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Don’t treat a sea bird as if it’s a king – Story of Chuang Tzu

“How do you treat others?” Asks the Master to the new class. “Treat others as you would want to be treated yourself,” the disciples shout almost in unison. The Master, nevertheless, did not seem to resonate.  Without commenting on what they say, the Master goes on to tell a story of Zhuangzi. “Once upon a…

Why is staying simple not simple?
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Why is staying simple not simple?

Are you making things unnecessarily complex? The new disciple is excited when he’s seeing the Master for the first time.  He jumps at the opportunity and curiously asks, “How do you practice Tao, Sir?” “When you are hungry, eat,” thoughtfully the master says, “When you are tired, sleep.” The answer is astonishingly simple to the disciple,…

Master By Not Mastering – The Art of Wu wei
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Master By Not Mastering – The Art of Wu wei

If you want to be a good boatman, don’t worry about controlling the boat The art of control is to give up control. In the fable of Chuang Tzu, a disciple of Confucius meets the master boatman who is known for his dexterity of boating. Curiously he asks, “How marvellous!  Can anyone learn how to handle…

If you can empty your boat no one will seek you harm
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If you can empty your boat no one will seek you harm

Empty your boat before cruising the world What is the difference between an empty boat and a boat with someone on it colliding with yours head on? This is what Chuang Tzu says: “When you cross a river and an empty boat comes colliding with your boat head-on, even if you’re a hot-tempered person, you’re unlikely to be very…

He who does not trust enough, will not be trusted
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He who does not trust enough, will not be trusted

Tao of finding a singing bowl A man is looking for a bowl of fine quality.  So he visits the most famous porcelain shop in town. To test the quality of the bowls, he picks up one of the bowls on display and knocks it gently against another. The test goes like this:  Upon knocking the bowl against another, if he can hear…

Alan Watts on Tao of Gain and Loss
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Alan Watts on Tao of Gain and Loss

Chinese parable narrated by Alan Watts   British-born American philosopher Alan Watts used the Chinese parable, The Story of the Chinese Farmer, to illustrate the way of life where nothing is experienced as either an advantage or a disadvantage.  He argues that it is the source of enormous empowerment and liberation. The farmer does not see life in terms of gain or loss or advantage…

Thinking About Not Thinking & Speak to the Universe
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Thinking About Not Thinking & Speak to the Universe

“What should I be thinking about?” Asks a Disciple A young disciple, who has just started meditation, asks the innocuous question, “What should I be thinking about during meditation, Master?” “Should I be thinking about where I am in the universe, the way I meditate, or not thinking about anything?” The Master shakes his head and says, “I do not…

Are you victim of your own foot steps & shadows?
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Are you victim of your own foot steps & shadows?

Don’s run away!  You cannot get rid of your footsteps and shadows by running! Many of us are victims of our own footsteps and shadows, such as worries, fear, anxiety and lack of confidence.   Of the things that inflict these concerns on you, nevertheless, many are illusionary and self-imposed. It is like what Chuang Tzu’s described…