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365 Tao by Deng Ming-Dao

365 Tao Deng Ming-Dao Meditation

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#1 Rara

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 04:38 AM

I just received this book as a gift. I've read the intro and just one page (I would like to read a page/meditation once a day)

 

I just wondered if anybody else has this book and what they think!


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#2 soaring crane

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 06:28 AM

I've had it since probably 1997 or -8. It was like my second bible back then, after the DDJ itself. I think it's very lovely and a very positive addition to the "western canon" of Daoist writings.

 

How does it make you feel, rara? That's the important thing. And honestly, it may have been a better idea to first settle in with the book/calandar before asking for opinions on it.

 

Because... wait for the critics to show up.


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#3 Chang

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 07:40 AM

I read through it at about the same time as Soaring Crane over the period of a year. Great food for thought.

 

If you have not seen them before Deng Ming Dao is on facebook and has his own website.

 

https://www.facebook...mingdao?fref=ts

 

http://dengmingdao.com/


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#4 Rara

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 01:24 AM

I've had it since probably 1997 or -8. It was like my second bible back then, after the DDJ itself. I think it's very lovely and a very positive addition to the "western canon" of Daoist writings.
 
How does it make you feel, rara? That's the important thing. And honestly, it may have been a better idea to first settle in with the book/calandar before asking for opinions on it.
 
Because... wait for the critics to show up.


From what I've read of the intro, my first impression was that it's nice and sincere - conscious of translation of ideas to not be misleading :) I like.

And yes, you're right...I'm hasty. Like a kid with a new toy, I just gotta talk about it!
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#5 dawei

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 01:37 PM

We can pin the topic if you want to actually log your thoughts and get comments on each one  :)


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#6 Harmonious Emptiness

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 05:51 PM

Whatever the critics might have to say, he has a profound and vast knowledge of Daoist culture with a beautiful way of transferring it in writing.  For this reason, every one of his books is a treasure.


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#7 Rara

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 02:29 AM

We can pin the topic if you want to actually log your thoughts and get comments on each one  :)


Haha thanks, but I don't think I will be able to keep up!

#8 sillybearhappyhoneyeater

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 08:21 PM

if you like daoist meditation, you really ought to learn classical chinese and read the classics.

getting the spirit of the thing in english is quite difficult unless you are either a total genius or have an awesome teacher.


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www.daoistmeditation.com

 

please read my book "internal elixir cultivation, the nature of Daoist meditation"

 

 

http://daoistmeditat...theory-classes/

 

weekly classes in Daoist meditation methods.

 

 

www.chayotea.com

 

great tea from China and taiwan.


#9 Rara

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 04:12 AM

if you like daoist meditation, you really ought to learn classical chinese and read the classics.

getting the spirit of the thing in english is quite difficult unless you are either a total genius or have an awesome teacher.

 

I couldn't agree more. I've been participating in studies of Zhuangzi on this forum and have learnt so much this year about how semantics make a very big difference in what is actually being portrayed. And if translations differ, what are the chances that anyone with just the English translations have got an accurate grasp on the lessons?

 

Hopefully one day I will, but for now, having access to this, TTC, Zhuangzi, Art of War (all English translations) and Tao of Pooh is serving me well. Chi Dragon on this forum has helped me out quite a lot with things that I may be misinterpreting from my English translations :)



#10 sillybearhappyhoneyeater

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 06:39 AM

translating zhuangzi is not a big problem since he does things in story format and everything is parable based.

ddj is impossible to translate accurately because of meaning variation in characters, but this can be helped because there are many different styles of translation available on the market- so if you just pick up any random ten copies of ddj you can get the basic idea of how the thing works.

once you get into neidan works like xingming guizhi, no chance.  too complicated.

I've been reading the first chapter of dao de jing chan wei for almost a year now.

if you want it, you really have to be willing to put in some effort.


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www.daoistmeditation.com

 

please read my book "internal elixir cultivation, the nature of Daoist meditation"

 

 

http://daoistmeditat...theory-classes/

 

weekly classes in Daoist meditation methods.

 

 

www.chayotea.com

 

great tea from China and taiwan.


#11 adept

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 11:58 AM

http://thetaobums.co.../14756-365-tao/


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#12 shanlung

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 08:06 AM

Deng & Blofield works. Is it ethical?

http://thedaobums.co...-is-it-ethical/

 

 

The first post in that thread

===================================================

 

Posted 22 March 2013 - 07:27 AM

After my recent trip on a fruitless search for the Tao in the lake gardens, street side restaurants and mountains around Taiping, I needed some rest at home.

 

My fingers did some walking and I stumbled onto the old Usenet Alt.Philosophy.Taoism where I had roamed about as the Idiotic Taoist.

 

I came across a very long piece that I wrote in about 1996.  Which might still be fascinating reading for those interested in the Path of Tao even if we still have not even come close to agreeing what is the Tao about and what is Taoism or even what a Taoist is.

 

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

 

==============================================================


This was posted into apt around end Oct 1996.

Instead of fiddling around with my floppies, I use Dejanews and
managed to locate these letters once more.

Jester ahem!  As I have said, I have been in this place before and not
just for a day.

======================================================
Deng Ming Dao's Chronicles have sections which are so similar to other
really noted Taoist writers.

It is unfortunate that my library  is not with me right now and I
cannot check and quote the other corresponding parts from them.

However, I do have a couple of John Blofeld books (first written by
him in 1960 or earlier) with me.

There are two letters following this posting.

The first letter contains a section from Mr Blofeld book.

The next letter contains excerpts from Deng Chronicles which looked
grotesquely similar to Mr Blofeld.  That next letter also contains
portions from Deng so strange that you best read them for yourself.

This is not the first time that these letters were posted here.
However, entities unknown to me have gone and deleted them soon after
their posting.

Warmest regards


The Idiotic Taoist

 

=========================================================

This was originally posted on the Tao-List sometime back in Mar 96.  

*********************************************************************************

I just finished reading 'Chronicles of TAO' by Deng Ming Dao.

It was supposedly the story of Deng's Taoist master Kwan Saihung,
tracing the education, martial arts and spiritual, he had in China Hua
Shan to the time he crossed over to America.  After all those years of
real martial arts experience, Kwan then went on to 'learn' boxing
eventually taking part in the Golden Gloves.  The absurdity that after
training in many forms of the highest martial arts he was badly beaten
when he tried boxing for the first time even though the book went on
to make Kwan the 'winner' after due training.( I remembered my boxing
for the first time with gloves when I was in the Army with  my even
more limited background in karate/kungfu  without
any trouble).

Not too long into that book, it was easy enough from the
inconsistencies that it was more a novel rather than a true story that
it made itself out to be.  There were far too many instances of
'americanised' behaviour and thinking, typical of that make belief of
David Carradine's Shaolin temple fantasy to make that book believable.

There were certain parts which were true, but again, while 'Lobsang
Rampa' books  also did have some truth it, it sure does not make those
books true or that the monk 'Lobsang Rampa' truly exists in the past
now residing as a 'spirit' in an Englishman.

I guess that people being people, the only point that really matters
is the 'angle' they can get in making of money, and in this 'New Age',
Taoism is as good as any an angle to make money.

What bothers me is that in their making that kind of money, they had
no qualms in spinning tales that may well mislead others really
searching for the way.

Further more, tales need not be spun as the truth is often stranger
than fiction.

There are also parts of Deng's Chronicles that bears very great
similarity to other books written by noted authors written many many
years ago.

Perhaps it may be that great minds do think alike, but on the other
hand, some authors need to be 'inspired' by other writers even to the
following of their mannerisms and phrasing of words.

 I am appending below an extract from John Blofeld's book 'Taoism, the
road to Immortality'.  Mr Blofeld have spend many years in China and
travelled and stayed at many Taoist temples in the past before
Communism came.  I rather believe in Mr Blofeld account of a Taoist
recluse rather than that of Deng Ming Dao.

My apologies to those who have read Blofeld books, but this is meant
for those who have not read it yet.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

(In Blofeld's  words)

This final story of immortals is very different from the others, being
no legend but a factual account of the attainment of immortality in
the true Taoist sense of that word.  I hear it years ago from a Taoist
of Mount Heng and, though I cannot recall the actual examples he gave
me of the 'double talk' with which Taoists clothe their secrets, I can
vouch for the closeness of my version to the original in spirit if not
in detail.  The recluse who relate the story, told me that he was a
'third generation spiritual descendent' of the White Heron Immortal.

In the reign of the Hsien Feng Emperor(1851-62), there lived on the
slopes of Mount Heng a recluse known as the Narrow-Waisted_Gourd
Immortal, more commonly called Hulu Weng, the Gourd Ancient One, or it
may have been Hu Lao-weng which has the same meaning.  Besides a few
middle-aged disciples, he was attended by two children who were
supposed to be boys, though some said they were his granddaughters,
the offspring of a son conceived before he retured from the world of
dust.   Strangers coming to pay their respects were invariably
received by one of these children, who had some skill in
distinguishing false from real.  Those whom the children reported to
be unlike followers of the Way were generally told that the Immortal,
being deep in meditation, might not be able to receive them for
several days to come.  If, however, these guests persisted and asked
that lodging be provided until such a time as the Immortal found it
convenient to bestow some of his precious time on them, than coolness
vanished and they were made welcome.  Perhaps their desire would be
fulfilled that very evening, the Immortal suddenly emerging from his
inner chamber, crying:"Well,well.  How may an old and ignorant fellow
serve Your Honours?'

One day there arrived from the capital a scholar surnamed Pai who, at
the age of 30, was already a little stooped and short-sighted from too
much study of the Confucian classics.  He seemed at once distraught
and impatient, so it was just as well that the little girls reported
favourably on the state of his heart and mind.  Upon coming into the
Immortal's presence, he was with difficulty restrained from kneeling
and knocking his head on the floor as before a Confucian dignitary.
"I come to Your Immortality", he cried, "as a very last resort.
Either you must show me the face of truth or I shall dispatch myself
here and now to the yello springs with the help of my silken girdle.
All my life I have been searching for truth, pouring over the
classics, listening to so-called sages in vain and cultivating the
company of eminent Confucian scholars.  A brilliant offical
career lay before me until, all of a sudden, I realised that all that
talk of benevolence, filial piety and propriety is so much claptrap!
What li[propriety] conveivably have to do with the Great Way?  Does
cultivating the Tao require that we walk or bow in this way or that?
Of course not! Your Immortality must help me to make up quickly for
wasting my whole life upon such nonsense!"

Impressed by his sincerity, the Gourd Immortal invited his official to
stay for a while and receive 'such poor teaching as an ignorant old
fellow has to give'.  Pai was delighted , but the next day a horrible
disappointment awaited him, for the Immortal spoke to him in terms
that seemed utterly at variance with his own conceptions of sagehood
and wisdom.  This was the substance of Hulu Weng's first lesson to the
bewildered scholar:

"I cannot describe to you the indescribable, but I can teach you
several by no means inconsiderable arts - invisibility, flying without
wings, invulnerability to sword or serpent's fang - you know the kind
of thing.  

Here, then, is your syllabus of study.  Seeking the Mysterious Portal,
you must first provide yourself with the wherewithal to bribe the
gurads and render yourself invisible that you may slip through
unnoticed.  That sort of thing is not to be mastered in a day.  Next
you will have to learn how to fly thence to the courts of heaven, make
your way to the central chamber, surprise Lord Lao[Lao-tze] at
breakfast, snatch up his flask of golden elixir, slay those who will
come running in to rescue it, break down the walls of the sky-castle
and return to earth an immortal!  A man of your determination has but
to follow my course of instruction to be certain of sucess."

Hoping with all his heart that the Immortal was just having a little
joke at his expense, Pai gazed at him earnestly, trying to read his
expression. Alas, his face was calm and solemn, and his eyes shone
with an unearthly lustre that made Pai wonder if he were not dealing
with a dangerous fanatic.  Had he travelled post-haste from the
capital, scarcely dismounting for weeks on end, forgetful of food and
sleep, merely to be told the kind of nonsense that any child can find
for himself in the sort of books he borrows from servants without
letting his parents know?  The thought was intolerable. The next day,
long before dawn, he rose and packed his few belongings
meaning to slip away without having to make embarassing excuses.  He
was tying up his bundle when one of the little girls came in with a
pot of tea. Seeing how things were, she smiled and said:  "Please,
Uncle, do not leave us son soon.  If you do, I shall get the blame for
not looking after you properly.  You would not like that to happen,
would you, Uncle?  I know why you are angry.  The Immortal said
something you did not like, isn't it so?

Have you heard of mountain divinities pretending to be horrible
re-toungued demons just to test the pilgrims' courage?  You wouldn't
be taken in would you, Uncle?"

Rather than cause trouble for the friendly child, Pai decided to delay
his departure for a few days, since it would be quite impossible to
admit the true cause of his wanting to leave.  Meanwhile the lessons
continued arousing such interest that the few days became many and, in
the end, Pai never left the hermitage again, staying there in all for
some seventy or eighty years!

Since a prerequisite for flying without wings is weightlessness, the
first lessons were directed as 'trhowing things away'.  Unlike many
others, Pai had discarded greed and ambition before coming to the
mountain, but he still had cumbersome baggage to be disposed of -
excessive ardour, for example, over-eagerness to succeed and over
anxiety lest he fail.  He was taught to lose all sense of hurry, to
subdue his tendecy to strain.  He had to learn to let limslef to be
borne along like a floating cloud on the chi of heaven.
Simultaneously, he set himself to acquire the art of invisibility.
For this, stillness was required and the capacity to be as unobtrusive
as a lizard on a branch, mingling with the pilgrims who came on
festival days - there, yet unnoticed.

The bribe to be offered to the guardians of the Mysterious Portal
turned out to be a vow that, if the golden elixir were won, Pai would
not depart into final bliss before founding and nursing a line of
disciples capable of passing on the recipe for immortality to future
generations.  As to the Portal itself, he learnt that it stands in a
region known as the Precious Square Inch lying just behind the
mid-point between the eyes.There came a day when he could at any time
behold the rays of heavenly light that are forever streaming through
this gate but remain invisible until the adept has learnt how to
develop his inner seeing.  Learning to fly proved the longest
and most ardous task, requiring that his physical endowments - semen
and subtle essence, breath and blended personal and cosmic vitality,
spirit both personal and cosmic - be transmuted into a spirit-body
able to soar, during meditation, beyond the stars.  Entering the
courts of heaven meant achieving at will a state of ecstatic trance.
Passing into the central chamber was the fruit of a yoga for drawing
up the final product of blended essence,  vitality and spirit from the
region below the heart to the ni wan cavity just below the top of the
skull; snatching the golden elixir from Lord Lao meant causing the
perfected elixir to descend (and reascend) the central pschic channel
running between the pelvis and the ni wan.  Slaying the guardians was
a term for countering the illusory ego's final struggles to retain the
recognition hitherto given to it as an individual entity.

Breaking down the walls was the supreme act, destruction of the last
barriers between the adept's being and the Source of Being, so as to
attain immortality in the true and only meaningful sense of those
words.  It signified in fact, 'return to the Source', the be all and
end all of Taoist endeavour, of cultivation of the Way!

The former Confucian scholar, having by devoted labour and with the
unstinted help of his teacher attained to immortal state within a mere
decade of his distraught arrival, was destined to make the Gourd
Immortal's hermitage his permanent home.  Its former owner, before
'soaring among the stars on the back of a dragon', confirmed Pai as
his spiritual successor. Pupils of Pai's pupils were still to be found
there in the 1930s and it was probably their pupils who were truned
when the red tide reached Mount Heng around 1950!

-----------------------------------------------------

Warmest regards


The Idiotic Taoist

 

 

2nd letter

Continuation of my earlier letters on this Deng's Chronicles
*************************************************************************

You recalled two weeks ago when I typed out the piece by John Blofeld,
I said it was to cleanse my soul after reading the Chronicles of Tao
purportedly the story of the Taoist Master that Deng Ming Dao claimed
was his master.

I know I have hurt some of the people in this list who thought highly
of Deng when I wrote what I wrote with my 'heart-mind' and not being
very explicit why I felt such a way.

That piece by Blofeld was a 'finger pointing to the moon' as I thought
that it would immediatly be clear when I downloaded that work of
Blofeld.

Perhaps people have not read that 'Chronicles' or have forgotten what
they read and remembered only a warm glow when Deng's name was
mentioned.

I now write with my 'logical-mind'.  In case Deng whipped up another
book or maybe set up a 'Temple of Immortal Tao' for his master and
pass the hat for donations.

Deng's Chronicles, have been so full of inconsistencies in martial
arts (Shaolin based martial arts taught in Wudang Mountains???)that it
is really a sick joke and can be treated as a D grade pulp fiction
novel.  The masters Kwan Sai Hung claimed he learned under like the
Taiji MASTER Yang Chengfu died in 1936, at the time Kwan claimed he
was learning Shaolin style martial arts.  Same for other MASTERS that
were listed such as Chen Weiming, Sun Lutang Hsingyi/Pakua and Zhang
Zhaodong of pakua.  After all those listed Inner Martial Arts  masters
Kwan 'trained' under (introduction page 2), the rest of the book talks
on Shaolin martial arts he trained under instead.

I did not even comment on the miraculous travels Kwan made even with
his uncle.  In his Deng's words

---------------------------------------
Chronicles page 329

He eased the tension of the two Taoists' deaths by wandering.

Accompanying an uncle who was a wealthy fur trader, or going alone by
bicycle, he toured Germany, France, and Eastern Europe, even though
World War II was in progress.  He found charm and beauty wherever he
went, and had taken sentimental likings to the Black Forest, bridges
over the Danube, the sound of Chopin.  He loved to stay in alpine
villages and appreciated the hospitality that people proffererd even
to strangers.  Though the land had been devastated, he took it all in,
and the enchantment of a foreign land was mixed with enthusiasm of his
youth.  For a time, he had even wanted to move to Europe, but his only
friends were members of a dying aristocracy.  They could offer him no
solace.

------------------------------------------------------
I am not sure fur will be traded in those part of the world during WW
II.

You all judge the possibility of one/two Chinese travelling merrily in
Germany, France and Eastern Europe during the WW II staying in Black
Forest and all that stuff above.

And the second last sentence?...I checked it and typed like it is in
the book.  I only can conclude that portion was 'inspired' from
something else he read without too much understanding.

What blew my fuse is below.

As written by Deng in his 'Chronicles of Tao', page 296/297.

------------------------------------------------------------------
In the midafternoon, Slender Gourd took him to a shaded corner of the
broken-down, weed-invaded courtyard.

"My brother and I will both teach you," he said.  "I will first
outline the method of cultivating the Way."

"Let me complete what I began last night.  You must seek the
Mysterious Portal.  But it is guarded.  You must have an offering to
first bribe the guards and then the ability to be invisible so that
you may slip through unnoticed.  With these preparations, you must
then learn to fly to heaven,  surprise Lao Tzu in his chambers, snatch
up the flask of golden elixir, slay  the defenders, break down the
palace walls, and return to earth an immortal!"

"This is like the opera 'Monkey Makes Havoc in Heaven' commented
Saihung.  {Comment -  that episode referred to, of the Monkey God Sung
Wu Kung is nothing at all like what is written}

"Yes, but this is no opera," said the master severely.  "sit down and
listen to me.  The first thing is the bribe for the guards."

"What is that?"

"Gold and jewels do not move the demon generals.  It is the human
spirit. Your bribe is a vow that should you attain the golden elixir
that will liberate you from this earthly plane, you shall not depart
into the infinite before teaching others and continuing the lineage."

"I promise.  Iwill do everything I can to walk the holy path," said
Saihung." Master, i will do anything to succeed."

"Not so fast," cautioned Slender Gourd.  "You are obviously a man of
determination, but you must maintain a certain perspective.  For this
brings up the question of flying.  Flying means weightlessness.  Such
lightness means shedding weight.  Your emotional burden is
overeagerness to succeed and anxiety about failing.  Gain and loss are
not to be taken to heart.  You must leave these attitudes behind.  Do
you understand?"

"Yes, Master."

"Invisibility, as you said last night, signifies stillness in
mediation. With it, you can slip through the Mysterious Portal.  This
gateway is in the region known as the Precious Square Inch in the
center of the head at eyebrow level.  It is through this gateway that
you will someday glimpse the divin light that is always there.  When
you can unify semen, breath, and spirit, you will soar to heaven -
that is to say that you raise this essence to the Mysterious Portal.
Snatching the golden elixir means thatyour channels are now open and
that your energy breaches the Mysterious Portal.  But at that final
stage, the guardians will appear, and you will have to slay them."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Forgive me for not continuing on with the rest of what Deng have
written.

I believe you all will agree that it is a very very remarkable
similarity to that of Blofeld and his conversations with the Taoist
master when Blofeld travelled in China in the 1930s.(If any newbies
missed out on those  letters I send 2 weeks ago, I will be happy to
send it if you drop me a line)

Deng even put in that not_so_stupid sentence ' "This is like the opera
'Monkey Makes Havoc in Heaven' commented Saihung.'

I can only conclude that he is not satisfied with 'lifting' that part,
that sentence was to innuendo that his story shared 'common origin'
with that of Blofeld, in case you may happen to have read John
Blofeld.  And unless you happened to know Chinese classics well and
know that there is no such thing in the Monkey Makes Havoc that Deng
elude to, Deng would have succeeded in what he set out to do, using
'inspired' writings of other works to 'prop' up his story of his
'master'.  

I have not read and have no reason to read his '365 Tao'.

I know people who read it said it was good.  But given his
'Chronicles', I can only assume that the 'good' in the 365 Tao must
have shared remarkable similarity with other good Taoist books.  And
instead of reading about them through Deng, I rather read those books
directly instead.

Your comments are most welcomed.


Warmest regards


The Idiotic Taoist

 

==========================================

 

Your Idiot on the Path

 

 

 


  • Daeluin, Leif and dogson said thanks for this
Shanlung
山 龍
Mountain Dragon

http://shanlung.com/

#13 mostly_empty

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Posted 12 March 2015 - 03:54 PM

Shanlung,

   I do very much appreciate your letting me know.


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#14 dogson

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Posted 12 March 2015 - 08:41 PM

this thread is tight


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#15 Rara

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Posted 14 March 2015 - 09:15 AM

this thread is tight


Lol

#16 Jim D.

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 02:30 PM

I read 365 Tao daily, and would be interested in a companion reader(s) who would like to comment on the page for the day. Comments on how one apply's it to their life.

 

JD


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