313 Plowing and harvesting
The plowing oxen bend over in the crossbar
Opening up the earth and expanding the borders
Sit down and think of the crop coming in
The broomcorn millet and rice and fine millet
Work hard but also be clever enough to delegate when necessary. If done right, everyone gets a chance to use his or her talents and to share in the profits. You will be able to both work and live, both use your skills and enjoy leisure. It is the recipe for a balanced life.
314 The Qīngpíng sword
At the hip the ornamental sword
He strides into the hall of the imperial palace
He covers and guards the Three Mountains
Thousand maces and hundred chains
Awarding honor to those, who deserve it, is one of the pillars of a society based on merit. It defines the values and encourages to do the same. People will see the difference between real power and seized power, an acknowledged leader and a self-appointed boss, meritocracy and aristocracy.
315 Entering the world
A fledgling flying high
Moves onto a new roost
A dragon spirit’s teeth and claws
Transform into islands in the sea
Every creature does what it has been made for. The size can be very different, but that doesn’t matter. If you do your thing, you live up to your potential. If you find that your drive is too low, then enhance it. Exercise, learn, eat right, sleep enough and most of all, believe in yourself and go.
316 Smile to the eastwind
Usually the same as in the preceding month
Getting the plum blossoms you want
is in that case not the same
Wear a smile to the eastwind
Human feelings are not as strong as in the old days
Most of what people call extremely bad or good is just a sprinkle. Looking back, it seems like a little dip down or a molehill up. Use your own discernment to judge situations. Don’t depend on predictions or hearsay and nurture a positive mind, it makes everything look a lot easier and better.
317 The cauldron
The big fire is burning hot
Water is the right remedy
The treasured cauldron creates the pill
It is overwhelming
Everything needs balance. Things which are destroying when in high concentration can be beneficial when combined with their counterpart. Fire and water need each other, closed and open depend on each other, soft and strong help each other. Explore the “different”, it might be what your life needs.
318 Securing the boat
One strip of cable
Cannot alone bind a boat
One chop of a metal knife
Makes the tie fall to the ground right away
A thief will often escape punishment, but you will certainly be punished for negligence, if you don’t care enough about all which is yours. Make sure nothing can be stolen, catch fire, get hurt or decay. Check things often, like ladders, locks, ties, your finances, your roof and even moods.
In the span of a day and night
Tight and urgently you read and write
A little delay during a short time
And you get no foothold anymore
Thinking and writing are a peculiar business. It seems so straight and logical, but emotions can affect it thoroughly. If you need to solve something by thinking, then make sure you don’t get distracted, and act fast once you know with certainty what to do. Same with writing, it can get lost in seconds.
320 Favorable wind
A wind from the southwest is rising
A red sun on that same day
Marvelous skills and clever ways
You can do it single-handedly
Everything is easy at the right time, but difficult at the wrong one. If you get your timing right, it will be as if you work magic. Even with a lack of knowledge, a lack of strength, a lack of skill, many things will still succeed. An intuition about timing is more useful than a long study.
321 Thousand silent flutes
Thousand silent flutes
The moon high in the sky
Suddenly the clouds cover it
The moonlight turns dim
Even the perfect can change in a second. An atmosphere, a mind, a mood, a hope or a fear. Move along with changes or they may overwhelm you, and usually in unexpected ways, leaving you defenseless. Your mood seems to be yours, then why are you always at its mercy? Acknowledge its power.
322 Don’t procrastinate
One understanding friend
But he is waiting at the end of the world
Be sure not to procrastinate
Think about it in the silence of night
It is useful to have silent moments without disturbance. At these moments the things you overlook will come back to you. Often the only moment is in bed. As soon as you hit the pillow, your subconscious gets a chance to talk to you. Listen well, these things are important. (Story page 298. See also third story of verse 96)
323 Guard dogs
A pack of dogs assembles
Sharpening teeth and gnashing molars
Shaking heads and wagging tails
Only concerned with guarding the house
Good guard dogs know when to attack, when to defend and when to do nothing. They detect the signs if someone has evil intents or comes as a visitor. Is there something which attacks you without you being able to see it or to defend yourself? Listen well, search for it, find it and fight.
324 Lasting love
Wife in front and husband behind walk together
For this good occasion the omen is already clear
An affectionate gentleman must always remember
Not to forget his heart after ten years of gratitude
When a relation is based on love or genuine trust, many things can change without any problems. Even in good relations this is sometimes forgotten, people hold on to habits and comfort, and love too has become a habit. Don’t wait for a drama to test your love, rekindle it right now and keep it alive.
325 Just once
A rat hides in a hole
The home it prefers
It shows its head once
The cat promptly follows
Flaunts its strength and bares its claws
The rat forfeits its remaining years
In many circumstances it is not smart to expose oneself. It is better to hold back unless one feels entirely safe. The world can be harsh, everyone needs to eat and to find shelter. The fight for it can be brutal. But even for less essential things many people will harm another.
326 Reading life or living life
In books there are women with faces like jade
In books one can own golden houses
Having read five carts of books
Your wishes could be satisfied
Then why is your heart worried and worn
In your heart is agitation
Reading, movies, or any other ‘life on paper’, can be nice as addition to your life, but not as a substitute. Use them to improve your life, to learn or to relax, to broaden your mind and circle of friends. But create your own life yourself, with your own values, your own ideals and your own way to spend it.
327 A leopard change
A leopard change
completing one’s color markings
Riding a dragon
attaining blessings oneself
Poverty turning into wealth and honor
Everything will be renewed!
Make both yourself and your circumstances
the best you can. Those two features of your
life decide about success or failure, much
more so than luck or setback, finding help or
having to do it all alone. Keep your tools in
perfect order, so exercise your body and your
mind and be alert for opportunities.
A leopard change: from rags to riches.
Riding a dragon, traditional meaning: finding a distinguished husband for one's daughter.
Poverty, lit. nakedness.
This verse is identical to LingQiJing verse 232.
328 Yang and yin
A yang alone is really slight
A group of yin is really overflowing
The strength is already exhausted
He shall not grow old
Be really cautious
It is good to preserve
When one person carries the burden for a
group, it will take a lot of energy, maybe too
much. If you are the one, then find support.
If you are not, then support the one who
does. Every creature is responsible for her
own life. If you get help, then appreciate it
but don’t let it be too heavy on the helper.
Yang can also mean a man, yin can also mean a woman.
329 Riches for free
The rain at dawn clears up
and the small stream shines jade
Layer upon layer of spring scenery
at the gate of branches
Gold is unlimited for prosperous families
Why have trivial envy of brocade clothes?
When one can enjoy the free beauty one
encounters, there is no need for envy. Beauty
is part of the natural world, it is for free
everywhere man didn’t remove it. And even
in there it can be found. A small flower at
the curb of a road, most people pass without
seeing it. Blessed are those who see.
Gate of branches: poor family.
330 Morals of the time
The morals of the time are strewn with
thistles and thorns
People are moaning about all the applications
A name helps to open roads
Pursue a career by working hard
Living in the world and especially making
a living means one has to answer to many
rules. They will not go away so make use of
them. Work hard, make a career and a name,
adapt as far as your heart can agree with.
This way you can still carve out a place for
yourself and live the way you want.
The morals of the time: the era's dao.
331 A twisting road
Lost on a bad mountain road which twists around
The boat has trouble crossing the rapids
Nothing at all is going well
You meet all this disaster
because of contrariness and envy
When you counteract nature, or don’t cooperate with people, or don’t heed warning signs, you will encounter difficulties in every situation. Nature will endanger you, people will be angry or jealous or they simply leave, enterprises will get obstructed. Learn to listen, and learn about cooperation.
332 Lantern in the wind
The time of now has many disasters
With fear and trepidation
On guard and cautious and afraid
Treading carefully as if walking on thin ice
You need to know if the future
has dangers and threats
Your chest feels as if a draft
blows through a lantern
Anyone with a brain knows the future might
bring threats. It is good to know, to prepare,
to learn the skills you will need. But it is
useless to entertain fear. It will spoil the time
you have now, you spend your energy on
anxiety and your life will be filled with worry
instead of joy.
(as if a draft blows through a lantern)
333 Poetry and wine *
A gorgeous flower branch with a delicious scent
The delicate rich fragrance pervades the elegant court
A timely breeze turns it in the end into laughter
The feast proceeds with good poetry
and how many cups of wine
Influences can overwhelm your mind. Stay
clear enough to use them instead of being
their slave. If you can stay master of the
situation and yourself, influences can be
interesting additions to your life. Enjoy them
or learn from them, they widen and enliven
the meaning of facts.
A flower branch can also mean a beautiful woman.
Laughter: the ideogram is bamboos rocked by the wind.
See story 340
334 Follow the dragon
From the time you maintain your decisions
Your achievements are ahead of everybody
there is extraordinary happiness
You follow the dragon to the Ninth Heaven
Doing your best is useful, if fortune arrives
you will be ready to answer to her. But being
your best is different. Things will come to you
on their own accord and you will attain what
belongs to you. Being true to who you are in
a consistent way will attract the things which
are true in the same spirit, your spirit.
Highest heaven: ninth heaven.
335 An arduous journey
A long arduous journey across a rough sea
in a leaf-like boat
Now starts the achievement
of passing the beachhead
After years of worry only now accomplishments
In the past counting on one’s fingers how
many worries one can have
It is difficult to change your way of looking at life when times are changing. The mind may engage in the new, but feelings lag behind, still reacting as if nothing changed. Wake up, it is dangerous to live in the wrong mindset, you will miss opportunities or even harm yourself or your surroundings.
336 Guarding prosperousness
Receiving a lord’s salary
For a long time auspiciousness descends
Fullness which does not turn around
Guard this prosperousness
Without laziness nor pride
Remain forever in good health
Don’t take it for granted when things
go well and your position is safe. If you
become complacent, things might slip out
of your hands. Don’t let them - or yourself -
deteriorate. Even if it seems you didn’t lose
anything to the outside, your inner loss will
Relaxed and peaceful or: in good health.