned something deviant, you would not likely pull it off without somebody sensing the change in your mood, life style and routine, and the mannerism that would have come with it. But all that granted, if you did managed to commit the act, never mind how, you would have to clean up the trace behind the act. One might flee overseas, because I was already aware that Japan was not the only country in the world, but police man would have chased you as long as you left a trace behind. So is it possible to commit a crime without leaving a trace?

“I don’t think you can do that. Somebody would have seen it, and if you killed that person too, it means more people would have seen you commit the second act.” I answered.

My grandmother was now gasping for breath beside me, but she still managed to hold her words in. And my grandfather asked me. “And if nobody saw you doing any of that, who saw it?”

Was that a trick question? I knew the green tea was almost ready to serve.

And I realised that there was one person who would have seen the whole event, even nobody saw me commit a crime. “Me.” I said.

“Well done,” said my grandfather. “Well, that was a lesson,” my grandmother said, who finally regained her breath. And with that, grandfather poured the tea, and we never spoke about that again.

Murder was a large theme, but any crime would be the same in essence. Whatever the decision you make, you will live with it for the rest of your life. I learned something important that day, drinking a cup of green tea with my grandparents. Had he used a petty crime as a subject, would I have understood the lesson as well~ that I would never know. But I am glad that he taught me this lesson early in my life. Life lived hiding away from the world would be too hard for me to bear.