This partly serious, partly satirical article was written by my dad and Tai Chi teacher David Keegan. The article is inspired by Lao Tzu’s Taoist classic the Tao Te Ching. This version is of course the Tao Dave Ching, which takes some inspiration from 1960s rock music…. The first lesson of the Tao is not to take life too seriously…
THE FIRST NINE….
01.The Tao is not the way to the Path
02.There is no consciousness without discrimination of opposites.
03. Finery is Foolery.
04. Don’t think, – Do.
05. Proceed without motive.
06. The way is the enemy of the Tao.
07. To interfere with ones own true way is restrictive.
08. Water seeks its own level naturally, this is the way.
09. Everything in moderation (without discontent).
THE SECOND NINE….
10.Create and nourish, but do not own.
11. To everything there is a purpose.
12. Material is not prosperity.
13. Good fortune and bad are acceptable companions.
14. You cannot see the Wood for the trees sometimes.
15. To clear muddy water, leave it alone.
16. Grow, Bud, Blossom, Fruit and return to the earth.
17. Speak confidently or be silent.
18. Manners maketh the man.
THE THIRD NINE…..
19. Keep it simple stupid (k.i.s.s)
20.Be yourself, not someone else.
21. You cannot explain Tao, it is not descriptive.
22. He who desires little accomplishes much.
23. Keep silent if you have nothing to say.
24. Consider balance in all things.
25. Follow nature, nature follows heaven, heaven follows Tao. As above so below.
26. Stillness creates motion. Motion must not be futile.
27. Act, but do not wait for applause.
THE FOURTH NINE….
28.Be open, be honest.
29. No thing can be held by force.
30. As you sow, so shall you reap?
31. Take up arms in sadness.
32. You cannot change Tao or hold it.
33. Know yourself to know others.
34. All is Tao.
35. The hardest path is the way of Tao.
36. These are the principles of Taiji.Those that need to know, know, those that do not understand this verse, well, never mind. Just remember, don’t take fishes from the deep.
THE FIFTH NINE…..
37. If it is not broken, it needs no repair.
38. Show by example.
39. Every thing needs good foundation.
40. Teh is the bud of the Tao.
41. Tao informs, it perfects.
42. Tao formed Teh: Teh formed Yin Yang: Yin Yang formed Heaven, Earth and Man: These three created everything.
43. The greatest speech is silence.
44. Chose Life, not wealth or fame.
45. Clarity and stillness achieve.
THE SIXTH NINE…..
46. Withdraw from ambition.
47. The further one travels, the less one knows.
48. Enough is as good as a feast.
49. Do unto others as you would be done by.
50. Live life, do not wait for death.
51. Be of the earth, not on it.
52. Regard the beginning, not the end.
53. True path is simplicity.
54. Establish good roots in all.
THE SEVENTH NINE……
55.Harmony cultivates natural perfection.
56. Taoist keep silent, keep control.
57. Force achieves nothing lasting.
58. Adapt to your environment.
59. Balance earthly nature against heavenly need.
60. Simple and direct, rule accordingly.
61. Serve in order to gain.
62. Tao is your greatest ornament, your most valuable gift.
63. Think before you act, act before you fail.
THE EIGHT NINE…..
64. A stitch in time saves nine.
65. Give an answer, not a question.
66. Be a master, serve all.
67. You have 3 treasures: gentleness; economy; humility.
68. Lose your temper, lose your battle.
69. Look for compromise.
70. Tao is easy, to follow-impossible.
71. If you do not know, say so.
72. Fear restriction of self.
THE NINETH NINE…….
73. Heaven protects not those foolish with their lives.
74. Vengence is not for man.
75. Greed injures all.
76. Adapt, the path is flexible.
77. Give your surplus to the people.
78. The soft overcomes the hard; man to follow makes this the impossible law.
79. Regard your action, right or wrong.
80. Heaven on earth, yin cannot become yang.
81. Wise men do not hoard, the more you give, the more you have.
Words from others:
Begin each day by saying to yourself, “today I will meet people who are interfering, ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious and selfish, they are made this way because of their ignorance of what is good or evil” .So why are you surprised when you meet them? (Marcus Aurielus)
Adapt yourself to the life you have been given (this time) and truly love the people with whom destiny has surrounded you.You have three relationships; the first is to your body.
The second is to your gods (if you don’t have any, invent one) the third is to those who live with you.
These are your connections.
If it is not right, don’t do it.
If it’s not true, don’t say it.
Keep your impulses in reserve.
You have only been given a limited amount of time.
If you do not use it for blowing away the clouds from your mind, it will pass away and you will go with it, never to return.
The hidden power…..Remember that our buttons are pushed by what is hidden deep inside.
There lays the power of persuasion….there lies life.
There, if one may say so, lies the very self….
Do not worry about what you do not have,
But think about what you do possess.
Consider this…Every day that wastes away leaves one day less to live.
THE TAO OF THE TEACHER.
The Teacher has nine wishes.
In seeing, he wishes to see clearly.
In hearing, he wishes to hear distinctly.
In his expression, he wishes to be warm.
In his appearance, he wishes to be respectful.
In his speech, he wishes to be sincere.
In business, he wishes to be serious.
When in doubt, he wishes to inquire further.
When angry, he wishes to examine and resolve the resultant difficulties.
When he sees an opportunity for a gain, he wishes to think of righteousness.
— Confucius (551- 479 BC)
Confucian Analects, XVI.10