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Chapter 13
One is alarmed when in receipt of favor or disgrace.
One has great trouble because of one's body that he has.
What is meant by being alarmed by favor or disgrace?
Favor is regarded as superior, and disgrace as inferior.
One is alarmed when one receives them
And equally alarmed when one loses them.
This is what is meant by being alarmed by favor or disgrace.
What is meant by having great trouble because of the body?
The reason why I have great trouble is that I have a body.
If I had no body,
What trouble could I have?
Hence he who values the world in the same way as he values his body
Can be entrusted with the world.
He who loves the world in the same way as he loves his body
Can be entrusted with the world.

Chapter 14
You look at it but can not see it;
It is called the imageless.
You listen to it but can not hear it;
It is called the soundless.
You touch it but can not find it;
It is called the formless.

These three cannot be further inquired into,
For they are the inseparable One.
The One is not bright when it is up,
And not dark when it is down.
Infinite and indistinct, it cannot be named,
Thus reverting to a state of non-thingness.

This is called shape without shape,
Or image without image.
It is also called the Vague and the Elusive.
When meeting it. you cannot see its head,
When following it, you cannot see its back.
Hold on to the Dao of old
In order to harness present things.
From this you may know the primeval beginning.
This is called the law of the Dao.

Chapter 15
He who was adept at practicing the Dao in antiquity
Was subtly profound and penetrating, too deep to be understood.
As he was beyond people's cognitive capacity,
I can only describe him arbitrarily:
He was cautious, as if walking across a frozen river in winter;
He was vigilant, as if being threatened by an attack on all sides;
He was solemn and reserved, like a visiting guest;
He was supple and pliant, like ice about to melt;
He was broad, like the boundless sea;
He was vigorous, like the untiring blowing wind;
He was genuine and plain, like the uncarved block;
He was open and expansive, like a great valley;
He was merged and indifferent, like muddy water.
Who could make the muddy gradually clear via tranquility?
Who could make the still gradually come to life via activity?
(It was nobody else but him.)
He who maintains the Dao does not want to be overflowing.
It is just because he does not want to be overflowing
That he can he renewed when worn out.
Chapter 16
Try the utmost to get the heart into complete vacuity.
Be sure to keep the mind in steadfast tranquility.
All things are growing and developing
And I see thereby their cycles.
Though all things flourish with a myriad of variations,
Each one eventually returns to its root.
This returning to its root is called tranquility;
This tranquility is called returning to its destiny;
Returning to its destiny is called the eternal.
To know the eternal is called enlightenment and wisdom.
Not to know the eternal is to take blind action,
Thus resulting in disaster.
He who knows the eternal can embrace all.
He who embraces all can be impartial.
He who is impartial can be all-encompassing.
He who is all-encompassing can be at one with Heaven.
He who is at one with Heaven can be at one with the Dao.
He who is at one with the Dao can be everlasting
And free from danger throughout his life.

Chapter 17

The best kind of rulers are those whose existence
Is merely known by the people below them.
The next-best are those who are loved and praised.
The next-best are those who are feared.
The next-best are those who are despised.
If trust in others is not sufficient,
It will be unrequited.
(The best rulers) are cautious,
And seldom issue orders.
When tasks are accomplished and affairs completed,
The common people will say,
"We simply follow the way of spontaneity."

Chapter 18
When the great Dao is rejected,
The doctrines of Ren and Yi will arise.
When knowledge and craftiness appear,
Great hypocrisy will also emerge.
When the six family relations are not in harmony,
Filial piety and parental affection will be advocated.
When a country falls into chaos,
Loyal ministers will be praised.

 

Chapter 1-4 | Chapter 5-12 | Chapter 13-18 | Chapter 19-23 | Chapter 24-28 | Chapter 29-35
Chapter 36-40 | Chapter 41-49 | Chapter 50-54 | Chapter 55-60 | Chapter 61-66
| Chapter 67-73 | Chapter 74-81 |




 

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