217 The deer *
There was a man
He caught a deer
He arranged a meeting
He hung a rope at the door
The best way to make it in the world and in
your personal life, is to work hard to achieve
things and also to be polite and social. For finding people who become friends
and a special one who wants to share your
life you also need to show who you are and what you can do.
鹿 Deer: symbol of fame or riches
門外索rope at the door: a traditional ceremony of betrothal.
218 Too late
You proceed without benefit
Flowers open again in autumn
Severe frost will arrive
for creatures and grass
You fall behind and nothing will remain
You can be full of plans and energy, but if you don’t find the right time to carry them out, it will amount to nothing. Wonderful inventions, great undertakings, even big wars fell into pieces because the time was not the right time. Too early is a problem, but too late is lethal.
219 Life can be magic
The crescent moon as fishing hook
The gentle breeze as line
Raise the net from the mist covered water
You can easily see the beautiful seafood
Blessed are those who can see the beauty of things. Almost everything you do, even simple little tasks - or especially those - can be art. Train yourself to see, and to be part of it. Life will become beautiful and meaningful, and the difficult parts easier to deal with. Beauty is an essential part of nature.
First close and lock up
Cautious and on guard
Not being aware of small matters
Following old routines becomes a big disaster
Routines can be handy, they diminish the work. Their danger is that you overlook the small things which are not the way they should be. Your eyes also follow old routine. Every day every action should be new. Like it is for a dog: he startles at the slightest deviation of how things are day in day out.
221 A dream in spring
Swallows chirp softly and the Oriole wails
Flowers bloom all over the courtyard
Resting on the fence in spring you doze
Without words or desire or sad expression
Not many people have the gift of relaxing when everything is right. If you can, then you’re blessed. If you cannot, then find a way to learn. It is easy of course, you just have to let go. But it seems letting go is outdated, very few still know what it means. It is not holding still, has no name, it’s nothingness.
222 A cool breeze
You work with your brain on and on
You work with your brain and achieve success
A cool breeze lends you power
Happiness and laughter in your future
There is a time for work and worry and there is a time for relaxation. First use your head and hands, and having achieved your aims, then enjoy the freedom. It is the same for big and for small achievements. Solve a problem, then get a big smile. Fulfill a job, then retire. Plant a crop, enjoy the harvest.
223 Willow catkins
Progress is wavering for the time being
A spring breeze blows through the willow catkins
The traveler at the water’s edge is tired
Resting his head on the riverbank with a worried mind
Every day needs the evening and night, every hour of study needs a moment of stretching your legs, every journey needs stopping places. Important is that you use them to really relax, so rest and enjoy yourself and feel free. There will always come a new morning or a new spring.
The jade is in the end still dull
How can one deal with so many small regrets
Ultimately there is no blame
Don’t expect anything to be perfect and to stay shiny forever. Everything gets scratched or worse. It is part of life. How stupid have you been at times, and how often did you make mistakes. How many things you’d like to do over and better. Accept your past, it is what made you to who you are now.
225 Another spring
With drooping wings leaving for a distant sky
Only because you avoid disaster temporarily
Just by way of attention to being thrifty
Again another spring all over the garden
You think nothing you do is right; your
life and finances are hopeless and you gave
up that you could do anything to solve it.
So, you run. Don’t you know that one little
positive and useful action can restore your
energy and your joy in what you do? What
you need is just a little faith in yourself.
天 sky or heaven or day.
行 Perform, move, travel, line of business.
Welcome news arrives
Opening smiles on faces
Soaring swiftly upwards in one fell swoop
High in the sky splitting open the clouds
A small joy can make one forget about all
other troubles. Maybe not for very long, but
at least for a wonderful moment of elation.
Your heart and body need those moments,
the heart needs to be thrilled now and then,
the body needs to move with joy. So let go of
all worries and fly!
披 split open; drape over one's shoulders.
227 Decide now
The green felt rug is impractical
conservative and worn
A nest high in the branches
in the growing winds
Nothing brings a moment of happiness
Still not certain that this looks bad
Why do you stay where you are? Everything
worn out, uncertain and without any
future other than more of the same. Get out!
Gather your courage and decide. Now. Not
some day, or soon, or whatever other excuse
you can find. Get up and start and go on
until you are in a better place.
生風 Growing winds: making trouble.
228 Birds of mojo
Don’t call thistles and thorns evil
In the end it makes Luan and Feng sorrowful
At present do what you should do
Of what use is premature hesitation
Grumbling and complaining don’t solve
anything. On the contrary, they chase your
luck away. Universe relies on resonance, so
make sounds which summon up the good
chances, instead of hurting the ears of all
spirits, omens, synchronicities, fairies, pixies
and most of all your (future?) spouse.
鸞鳳 Luan and Feng, couple of phoenix-like mythical birds; husband and wife; distinguished talents; handsome; gallant.
荊棘 Luan and Feng, couple of phoenix-like mythical birds; husband and wife; distinguished talents; handsome; gallant. See story of verse 9.
229 Thousand banners
Above and below are in harmony
Worries are resolved
Clouds like thousand silk banners
The single disk of the moon
To be content scores higher than happiness. It is a balanced and restful state of mind, and a way to live life to the fullest. It is of more value than an exciting life, or a rich one, and certainly than an envied one. If you are content, you need no advice, you’re rather the one who can give it.
Jade comes from Kunlun’s rocks
Boats leave from age-old ferry jetties
Your conduct brings finally a promising reputation
You use your humble home without embarrassment
It doesn’t matter where you came from or
how lowly you started. What you do and your
attitude make you to the esteemed person,
partner and relation others appreciate. Your
strength to make it from a simple start to
where you are now will rather speak well of
you. So be proud of your roots and yourself.
行藏 move and store; conduct.
231 A tense heart
At present it is difficult to relax your heart
A visitor is coming very gently
In a golden chariot although experiencing danger
Finally the tense heart gets support
Something precious is coming your way.
When the mind is challenged in an extreme
way, it is as if universe hears. Call it inner
wisdom, or intuition, or an angel, there is
something coming to your aid. It is you who
summons it, but it is also you who can miss
it by not trusting it - or not trusting yourself.
徐徐 very gently; relaxed and dignified.
歷險 experiencing adventures; having a narrow escape.
Things go very slowly
Doing things in a thorough way is a guarantee that the result will be good. If you are nervous or insecure, then first find your inner strength and calm, before you try to do anything. But even if you cannot get all of that restlessness out of you, then acting step by step will still be a good way to proceed.
233 A clear mirror
Afraid and in agonies of worry
It is all in front of your eyes
It is as if in a clear mirror
Fictitious rumors are disclosed
Many ghosts can be chased by simply facing them. Fear, insecurity, avoidance, they are all like prison wardens which keep you a captive in your personal jail. Look at them. It takes courage, but then you will see how fake they are. You will also recognize them in others, which sets you free and maybe them.
234 When the night is dark
The moon hides behind the clouds
Confused and lost on the road
The clouds disperse the moon is bright
Gradual and good progress
When you try to find your path, your own mood and the mood around you are much more important than having directions or a map. Feeling the next step works better than knowing the next step. It is like this in everything you do, so make sure your intuition works before you act or think.
235 A greeting on the road
A greeting on the road
And for a moment wind and waves are quiet
A time in which a clever mind feels chaotic
One relies entirely on the help of valuable people
Some people have a way to put your mind
at rest. When you get confused, they can
help you, not by actually doing things for
you, but by putting you back on your right
track. By relaxing you, or ‘guessing’ the clue
you need, or answering a question by just
listening. It feels like magic.
風波 Wind and waves, disturbances.
236 Turtle of legend
Looking over the depths
you cast the fishing hook
It is clear with thin veils of mist
You follow and catch the legendary Áo-turtle
No need to have misgivings
Creativity is elusive. One cannot hunt for
it, it just happens. Following its faint tracks
can help. Wide space and the depth of an
ocean can help. Believing in magic can help.
What you are looking for is the same force
that created universe and all it contains. It
deserves our reverence.
The tortoise is a symbol of long life, both turtle and tortoise of wisdom and peace. The turtle brought Yu the magic LoShu square.
237 Clouds disperse
Without a golden mean one needs to know right and wrong
The weight on one’s heart in addition turns into distress
Clouds disperse and the moon is big and round
You sail fast over a long distance
For some people life is not complicated.
They know the golden mean and their life is
in balance. For others it is a rollercoaster.
All the time ups and downs, difficult choices,
deciding what is right and what is not, and
never a calm moment. But it seems nobody
wants to change to the other way.
千里 a thousand li, a long distance or a vast expanse.
238 Snake and rabbit
Good fortune starts with trusting the natural world
The commander marches far with continuous blessing
Honor and rank will be achieved aided by gods and spirits
When snake and rabbit happen to meet vicissitudes get fixed
Act like nature does and follow the natural
course of things. Go where a road opens and
take what offers itself. Be aware and ready
to react. Train your strengths and make
them versatile. Combine the cautiousness
and speed of the hare with the wisdom of the
snake and good fortune will be yours.
造化 Heaven, mother nature, good fortune.
239 The power of ghosts
A fiery battle with an invincible might
A crowd of demons perishes
And again one has to eliminate the threatening spirits
It is good to keep firmly in mind to do one’s utmost
Not being firm incurs for a long time failing and falling
One should always be very careful when accepting help or borrowing. If it is not paid back to the fullest, it will inevitably make you tied to the giver. To shake off obligations is extremely difficult. You have to or you will not be the master of your life anymore and you will lose your self-confidence as well.
240 The thatched hut *
For Dao the heart must be firm
A firm heart achieves a magnificent Dao
Complete a grand meritorious work
Build a thatched hut
Work on a true moral character
One day you ascend to the list of famed immortals
Dao means to live the whole of your life. To
be strong, to be good, to know how to follow
the time, to be able to withdraw, to be wise
and ethical. Dao is not a predefined road, it
is being and doing the best of what you have
been created to be and to do. Your own dao
is both a gift and a responsibility.
飛升 rise, fly up; become an immortal.
仙班 literary scholars or famed immortals.