097 Starting the journey
Important news from Shanglin
Spring is colorful and bright
Raise the whip and make it snap
Saddle up and start your journey
You did it! The preparations for the big
effort or for the future are finished. But
before you throw everything into the hard
work you can start now, enjoy the celebration
of this milestone. Meet peers and make
friends and future allies. Nothing better than
feasting together to form strong bonds.
上林Shànglín (上林苑 Shàng hunting park, built by Qín II in Cháng’ān) is a place for the emperor to hunt for sport. See 'Shanglin'
馬上 On horse, at once, right away.
Rats go into holes
Their favorite shelter
They are not seen at noon
In the silence of the night
they make their rounds
Don’t think you see everything which
happens. Many things stay in the dark.
Much is overlooked because it doesn’t catch
your attention, so be vigilant when signing
something. Don’t stumble in the dusk. Don’t
miss small nice gestures or words but don’t
miss the small bad ones either.
099 Astride a crane
All your life raise your aspirations
It is good to leave for the Southwest
Your travel money 100.000 strings
Astride a crane high over YangZhou
When there are few possibilities in the
place where you are, then fly out to a
more promising one. Don’t settle for what
everyone expects of you, but find your own
path. Set your aspirations high, put all your
enthusiasm into it and dare to take risks. It
is the only way to find your real destination.
騎鶴上揚州 (idiom) to have unbounded ambition.
100 The black dragon’s pearl
Finally an end to stagnation
Winning the pearl
from the fangs of the black dragon
Suddenly losing it
It is still here in the water
In spring the first appearance of the dragon
signals the end of winter, and when it
reaches the full moon, the dragon’s pearl,
everyone celebrates. Still, a sudden late frost
can ruin the crop. In life things often happen
that way, but often you get a new chance
after a setback. Make sure you grab it.
The state has distinguished men
The court has no flatterers
Weapons of war are not needed
There is constant peace and tranquility
Sometimes the world is perfectly in order.
It doesn’t happen often, and many times it is
rather how you experience it than the harsh
reality out there. When it happens – enjoy!
When it doesn’t, then do something about it.
Both life and your mind are worth an effort to
make them a good life and a rich mind.
102 Foster happiness
Peace comes when stagnation reaches its peak
Do not worry about everything
One only needs to foster vitality and happiness
Produce some good deeds and go somewhere one belongs
A little bit of cleverness and all is truly yours
Sometimes there is a standstill and
sometimes things prosper. Both need the
same attitude: doing everything the best you
can, without being a victim of either one. It
will shorten the stagnation and lengthen the
time of good fortune and easy living. Fighting
obstruction may just acknowledge it.
泰否 Hexagrams 11 and 12.
103 Thousand years
The people like their jobs
and the officials are just and honest
A time of harmony and prosperity
comes back in sight
Tell all people now
About the innumerable years
of achievements of rulers
On this depends the hope for a wise monarch
When the time is easy and prosperous, then
remember how it came about. Maybe through
luck, but more often it happens thanks to
hard work and the foresight of one or more
bright minds. Don’t be (or choose) a leader
who can keep things the way they are, find
one who aims for a good future.
104 Solid as Mt. Tai
Solid as Mount Tai
Firm as a rock
Act boldly and with confidence
The inside connecting directly
to the appearance
This is not the time to be hesitant or to
reckon too much with circumstances. You
need to be certain of what you want, and to
do it. Don’t let anyone or anything thwart
it. You can move ahead now in a way which
is unstoppable. Tact and caution are very
valuable, but don’t let them hold you back.
泰山 Taishan, mount Tai. Tai: hexagram 11.
105 Cloud ladder
On the moon orange osmanthus blooms
At last a person climbs up but cannot touch it
A cloud ladder appears under his feet
Now it is good to rest
Innumerable are the dreams about almost
reaching something and not being able to
actually touch it. It is not just in dreams,
there are many things you almost accomplish
– and something stops you. Very often it is
your own mind. Trust yourself and universe
might give you that last little push.
雲梯 Cloud ladder, scaling ladder, firefighting ladder.
終 End, finish, whole, to die.
In heaven’s space one solitary goose
Warbling loudly laments being alone
May we ask a gentleman if he knows
Are there any people now like this?
People are social, but they also need to be
alone from time to time. If circumstances
prevent one of the two, many become
stressed or unhappy. Try to find a life in
which both are possible. Where you can be
alone or with others, each in its own measure
and at the moment you need it.
107 Autumn leaves
Red autumn leaves lose their color
Scattered about in one night of wind
A neighborhood chicken wakes up
from a dream at noon
Worry accomplishes nothing
Many fears and worries only get a chance at
night. Lying awake or with harried dreams.
After sleeping well, the day looks fine. After
a night without sleep the same day looks
bleak. Try not to take the dreams with you
into the day. They are like autumn leaves,
trees lose them to survive the winter.
Wakes up or wakes you up.
108 Tangled affairs
Affairs like hemp fibers
Principles in tangles
The sun hides behind clouds
Emptiness turns into delay
Clean up and clear up. When things are
not organized, they will not get done. Your
brain also needs organization, find out what
is important and has to be done first, and
what is better not to do at all. Because a
garbage bin is a great place to put things and
thoughts which only clutter up everything.
109 The easy highway
Do not embark on past old ruts
A sweet drive in a new car
In all four directions
Steadily on a level and easy highway
Old paths or habits seldom lead to new
solutions. Open your mind to new ideas,
look around, gather all your self-confidence
and find new roads and opportunities. Don’t
believe ‘no pain no gain’, many gains come
from exploring places happy-go-lucky, where
chance or curiosity or fun leads you.
東西南北 East West South North, all corners of the world; the four directions, point of decision.
110 Sleepless night
Dreaming in the night and startled by a rat
Waking up not seeing anyone
All night sleepless
One thought or worry can keep you wide
awake. Try to solve things before they
become like gnawing rats. But a rat can also
mean a new idea which you couldn’t see in
broad daylight. An intuition, a concept, an
insight or a memory. Many brilliant solutions
were born in the dark of the night.
111 Commenting the weather
Autumn frost is chilling
summer days are burning hot
New flowers are fresh
old flowers are pappy
Generations have watched changes in temperature
Meet one who doesn’t need to comment
To say the obvious is a great way to make
conversation and to chase away the silence.
Not everyone likes it though. Find (or
emulate) the kind of people you like to hear,
or you will spend your days hearing the same
old same old, over and over, again and again,
and never anything original or interesting.
112 A hero's will
You didn’t exhibit a hero’s will yet
Do your utmost without fearing hard work
Handle predictions of weal and woe with courage
In the Northwest contend for the top award
Many things decide about your success
in life, but the most important one is your
will. Intelligence, courage, common sense,
honesty, or even deviousness, to name a few,
all those are secondary to the strength of
your will. Only with your will you can really
develop yourself or reach your goals.
前標The Imperial examinations are held in the Northwest.
113 The way of Thunder
Catching the illness of gloominess
Drunk all day long
The way of thunder is one shock
Then the system is healthy
and the body relaxed
Depression is an awful state of mind. But
often it has to do with a lack of challenge.
When climbing a mountain, the gloomy mind
stays behind and is replaced by a very alert
and alive one. You have no need of numbing
drugs but you thrive on the test of everything
you’ve got. Embrace shocks and challenges!
前標This poem is partly identical to 049.
114 Great waves
Easy not easy
Difficult not difficult
Suddenly great waves rise up
A few times laughing heartily
Sometimes the mind can go on and on. Yes
or no, good or bad, I dare or I don’t, without
end. But when suddenly something big
overrules all that, the mind frees itself and
everything is clear and most of all realistic
again. Looking back on it, you’re amazed how
cramped your head can be.
非 not: the meaning is close to "not conform to" or non-.
115 Dark moon
The road is obstructed
The doors are closed
Be cautious and on guard
The clouds conceal a dark moon
Some things are too big or too difficult for
you to solve. Don’t give up but do the small
things you still can. Ease things up, help,
diminish aversion, mediate, make yourself
ready for when the time changes. Don’t get
stuck in this impasse. Things will change,
they always do, especially with a little help.
116 The tentacles of a snail
Profits like the tentacles of a snail
or the head of a fly
Become flexible now
The Caotou people ridicule you
A suitable beginning, not a suitable end
You make nice starts, repeatedly, but then
you drown in the details and short-term
ideas. When one reaches only for small
gains, nothing big can happen. Those who
are closer to the earth laugh about it. They
are familiar with the slow, harmonious and
sturdy way things grow in nature.
草頭 Cantou, tiny place in China; strawhead; cantouren: bandit chief.
Trays overflowing with pearls and jades
Fields and gardens calm and abundant
Cease talking and abort scheming
This proceeds quite right and smooth
When things are good, there is no need to
make them better, certainly not if it involves
plans and schemes. Enjoy what you have
and how life treats you. Contentment and
gratefulness are the way to do that. You have
been smart enough to gather all this, now be
smart enough to enjoy it.
118 All in accord
The moon already bright
Flowers open up abundantly
Affairs move along leisurely
All is in accord
Shenshu tells you everything is fine, all
signs are auspicious. What is your reaction –
sit back and enjoy the ride, or keep your eyes
open and senses alert, and yet still enjoy it?
Never believe omens and predictions blindly.
Make use of them, they can be very helpful,
but also listen to your instincts and wisdom.
119 No need for pretty words
A hazy autumn moon shines on red-lacquered doors
Birdcalls in an unknown forest and distant temple monks
For you there is a noble man coming to lead the way
No need for pretty words like the chatter of warblers
When you are not the kind who can live in
the big world, it will seem there are no other
options than either drown in it or withdraw
entirely. There is a space though in between
the slums and the monastery, the space of a
few good people, who care about each other.
That is where you belong.
朱門Red doors, gates of wealthy homes.
貴人 Respectable person, high court lady, high official, high-ranking imperial concubine.
流鶯Chatter of warblers, streetwalker.
Minor details of affairs extend
The heart is unsettled
You have doubts for a long time
Start to find peace
When affairs are not clear and you are
neither, it will not be possible to get anything
straight. First of all, find peace in yourself,
before you try to accomplish anything else.
Don’t force your heart and mind but give
them space to find their own balance back.
Only then they can solve the rest.