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About DrumR

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  1. Best free beginner's translation?

    Greetings nac. I provide two links that may or may not be of some use over time. On the first link page please examine the footnotes for further information. <http://nvkashraf.co.cc/nvkashraf/kur-trans/translations.htm> The second link is for computer translation software to Bengali. <http://sourceforge.net/projects/bengalinux/files/> Using the many translations of the Tao te Ching available on the internet, many as text files, and language translation software one may then attempt to compile a translation into Bengali that may prove to be of some benefit. Please be mindful of Mr Legge's notes on translation. Of course, the collected transliterations may loose some of the nuances, but it may be seen as better than none at all. It may also be the first step to interest others to take such a project to a more finished state. Good luck.
  2. [TTC Study] Chapter 2 of the Tao Teh Ching

    This is quick drive by Tao-ing in two aspects. 1) Chapter 2 may perhaps introduce a foundation for the later concept of "use in uselessness" and others. 2) The generalized overall concept of #2 may be likened to an introduction of the specifics of the twin versus of the the Buddhist Dhammapada.
  3. [TTC Study] Chapter 18 of the Tao Teh Ching

    The "ministers," of that time, may have worn ceremonial robes but today they are garbed in two-piece suits and the appropriate title they hold is "Bureaucrat." This is a quick look at Chapt. 18 and not quite as thorough as I am want to do. Yet before looking at #18 one may find that the lesson of #17 may shed more light upon the subject as well. When an alternative (Derek Lin) to the Feng/Hendricks/Wu translation trilogy was included, and the clarification of the "6 Relations" provided, I believe that great insight may have been offered. Thus I add an additional translation, and some observations of my own, to help "muddy the waters." I was struck by the Confucian tone of the last portion and lo, to my surprise Mr Yutang in his notes states: Yet another aspect that, over the years, I have found useful is to examine the chapter(s) from the bottom up, i.e.: There (was praise of) "loyal ministers." When a country fell into chaos and misrule, There was (praise of) "kind Parents" and "filial sons." When the six relations no linger lived at peace, Great hypocrisy followed in its wake. When Knowledge and cleverness appeared, The doctrines of "love" and "Justice" arose. On the decline of the great Tao, Comments? Please! References: 1) Laotse, The Book of Tao - Modern Library - Lin Yutang
  4. tai chi and gong fu

    The study of the Tao is a lonesome road. Internal arts are only performed by the one. From Zen the lesson of the full bladder flows true. Qi Gong.
  5. [TTC Study] Chapter 1 of the Tao Te Ching

    Thanks for the reply, Marblehead, and yes it was a long and difficult decision whether to cross post ot not but the committee, consisting of me, myself, and I, had finally arrived at a consensus. Please note that the Henricks translation is not included in the comparative evaluation series above. For I have waited for the "dust to settle" given the new found scrolls of some few years ago, last century I believe, and am now awaiting that translation to arrive (the winter snows appear to have slowed the progress of the camel caravan ) in these mountains. I may then review my initial comparisons.
  6. [TTC Study] Chapter 1 of the Tao Te Ching

    Continuing the comparative examination of the Tao Te Ching: Part 1; The Way, Chapter 1, The ending and a beginning. My continuing Stumblings Concerning the Hap-Hazard Way. Taoism is classed as a "Mystery Religion" based upon its supposed unknowable quality. The secret of secrets or the mystery of mysteries and the gateway to all, is the common last portion of the first chapter of the Tao Te Ching and adds to that assumption, so why bother? Taoism does not require that one have "faith" or to take its lessons and principals on trust. Similar to a body-building exercise-plan, reading just does not build up muscular bulk any more than does mere discussion of that plan put on the pounds of lean, supple, and dynamic muscle tissue. Much like the body building plan above that relationship applies to the personal and spiritual growth aspects of the Tao, for Tao does require that one engage upon and participate in those daily exercises needed to attain the ultimate goal. The mysterious aspects of the Tao, indeed much of the explanations of this first and pivotal chapter of the Tao Teh Ching, I have found best explained by Deng Ming-Dao, daily reading #326 entitled, of all things, "Mysticism." I take the liberty to provide a reduced excerpt here: It is most difficult to try to improve on the above. Yet one should look at it as but a beginning towards a most desirable and attainable end. References: 1) 365 Tao Daily Meditations - Deng Ming-Dao; Pub. Harper Collins. Notes: Cross-posted with permission of author (myself) from interfaith org forums
  7. [TTC Study] Chapter 1 of the Tao Te Ching

    Continuing the comparative examination of the Tao Te Ching: Part 1; The Way, Chapter 1, third verse pair. My continuing Stumblings Concerning the Hap-Hazard Way. The Tao is all about one. That which we may detect with our senses see, hear, smell, taste and touch is at once the dawning of the first proof and the asking of the primal question. The secret of the Tao being introduced, as is the wonder and the marvels to be found and where to look, yet the difficulty is not reduced. Passion, desire, longing show to one the manifestations on the senses of the Tao. Yet the true experience of the Tao requires of one to engage in that dispassionate examination from within to find the explanations what our senses tell us is all about us. In an effort to name the common source we are faced with adding more labels. Each label, pertaining to one or more aspects of the Tao, is only partially correct yet each label is the same thing viewed from but a different perspective. Each perspective provides a clue, but they are not complete individually or in summation. Thus the hidden secret exists as it is beyond human expression to name or speak or even write about it directly. The true secret will remain so only for the lack of human ability and the lack of medium(s) with which to describe it to others. References: 1) The Way of Life Lao Tzu - R.B. Blakney 2) The Wisdom of China and Asia Lao Tzu: The Book of the Tao - Lin Yutang 3) The Way of Life according to Lao Tzu - Whitter Bynner 4) Lao Tzu: "My words are very easy to understand" - Man-jen Cheng/Tam C. Gibbs 5) Tao Teh Ching - John C.H. Wu Notes: Cross-posted with permission of author (myself) from interfaith org forums
  8. [TTC Study] Chapter 1 of the Tao Te Ching

    Continuing the comparative examination of the Tao Te Ching: Part 1; The Way, Chapter 1, second verse pair. My continuing Stumblings Concerning the Hap-Hazard Way. A lesson from Zen Buddhism may add to the clarity, then again it may enhance the confusion factor as well. Such is the difficulty when speaking of the Tao, the words we may use are but a shallow reflection of the real thing; the True Tao is beyond direct human description - thus we resort to metaphor and even these attempts are found wanting. To me, the Tao is some nebulous "thing" that must be personally experienced to be understood. Second Verse Pair. The Tao is un-categorical. as soon as distinctions are drawn, even by so little as a thought, aspects of the Tao are separated from the "oneness" of the Tao and the number of these things is beyond infinite. "Wait a minute," one may say, "infinity is the largest number - there is no thing larger than infinity!" Which is of course a rational way of thinking. But I hasten to point out that the Tao is not part of a rational system and, thus, the concept of Tao contains all including an infinity of infinities. Now that should up the confusion factor quite a bit. References: 1) Thomas Cleary 1) Ursala K. Le Guin Notes: Cross-posted with permission of author (myself) from interfaith org forums
  9. [TTC Study] Chapter 1 of the Tao Te Ching

    Continuing the comparative examination of the Tao Te Ching: Part 1; The Way, Chapter 1. The Tao has also been called The Way and the path. The Tao has been compared with a narrow and winding un-beaten track. "A way can be a guide but not a fixed path; names can be given but not permanent labels." - <1> "The Way you can go isn't the real way. The name you can say isn't the real name." - <2> Similar to a deer trail in the wood it is most difficult to describe to others the fullness of the experience of following an un-specified track located in an area that few people would visit or even know exist. Compounding this is the lack of solid definitive words in language to describe that experiential "something" to someone else lacking in same. Today we may resort to saying "You would have had to have been there," communicating little concerning that experience to, in most cases, an un-prepared and un-accepting mind. "Existence is beyond the power of words to define: terms may be used but none of them are absolute" -<3> Thus one is "stuck" while trying to explain to others, with what may initially appear to be a deliberate exercise of obfuscation, by repeating the same tired ritual of: "The Tao that can be followed is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name." - <4> "Tao can be talked about but not the Eternal Tao Names can be named but not the eternal name." -<5> "The Tao that can be told of is not the Absolute Tao; The Names that can be given are not the absolute Names." - <6> Yet even that basic message can be seen as influenced by one philosophy: "The person of superior integrity does not insist upon his integrity; For this reason he has integrity. The person of inferior integrity never loses sight of his integrity; for this reason he lacks integrity." - <7> or another: "I teach the integral Way of uniting with the great and mysterious Tao. My teachings are simple; if you try to make a religion or science of them, they will elude you. Profound yet plain, the contain the entire truth of the universe" - <8> Of course this may add to the level of confusion perceived by the curious inquirer's initial attempts to "figure out" this whole Tao business. References: 1) Thomas Cleary, The Essential Tao. 2) Ursal K. Le Guin, Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching 3) Witter Bynner, The Way of life - according to Lao Tzu 4) Charles Muller, 5) John C.H. Wu, Tao Te Ching: Lao Tzu 6) Lin Yutang, The Wisdom of China and India, Modern Library 7) Victor H. Mair, Tao Te Ching: The classic book of Integrity and The Way 8) Brian Walker, Hua Hu Ching: The teachings of Lao Tzu. Notes: Cross-posted with permission of author (myself) from interfaith org forums
  10. The first post has some elements of Buddhism, i.e. particularly that of pain/suffering, and the overall tone of the posting appears to be one of gloom and doom. As a novice philosophical Taoist, however hap-hazard I may be upon that lonesome Way, I must state that upon this precept of pain/suffering, or what some may call "original sin," I am in philosophical dis-agreement. Industry or Industry? All to often concepts may be confused. Finding use in that which most may consider as useless, obtaining inner stillness through external activity(Chi Gong, Tai Chi), doing non doing(wei wu wei) and Feng Shui(manipulation of the person/environment) are concepts embraced to some greater or lesser degree by Taoist philosophy. Is being industrious in one's meditation then to be considered as the "evil" that is being painted of industry, in general, in the OP? It is hoped that the reader does not mis understand that when I have spoken of Buddhism that I am of a position that is in dis-agreement of many of the Buddhist philosophies or precepts. I choose merely point out to others that Buddhism is not my primary Way.
  11. The Dhammapada

    Ohh, You mean near to the "Throne of Thought" where one goes to "Sit and Think?"<grin> Would you compare/rate it to an other version you have had the opportunity to examine? I am of the opinion that such a series of reviews would be quite helpful to the beginner.
  12. Taoism/Buddhism

    To answer your last question first, "The Genuine Article": Obtaining the general printed works is easy when one has access to the internet and sufficient funds with which to purchase their wares. There are many broad spectrum booksellers similar to Amazon Dot Com, and specialty publishers such as Wisdom Publications and Shambhala who maintain their own websites. I would recommend obtaining at least one work, pertaining to Taoism and/or Buddhism, by the Author/Translator Dr. Thomas Cleary for the excellent historical background information they contain. I would start with D.C. Lao's translation of the Tao Teh Ching, known in some circles as the "legalist version." To me this translation is a must-have "reference point." Do not hesitate to obtain other translator's versions of the Tao Teh Ching. (I personally have 12 translations) Add to the Tao Teh Ching a translation of Chuang Tsu as a guide. Chuang Tsu would provide a good perspective so that one does not fall into the trap of taking one's self too seriously. The I Ching and the Art of War are, to my mind, necessary as well, and not for the reasons that many novices would initially consider. I shall expand further, later. For the study of Buddhism in general, the Dhammapada is a must have. Like the Tao Teh Ching obtain many translations. While I have Miamoto Musashi's "The Book of Five Rings" as part of "my essential" Zen collection others, of course, may have different perspectives. Buddhism is a not my strong point. My personal perpectives: an opinionated point of view concerning; the lone student of the Tao, i.e., the "Tao of the Hap-Hazard Way," === Please note that the following is not meant to disparage other sages or other philosophies that may help us to stay on the path by their lack of mention, nor is one to consider it as ultimate or complete authority. === The Tao Teh Ching is a general guide line to living one's life under varying circumstances and capacities. The study of the Tao requires a great deal of introspection, for the "mysterious" Tao is experiential. Yet for a novice with little or no access to others or a study group, oft times the Tao Teh Ching is simply not enough. Chuang Tzu helps a great deal with maintaining one's perspective and the prevention of outbursts of the "all-too-serious" cryptic "mono-syllabic-utterances" that, to others, may appear as in-comprehensible and often they are. Chuang Tsu adds flavor to and aids in the digestion of the study of the Tao. The "Art of War" by Sun Tzu is a Taoist work that all too many mis-interpret, because of its title alone. Avoiding the impulse of not judging a book by its cover, many pass it by. In reality the Art of War teaches the art of "Conflict Resolution." A study of the work and its application in real life places the practitioner in the position of a skilled negotiator. The Art of War provides great insight of the recognition of how one is being manipulated by others and ways to avoid same; it is not a how-to for "fighters." The I Ching is considered by all too many as simply a fortune telling oracle, it is in fact presented as such by many translator/authors. The I Ching is vastly more that this for it provides an expanded template of living one's life in accord with the Way. The lessons that the I Ching has to offer are manifold and appear initially as cryptic; Yet much in keeping with the Tao Teh Ching these lessons are to be pondered upon in the privacy of one's own mind as one attempts to walk the path. Even with the wealth of knowledge and wisdom presented by the above named Taoist works there comes a time when it would be useful to have a "how-to" or "What am I doing wrong" manual. This is where I have found that the Dhammapada, especially the section known as the "Twin Verses," from Buddhism provides just such a "tool kit" for personal growth. Other helpful areas from Buddhist philosophy that I have found of great use have as their source, Zen Buddhism. Earlier I has spoken of the Art of War as a conflict resolution methodology. But what is one to do and how is one to proceed when: the effluent impacts upon the high mass acceleration, angularly rotating, ventilation device; one's back is against the wall and, there is no escape? It is in times such as these that one would really find the knowledge born of experience of a "how to fight" manual most useful. Mind you that I do not speak of participating in violent thoughts, for that is in itself a corruption of the Way, One finds such non-thought, leading to right action in time of crisis, in the guide book for same of course! Here is where the work of Miamoto Musashi, "The Book of Five Rings," comes to one's aid. Yet there is one aspect that binds all of the above with a single thread, introspection. Introspection and reflection is at the root of the type of lifestyle that the Way represents. This reflective lifestyle is not the New Year's Resolution but it is the dedicated, daily, or even moment-by-moment, reflection that many in the Western World find a great difficulty in implementing. The practice of meditation is a key component to one who would pause and examine their travels along the Way. There exist many manuals and books of instruction concerning meditation from various perspectives, choose wisely. In summary, the Tao Teh Ching shows us the general Way to living our lives, Chuang Tzu helps us maintain a realistic perspective of ourselves, Sun Tsu instructs us about being manipulated by others, the I Ching broadens our personal internal lessons of the Way, The Dhammapada's Twin Versus is our "personal" tool kit, and Miamoto Musashi keeps us from being ravaged by ne'er do wells. ARRg
  13. Greetings from Guan-Wen!

    <snip> Same here, and welcome. <snip> I have added "The Art of War" to my studies of the Tao and "The Book of Five Rings" to my flirtations with Zen. <snip> As an accidental (or is that occidental?) I am pleased to hear from the "original" perspective however far removed. It provides a cultural reference point which I lack. <snip> Welcome to the "Tao of Hap-Hazard Way," for I too have drawn from both philosophies.
  14. Basic staples we used to call 'em, and 'tis best you rely less on canned goods than on dry goods, Canned meats being the prime exception. Remember that this is not a gourmet experience. Purchase in small quantities at a time by dedicating $10-$15 per grocery shopping event as this will go somewhat un-noticed by most. The large bulk quantity packaging may be more efficient for the dollar, but it is best to buy in smaller amounts. Primarily this smaller packaging is to prevent long-term spoilage during use as these smaller packages can also be used in the household as a normal part of the "grocery" list, thus helping to rotate the stock. Mis-handling losses would also be reduced. Spices. A word here on these "luxury" items. Rome once paid a ransom to the Barbarians that consisted of large portion of spices. In a barter society these will be worth quite a bit. Purchase spices at an Indian or Pakistani or Asian type market to get the best prices for spices in quantities; this also applies to teas. Shun the supermarket and their high priced glassed-bottled stuff. Salt & sugar in 1 and 5 lb bags respectively Purchase Iodized salt,for we are speaking of emergencies, right? Coffee and tea, the former in the freeze dried bricks (eliminates the can), and the latter loose. I consider that a good green tea and an Assam tea as being minimal. Instant hot chocolate in foil packets. Flour & corn meal in 5 lb bags, corn starch, baking soda and baking powder, Rice, and white navy beans and small red beans and/or pinto beans for variety, mung beans if you are a monk <grin>. Get the 2 pound packaging. Oatmeal and "Farina" type hot breakfast cereals in individual or meal-sized packets; spoilage remember? Avoid the crunchy flake, processed, cereals, too much bulk. Instant potatoes same as above as with milk powder. A few small plastic jars of peanut butter have worth as well. Don't forget the Dried Fruits! there is quite a variety available. a they are a must have. Dried vegetables, like the dehydrated type for stews, and dried soup mixes. Black pepper and cayenne pepper as a bare minimum for spices. Olive oil in plastic bottles, 8-12 Fluid Ounce size. This will be the mainstay frying oil other than small tins of lard or "Crisco," or possibly Ghee. Olive oil has other uses as well. Well my eyes are getting a bit tired but I hope that one can see the general line of reasoning here. Oh, if you do not know how to cook, now is a good time to learn.