Taoism at its most practical

Tao Te Tuesday

Welcome to TTT, a newsletter where we rescue and put to practice the ancient wisdom of Taoism - the art of living. If you are not subscribed already, you can do so here.

If you think someone else would enjoy TTT please forward or share using this link!


Act without doing;
work without effort.
Think of the small as large
and the few as many.
Confront the difficult
while it is still easy;
accomplish the great task
by a series of small acts.

The Master never reaches for the great;
thus she achieves greatness.
When she runs into a difficulty,
she stops and gives herself to it.
She doesn't cling to her own comfort;
thus problems are no problem for her.
63

Tao Te Ching, a New English Version, copyright ©️ 1988 by Stephen Mitchell, published by HarperCollins. All rights reserved.

Six practical advice that will teach you how to live:

  1. Act without doing; work without effort.

Flow is a real thing: It’s a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter. This experience is not reserved for professional musicians or athletes. It’s dosen’t have to be something you occasionally bump into by chance. It’s something that can be found if looked for. Anywhere. Everywhere.1

  1. Think of the small as large and the few as many.

You can live with a mindset of abundance or one of scarcity. Good news! Neither is true: so pick whichever you want.

  1. Confront the difficult while it is still easy; accomplish the great task by a series of small acts.

Want to write a book? Start with one chapter. Want to develop an app? Start with a mock-up. A healthy body is sculpted one day at a time. A piano concerto is learned one bar at a time.

  1. The Master never reaches for the great; thus she achieves greatness.

You don't notice your progress in life because you are always raising the bar.2 And what good is progress if you’re always miserable?

  1. When she runs into a difficulty, she stops and gives herself to it.

She treats it as she would an honored guest. Attentive, receptive, and alert to whatever action is required.

  1. She doesn't cling to her own comfort; thus problems are no problem for her.

An old Taoist Master once said after losing his wife: “Before I met my wife, I was happy. Now, I am just as before; why shouldn’t I be happy?”


Quote of the Week

“Half of what I say is meaningless; but I say it so that the other half will reach you”

- Khalil Gibran


Song Picks of the Week (Official TTT Playlist here)

  1. Ani Kuni - Polo & Pan (Electronic with a sort of Western vibe)

  1. Otherside - Monolink (Melodic House)

Thank you for reading! Send me your comments and questions by replying to this email.

Until next Tuesday.

1

For further insight into how to infuse your life with more moments of flow read Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

2

Unknown source, I found it on Reddit.

Walking in Circles

Tao Te Tuesday

Welcome to TTT, a newsletter where we rescue and put to practice the ancient wisdom of Taoism - the art of living. If you are not subscribed already, you can do so here.

If you think someone else would enjoy TTT please forward or share using this link!


The Tao is the center of the universe,
the good man's treasure,
the bad man's refuge.

Honors can be bought with fine words,
respect can be won with good deeds;
but the Tao is beyond all value,
and no one can achieve it.

Thus, when a new leader is chosen,
don't offer to help him
with your wealth or your expertise.
Offer instead
to teach him about the Tao.

Why did the ancient Masters esteem the Tao?
Because, being one with the Tao,
when you seek, you find;
and when you make a mistake, you are forgiven.
That is why everybody loves it.
62

Tao Te Ching, a New English Version, copyright ©️ 1988 by Stephen Mitchell, published by HarperCollins. All rights reserved.

The worst thing about walking in circles is that you don’t know it until you notice you had been there before. By then you might be exhausted and confused.

Early in life you start a journey in search for meaning. You become hungry for honors, respect, wealth, and expertise. These are acquired with words and deeds and the bounty is disguised as progress. But the hike goes on and the circle is extended.

The Master stops, takes a moment and asks himself: “Why do I want respect? Why do I want wealth?”

Does a life have more or less meaning depending on its accomplishments?

A merry-go-round is only enjoyable if you can get off whenever you want. And if you do step outside, even for a second, you’ll find refuge from the only thing you need saving from - your mind.

Take a look around and notice if you’ve been there before. Where is this road taking you?


Quote of the Week

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

- Haruki Murakami in Norwegian Wood


Song Picks of the Week (Official TTT Playlist here)

  1. Keep Moving - Jungle, The Blessed Madonna (House, Disco)

  1. Perfect Day . French 79, Fred Nevché (Experimental-Electro-Chill)

  1. Piano Sonata No.20 in A, Second Movement. Franz Schubert (Classical Solo Piano)

Thank you very much for reading! Let me know if you have questions or comments by replying to this email.

Until next Tuesday

PS.

For those interested in classical music, I decided to split the playlist Classic Good, which I’ve shared with you before, into Solo Piano and Orchestral. Now you have two awesome playlists :)

Painting a Self-Portrait

Tao Te Tuesday

Welcome to TTT, a newsletter where we rescue and put to practice the ancient wisdom of Taoism - the art of living. If you are not subscribed already, you can do so here.

If you think someone else would enjoy TTT please forward or share using this link!


When a country obtains great power,
it becomes like the sea:
all streams run downward into it.
The more powerful it grows,
the greater the need for humility.
Humility means trusting the Tao,
thus never needing to be defensive.

A great nation is like a great man:
When he makes a mistake, he realizes it.
Having realized it, he admits it.
Having admitted it, he corrects it.
He considers those who point out his faults
as his most benevolent teachers.
He thinks of his enemy
as the shadow that he himself casts.

If a nation is centered in the Tao,
if it nourishes its own people
and doesn't meddle in the affairs of others,
it will be a light to all nations in the world.
61

Tao Te Ching, a New English Version, copyright ©️ 1988 by Stephen Mitchell, published by HarperCollins. All rights reserved.

This journey of life is like painting a self-portrait. Every day is one small stroke.

The people around you and the moments shared are the only mirrors available.

Our early years form the silhouette and the obvious features. The Face, the hair, the hands.

But time allows for refinement and discovery. A chromatic look perhaps, or a contrived smile. Are you happy with how it’s turning out?

When a true Artist makes a mistake, or someone points it out, he realizes it. Having realized it, he admits it. Having admitted it, he corrects it. He has no hidden agenda but the search for truth. It's never personal, it’s just the way it is.

He works on it as a gift; to everyone and to no one. Like a tree growing an apple, not caring whether anyone will take it.


Quote of the Week

“What, after all, do we listen for when we listen to a composer? He need not tell us a story like the novelist; he need not “copy” nature like the sculptor; his work need have no immediate practical function like the architect’s drawing. What is it that he gives us, then? Only one answer seems possible to me: He gives us himself. Every artist’s work is, of course, an expression of himself, but none so direct as that of the creative musician. He gives us, without relation to exterior “events,” the quintessential part of himself—that part which embodies the fullest and deepest expression of himself as a man and of his experience as a fellow being.”

- Aaron Compland - American Composer


Song Picks of the Week (Official TTT Playlist here)

  1. Bird - Recondite (Electronic)

  1. Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 (Classic)

Thank you for reading!

Until next Tuesday,

Daniel

A Ph.D in Good and Evil

Tao Te Tuesday

Welcome to TTT, a newsletter where we rescue and put to practice the ancient wisdom of Taoism - the art of living. If you are not subscribed already, you can do so here.

If you think someone else would enjoy TTT please forward or share using this link!


Governing a large country
is like frying a small fish.
You spoil it with too much poking.

Center your country in the Tao
and evil will have no power.
Not that it isn't there,
but you'll be able to step out of its way.

Give evil nothing to oppose
and it will disappear by itself.
60

Tao Te Ching, a New English Version, copyright ©️ 1988 by Stephen Mitchell, published by HarperCollins. All rights reserved.

If most Ph.D. programs require 120 credit hours, I have the equivalent of a Ph.D on Star Wars. 11 feature films (2.5h/each), 133 episodes of The Clone Wars (25 min/each), 75 episodes of Rebels (25 min/each) and 16 episodes from The Mandalorian (50min/each). So 127.5 hours to be exact.

I really enjoyed it, but that’s not why I did it. I did it because I wanted to answer a question: Why is this franchise so ridiculously popular? How can it possibly justify a total worldwide box office revenue of 10 billion dollars; the second of all franchises after Marvel Cinematic Universe.

What makes this story so special? Why this story and not another one? Is it a collection of a lot of things done right or does one or two haul everything else? Why are these characters so important to society? How can someone (like me) tolerate over 120 hours of basically the same plot over and over again?

The full extent of my discoveries will be explored in a future article, but there is one thing that popped in my mind over and over again while I was watching:

Evil is so obviously evil.

Darth Sidious, Darth Vader, Maul, Thrawn, whoever the villain of the moment is, toss around words like “revenge”, “destruction” or “hate” like they were paid each time they say them.

Its the same in every other franchise on that chart of course. Whether its Voldemort, Sauron or Lord Farquaad. Villains are evil and their opposing heroes are pious.

The characters in the stories we love are easy to understand. What you see is all there is. Even when there is a jump in character development it is always thoroughly explained. Only a bad storyteller would make a good character evil or an evil character good without giving you a precise and digested idea of why that happened.

The pervieved dichotomy of good and evil has been present since the first story ever written (The Epic of Gilgamesh), but using the same tools we use to decipher a character in a story to understand each other is a grave error.

Evil is not a supernatural force. It’s not even a natural force. It’s not an inherent quality of a person or even a pattern of behaviors. It only reveals itself in the form of temporary dissonance. Two independent sound waves that collide and create a screech in this a moment in time and space. As with any wave, time takes care of flattening it out, we just have to let that happen. In the presence of evil, pause the tune you are playing, and wait for the frequencies to untangle; they always do.


Quote of the Week

“To answer power with power, the Jedi way this is not. In this war, a danger there is, of losing who we are.”

– Yoda


Song Picks of the Week (Official TTT Playlist here)

  1. Corde Sensible - Freedom Fry (Indie)

  1. Pleasure Centre - Kraak & Smaak. Awesome Mediterranean vibes. (Electro-chill)

  1. 😎

Thank you very much for reading!

Until next Tuesday

Daniel

Advice for Myself

Tao Te Tuesday

Welcome to TTT, a newsletter where we rescue and put to practice the ancient wisdom of Taoism - the art of living. If you are not subscribed already, you can do so here.

If you think someone else would enjoy TTT please forward or share using this link!


For governing a country well
there is nothing better than moderation.

The mark of a moderate man
is freedom from his own ideas.
Tolerant like the sky,
all-pervading like sunlight,
firm like a mountain,
supple like a tree in the wind,
he has no destination in view
and makes use of anything
life happens to bring his way.

Nothing is impossible for him.
Because he has let go,
he can care for the people's welfare
as a mother cares for her child.
59

Tao Te Ching, a New English Version, copyright ©️ 1988 by Stephen Mitchell, published by HarperCollins. All rights reserved.

Maybe you're wrong about who you are.
Maybe you can learn a thing or two from others.
Maybe you should make yourself more available.
Maybe you should act on what feels right.
Maybe your goals should be purely decorative
Maybe you should use what you have instead of longing for what you don't.

Each moment is brand new; re-imagine it.
Each moment speaks for itself; drop the baggage.


Quote of the Week

“When one does a thing, it appears good, otherwise one would not write it. Only later comes reflection, and one discards or accepts the thing. Time is the best censor, and patience a most excellent teacher.”
― Frédéric Chopin


Song Picks of the Week (Official TTT Playlist here)

  1. The Center Will Not Hold - Solomun (Electro-House)

  1. Prelude No.4 - Frédéric Chopin, Ivo Pogorelich (Classical / Piano)

Thank you very much for reading! Let me know your thoughts by replying :)

Until next Tuesday.

Daniel

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