025 Seen and unseen
Some things you see and others you don't
Be on guard against the other side of people
Some things you detect and others you don't
In the end there is no evidence
Not everything is visible, and often the hidden things are the more dangerous ones. Always ask yourself if there might be something more than meets the eye. Hidden agendas, invisible obstacles, forgotten safety measures. You’ll be surprised at the number of ghosts behind appearances.
026 Phase of life
One time of peach and plum blossom
One time of spring
Who knows when the initial atmosphere renews
Retired he seeks a living at the water side
Beholding the mountain with clear understanding and a gratified mind
Most things happen just once. Don’t try to hold on to them or get them back. Live your life the way it happens to you, each of its parts, each in its own right. A time of dawn, a time of sunset, a time of achieving and a time of letting go. Live each phase in your life in its own way, as it should be.
027 A real person
Do not blame me that my views are like scythes
My disposition strange
Stubborn and secluded with a sealed off heart
However a real person and not a demon
Most people don’t like it when someone speaks his mind without any regard for social conventions. It takes those who want more from life than an easy path from birth to death to appreciate harsh truths. They see them as teachers instead of troublemakers. Humanity needs them to stay healthy.
錯 Strange, surprise, very, complain.
痾 disease, resentment, shortcomings.
真人 Real person, Dao.: immortal.
028 Ambition fulfilled
Good luck and horse joined in gallop
The man fulfilled his ambitions at the right time
He started out on the journey early
Returns in glory as a pleased centenarian
When you hear about a self-made man, it is usually someone who started at a young age and was unstoppable. Not one with long years of study, or dependent on family or friends. When your ambitions are that strong, you don’t have the patience to wait. You go ahead and do it yourself.
祿 Luck or offficial salary.
029 The borders of Heaven
Settling the affairs of heart and mind
Three incarnations since long fated by karma
The fragrance of ten miles of Osmanthus opens
Walk into the horizon
Your heart and mind have been built since your birth, and before that by your heredity, your ancestors. To change a settled mind is difficult, but if you manage to, the reward is huge. Suddenly you have talents, wishes, opportunities, and much more you could not anticipate. A wide world in front of you.
三生Three incarnations, past, present and future.
030 Buying Qì
Contribute to the golden pavilion
In the end it becomes a way to help
Inferior to benefitting of spirit now
It is still good to buy some true Qì
Supporting culture or spirituality is good, but being part of it is better. Go to the temple or practice zen or paint or sing, do whatever makes your spirit rich. But if you don’t have the opportunity to participate, then contribute in other ways. It will help others to find an entrance to spirit.
031 A good companion
Take leave for a while
Even if it is not easy
A competent companion
Not one who dawdles
Set out on the journey as early as possible
Avoid to disappoint him
It can be good to enter into a new venture. The old is safe but maybe just that - old. When a friend gives you a new outlook on things, or even offers to help, then grab this opportunity. If your current road is not satisfying, then try your hand in other fields. Now is the time.
When pleasure is extreme grief will arrive
In Gentleness and Joy clearly good luck joins bad luck
The failure to be glorious finishes gloomy
In the reflected rays of the sunset
Life moves like a pendulum. Every swing causes its opposite, very high will call up very low. Nothing comes without a price. See the down times as challenges. If you only value the good things, the sum total might disappoint you, especially when you grow older and make up the balance.
日落西山 The sun goes down behind the Western mountain: sunset.
033 The way of the clouds
After experiencing a few huge billows
Who would expect the waves to calm and the wind to die down?
Understanding the way of the clouds has to be taught
To go forward when the road is open or stop when it is closed requires no work
After enough experiences of storms and high waves, one learns the movements of wind and water, clouds and rain. Then one can fill a high position and give advice to others. Experience and hardship are the best masters of all and the most dependable sources of knowledge and skill.
三五 Three five: a few.
034 Raise your head
The crescent moon waxes to big and round again
The bare branches get more color and freshness
A strip of smooth and level road
Raise your head and gaze into the blue sky
Things are improving again. There are times when everything is moving down, and other times, like now, when they make an upward swing again. The coming time is still open and undefined, don’t make decisions yet but give it the opportunity to show its possibilities.
翹首raise the head (to look), long eagerly.
望 gaze, look, long, full moon.
青天 blue sky; upright magistrate.
035 Just this sandbank
The journey is difficult
The journey is difficult
Today you learned that the journey is difficult
The wide space of the future is not worth considering
Make an effort now to cross this sandbank
You can worry and think and expect and fear… But what if you take just this one step you need to take right now? And then the next, and so on. Before you know it, you can look back and see that you covered a lot of ground. It will be much better than still worrying. The hardest part is starting.
此灘 this shore: here. (compare with verse 39).
036 Spring desires
The spring scenery is bright
The colors of spring all new
Fresh desires at the waterside
Spring is bright and splendid without limits
I love the Qionglin banquet
There are times when everything comes together. The environment is wonderful, you can be proud of achievements, the future looks bright. Enjoy those moments, they give you the energy to go on and start a great future. Remind yourself of them, again and again, they will always inspire you
> 宴瓊林 Qionglin banquet, feast hosted by the Qing emperor for successful candidates of the imperial examination.
This poem is about the Garden of pure brightness on the river
037 Dao and virtue
Ten thousand horses return to the chief
Thousand apes towards the cave
Tigers hide and dragons descend
Dao is great and virtue grand
Our entire universe depends on structure. Without its laws, nothing can come into existence. Every creature obeys them, and for the sanity of our mind, we need to be aware of them. We call the laws Dao, the Way, and following them De, virtue. Dao and De decide if the time and the action are right.
038 The call of the golden Feng bird
Huang Feng is calling in Shanglin
The colors of spring are bright
Raise the whip and make it snap
Immediately start the journey
When the emperor’s messenger, or your mind, or your intuition, tells you something great is going to happen, then hurry to be part of it. The moment might be gone before you realize it. Then you will have to listen to the stories of others and that is all you will get. So start early and full of energy.
This poem is about
Shanglin Park, the emperor's garden.
039 The other shore
On a large scale exert miraculous cures
Help innumerable people competently
In the end you climb the other shore
Crossing over to the immortals
Saints do not become saints because they are intelligent. They are saints because of their compassion. You have to be empty, ‘innocent’, so there is room inside for others but also for your true self. Which means there is room for the entire universe. It is all about innocence and truth.
彼岸 The other shore, Buddh: perfection, completeness.
仙班 'immortal class', scholars with a high literary degree.
040 Dark mysteries
In a clear water region
like bluegreen jade
The boat sails upstream
with the moon right overhead
Steadily and in the center
I cannot understand the mysteries
But who runs counter makes mistakes
The seeds of losing his life
Even without understanding the mysteries below the surface of life, you know the laws which hide there. You know when you go against the rules. Sometimes it is just a tiny hunch. If you can always hear them and act accordingly, you will not make mistakes and your life will be smooth sailing.
041 Everything as it should be
Peaches and plums open up their beauty
Resplendent sights and sounds of spring
A beautiful scene in bright weather
Which the lord should remember
When he aims to fulfill his desires
For everything to be as it should be
There is no need for uncertainty
Which violates the revered spirits
There are many beautiful moments in life. Store them in your mind. When times are difficult, you can draw on the riches in your heart. A mind which is familiar with many good things, can aim for beautiful results. A poor mind will not be able to find the motivation, and will get small results.
良辰美景 A beautiful scene in bright weather; favorable circumstances.
瀆神 violate spirits, disturb your peace of mind.
042 The mysteries of fate
It is hidden in the obvious
It appears in the abstruse
Therein dwell the mysteries of fate
If you comprehend this thoroughly
You go straight up the immortals' stairway
Reality and facts are just a small part of life. There is a huge space which the rational mind can never fathom. It is both inside and outside because it is not ‘somewhere’, it just is. If you can reach into it, you can transcend the boundaries of this life and make it infinitely larger and richer.
043 Hold the reigns
Don't go for the top or for the front
Turn around with understanding
Gather the reins in an easy way
There are 1000 paths and 10.000 roads
With self-esteem search and inquire
If you put a goal in charge of your life, you might end up not having lived that life. Go back to where every little thing mattered, and then start again in an easy way. Look around, there are innumerable crossroads. Find the one which is truly yours and a goal might reveal itself as truly yours as well.
044 Like a pine tree
Looking around there is no door or road
You need to open up the road to Táoyuán
Practice ascetism and become reborn
And live as long as a pine tree
People search in all directions, North, East, South, West, for their happiness, ideals, and health. But paradise can only be found by staying in the center. You can ‘happen’ upon it, but searching is useless. In this place time disappears and your life is no longer a straight line from birth to death.
This poem is about the story of Taoyuan
045 Home of spiritual values
No need to hurry
No need to be nervous
You stay in a place
Where drums are beaten and bells are sounded
The three treasures meet gates and walls
Not everyone who searches for spiritual values wants to be a hermit. There are people who walk this road together, who have their rituals and celebrations, conversations and mutual support. With the images and tools and names which define them. Just be careful that they do not shut in or shut out.
三寶Three Treasures; The teachings of Chinese religions have each their own set.
046 Stop running
Rushing about all one's life
With changeable goals
Everything gets lost
Turn around immediately
Your life needs a direction and you are the one to find it. Only you. If you don’t, you will achieve nothing and even lose whatever there was. Forget about superficial goals. Find your deepest wish and make it true. Find your strengths and use them to reach it. Find your spirit and make it free.
047 Return home
The real truth - people fail to see
The real truth - Spirits have power
Return to the ancestors and back to the roots
The place of primary perfection
Nobody is really a clean slate. A child is innocent but it carries its ancestry in its soul and habits. Honor your deepest origin and those who came before by not denying this but by working along with it. Improve yourself, heal yourself where necessary, and make use of your inherited assets.
048 The vicissitudes of life
Leaving for the utmost edge of the world
Experiencing wind and frost everywhere
It is better to ask people and consult heaven
Little by little you turn around your views
Experience is a great way to learn. But you also have brains. Watch how others do things, talk to people, get information, read and exchange and think about all of it. And then there is your intuition, your deep inner knowledge of the laws of Heaven and the reality of Earth. Listen well.
風霜wind and frost: vicissitudes of life or travel.