265 Six ears
At noon not resolved
The day becomes brighter
At the gathering a good turn
Six ears succeed together
Finding s solution is often not so much
a matter of logic and thinking hard, but of
perseverance and deliberation. Toss ideas
around, listen to every one of them, even
when weird. Give it enough time, let thoughts
simmer in the back of your brain or sleep on
them. And talk, think loud, exchange.
日中 Noon or solstice.
六耳 Six ears: 3 people.
同Harmony, together (name of hexagram 13)
All night in my solitude there are evil stars
And apes and monkeys as well as tree spirits
Living as a recluse meeting this dazzling sight
I lose my bearings and the harmony of my heart
Shutting yourself off from bad things can
cause them to haunt you. But feeling alone
in a difficult situation can do that as well.
Find someone to talk to, even a dog or a tree
can help. And realize that this is not the
‘truth’, it is your soul which shows you its
fears and loneliness in the form of images.
星 comets or evil stars.
入山 Live the life of a recluse; enter the mountains.
迷 enchant, lose one's bearings, enthusiast.
267 The waterclock
The waterclock sounds
Reminding the roosters to crow
Hurrying the people
Set yourself free from following the crowd
In the evening ferry across
from the mooring place
Your future boundless
Don’t let anything impose rules on you
which are not making you happy. Every
creature needs to live its own life, the one
its soul craves for. A bird needs to fly, a wolf
needs to hunt. If you need solid rules like
clocks, then by all means do that. If not, then
get away and find your own road.
放 set free, let oneself go, let sb. have his own way.
268 Nature as medicine
A person is abroad at the far corners of the earth
For a long time no messages or sounds come anymore
Family members are frequently gazing into the distance
The green outdoors frees the mind
Your mind is far, maybe you lost someone,
or maybe lost yourself. Waiting or hoping
will not cause a return. Pick up your own life
again and live it as it is supposed to be. Live
here and now, your wishes and joys and the
beauty around you. Nature is a wonderful
healer of the mind.
望 gaze into the distance, long, look (forward to), full moon.
草木 Grass and trees: vegetation.
269 The governor of Nanke *
This small hole under the tree
Is the beginning of a cave
It seems when moving into this
Both happiness and riches will be attained
There are innumerable dreams of riches
and fame, but only a very small number will
turn into reality. Dreams have a value of
their own, they can point to something one
needs to do or to realize. The soul tells you a
message and it is good to listen and maybe
even act on it.
This poem is about the story 'The Governor of Nanke'.
南柯一梦Nangke Yimeng, illusory joy; pipe dream.
Plowing in person in a rural community
Body and spirit are one in the labor
Unrestrained and unconcerned
Full of joy
Everything which is connected with a
larger meaning, like tradition, myth, love or
heroism, brings a deep sense of happiness
and truth. This is even true for small daily
repeating chores, connected with life as a
cycle. Each day is a new enactment of the
same eternal day, part of the eternal cycle.
躬耕 Plowing in person: said of an emperor, heralding the start of ploughing the fields.
陶 earthenware, cultivate, happy, happy-go-lucky.
Misfortune comes and you meet ghosts!
Ghosts and disease linger a long time
The golden sheep achieves the way
You escape from physical calamity
Ghosts are sick influences and you need
to chase them out of you, or they will harm
you. Who can better help you than the sheep,
which sounds like yáng in Chinese, the force
of light hated by all ghosts. In heaven the
Ghost stars and the Golden Sheep dwell next
to each other, so rescue is close by.
鬼病 Ghosts and disease: trickery and fraud
金羊 Golden sheep: an animal associated with peace, harmony and protection, 8th year in the Chinese Sexagenary Cycle.
272 Heaven’s pillars
Start the journey now!
Start the journey now!
Get rid of the former route
Singlehandedly hold up Heaven’s pillars
In the annals fame is awarded
You want to achieve something? Then start!
And if you want to achieve something great,
then start great. It is all about the first step
and the size of what you do, not about what
you think you can. If you fail, then at least
it will be in a grand way. Don’t settle for
mediocrity in whatever you do.
前途去 Get rid of the former route; the future leaves.
擎天柱 'Hold up heaven's pillars', the most important leader of a cause/enterprise/etc., leading an organization, in a responsible position.
273 The tiger's roar
Deep in the mountains crouches a ferocious tiger
The tiger’s roar issues forth from the remote mountain area
Flaunting his strength he is unnerving
Why should he fear a crowd of people?
Some people have all of it. Courage, dignity,
strength and authority. They are born to
lead. A leader is not a boss, a leader is
chosen without voting or appointing but
because he or she inspires people and they
choose to follow by their own free will. It is
how nature wants it to be.
出山: to issue forth from the mountains: come out to carry the mantle of leadership; leave retirement and take a government post.
274 Organized battle
Three Gates of Heaven
Four Doors of Earth
Troops in rank and files as a result
Gather openly on the road
Army horses of equal speed
Advance beating the drums
A battle, any kind of battle, a big enterprise,
small personal projects, all of them need
strategy in order to succeed. Find the right
information, both from others and from
yourself. Look at examples and find helpers if
necessary. Find out if there are rules or facts
or ethics or tricks you need to know.
三天門,四地戶 two ancient battle formations.
成 Capable, completed, realized, successful. Name of Cheng the Completer.
明 Openly - or next day.
275 A hut like the sky
Mountain after mountain
High on a mountain you build a thatched hut
Not like a house of the human world
But like the sky covered with clouds
Not everyone can live in the human world.
Some by choice, others because they simply
feel unhappy or in other ways don’t have
the qualities for it. Or maybe they have the
qualities for more. Don’t let yourself fall down
into a sad place, instead move up, get closer
to heaven. Find your own honorable place.
建 Erect or has been erected.
276 Coming and going
Coming and going are fundamentally not indeterminate
There is a time to come and there is a time to leave and take a rest
An arduous road with unexpected turns
Glory or dishonor are not considered
This poem can be about wandering or about
friendly contact. In both one needs to know
when to be with the other and when to leave
alone. A smart stranger or a good friend
know when to come and when to go. It needs
insight into the other, so exercise your people
knowledge. It is not an easy skill.
沬: dusk; Mei river; Zhou dynasty place-name; (Cant.) to go underwater, to dive. Or it might be a writing error for 来 lái, come or 未 not-yet.
虞 Expect or worry in advance.
277 In its element
A child grows up
Water crushes it down for periods
Things turn about when it meets fire
and it radiates happiness
There is no need for big agonies of worry
The human heart can suffer from not having enough
A bird needs to fly, a wolf to run. There are also subtle things a creature needs in order to feel right. Some thrive when challenged, others when everything is ordered. Some need fire, others water. Try to find out what you or someone else needs. It is an important cause of finding happiness.
278 Good advice
On dark nights do not go out
If you have something valuable you should be nervous
Firmly keep in mind you must form a group
Your possessions and safety are yours. But
feeling entitled is dangerous for the mind, it
tends to make it lazy. It is up to you to keep
your life in order. Protect your possessions
and stay away from danger. Make friends
who can assist. And remember that safety is
黨 a union, political party, clique, gang.
279 Spring rain
The hibernating dragon is already coming into the world
First the tops of his horns come forth
Clouds are rising and rain falls on the swamps
The peasants receive the benefits
In spring the rains return and cause all
seeds and plants to grow. When a great man
or woman comes forth, they do the same.
They benefit all around them. Make use of
this opportunity and tend to whatever you
sow or cultivate. Emulate them or be one of
them. Use this influence or spread it around.
蒼生 dark green life - maybe plants instead of people?
280 A raging fire
A raging fire sends smoke up to the sky
Heaven turns red to the ends of the earth
You find the border of a water source
You nearly reach the bottom
Solving a problem is seldom simple and straightforward. Even if you have the tools, you have to find out how to use them. If you get helpers, you have to instruct them. If you find a solution, it is not certain if it will be enough. But if you don’t succeed, you will at least know you gave it your all.
281 A friend who knows the songs
The road to the south is wide
On horseback you enter the city of Hángzhōu
You don’t know the songs of the Wu people
But there is one understanding friend
In an unknown place or among strangers it makes a huge difference when there is a good friend. Even if you still have to cope alone, his or her presence will comfort you and give you confidence. Man is not made to be alone, humans are social animals and having friends is valuable. (see story 096)
282 Your field
You have a field of one acre
Cultivate it to the greatest extent
Bringing in inexhaustible crops
Acknowledge what you have, even if it is
not much, and cultivate it to max extent. It
will probably bring in more than a larger field
which was not cultivated with such devotion.
It happens often - what was done with love
and hard work wins from what was done
with hard work only.
西成 Harvesting: lit. Western achievement.
耕耘 Cultivate: lit. plow and weed.
Do not dislike children without lips
Or pursue those with diseased feet as inferior
Bring them into the cave for help
How can the hunting dogs find them?
Are you sure you have no flaws yourself? Or that you will not have in the future? If all people would treat everyone else the way they want to be treated themselves, the world would be a better place. Since this will never be achieved, you can at least help those who need assistance.
284 Six oxen
Six oxen plowing
Cultivating land endlessly
The harvest is strong and substantial
Full granaries and full storehouses
Don’t just rely on luck, she is a fickle goddess. One moment she helps you, the next she abandons you. But maybe she can be nudged a little. While working with strength and endurance will be the right way, things like using lucky numbers, like 6, may invite the capricious goddess to your side.
285 Go out early
Big actions and a towering will
No emotional ties to your hometown
Very likely rulers go out early
Raising the military at the battlefield
Some people live small and essential, others
live with a grand view. Both are right, both
have value, one not more than the other.
But whatever you do, do it completely. If
your road tells you to conquer the world and
improve it, then do so with all your power, all
your courage and complete commitment.
七八 Seven or eight; seventy eight; July-August; very likely.
Sunflowers turn toward the sun
Loyal and sincere and with admiration
Open wide a spacious mansion
And enjoy pleasure in peace and tranquility
Open your house or open your heart and
give happiness to others. It will benefit
everyone, them as well as you. Having loyal
people around you means comfortable safety
for you. Someone who cares means a good
life for them. People love a life-giving center
like sunflowers love the sun.
葵花向日 Sunflowers turn toward the sun; the loyal always look to their masters.
287 The mysterious gate
People are ignorant of the immortals
How can there be genuine ritual?
Once one enters the mysterious gate
There is overflowing benefit
Nature provides all creatures with a deep
sense of what they are. Man’s brain has
closed this open door and the mind now has
to find another entrance. It is the origin of
every religion. Zen stayed close to its source,
with its simplicity and lack of man-made
rules. Find the key which works for you.
玄門 Mysterious gate: term from Daoism, Buddhism.
Do not say the words are too profound
Stubbornness just won’t really do
You come to realize various wonderful mysteries
The way to recognize the dao of immortals of the highest spirit
Closing yourself off from what is difficult to understand means you will never develop your mind. It does not matter if you cannot grasp it, it is the attitude and effort which turns you into an open and interesting person. With a receptive mind you will understand many things