dao organization

Chinese for "organization"

pagoda shaped and beautifully decorated hair ornament

Chinese characters for "Solid gold Buddhist pagoda made to enshrine the Empress Dowager’s hair"

Pattern and creativity
Are the two poles of action.

It is wise to plan each day. By setting goals for oneself and organizing activities to be accomplished, one can be sure that each day will be full and never wasted.

Followers of Tao use patterns when planning. They observe the ways of nature, perceive the invisible lines of destiny. They imagine a pattern for their entire lives, and in this way, they ensure overall success. Each day, they match interim patterns against their master goals, and so navigate life with sureness and grace. It is precisely this ability to discern and manipulate patterns unknown to the ordinary person that makes the followers of Tao so formidable.

When unpredictable things happen, those who follow Tao are also skilled at improvisation. If circumstances deny them, they change immediately. To avoid confusion, they still discern the patterns of the situation and create new ones, much like a chess player at the board. The spontaneous creation of new patterns is their ultimate art.

365 Tao
daily meditations
Deng Ming-Dao (author)
ISBN 0-06-250223-9

Chinese characters for "Solid gold Buddhist pagoda made to enshrine the Empress Dowager’s hair"

Solid gold Buddhist pagoda
made to enshrine the Empress Dowager’s hair (1777)
Gold-silver alloy, coral, lapis lazuli, gilt bronze,
malachite, turquoise, wood, silk, glass, shell
Height: 53 cm.
Height: 97”; Width: 31”; Depth: 31”

Splendors of China’s Forbidden City: The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong
Splendors of China’s Forbidden City is devoted to the long reign of Emperor Qianlong (1736-1795). The exhibition concentrates on Qianlong’s 18th-century period, the last grand era of the Chinese empire. During his long reign, Emperor Qianlong became the epitome of a great Chinese ruler, at once all-powerful and civilized. The Chinese empire reached its largest geographic spread under his rule, while life in China was both peaceful and prosperous. The exhibition investigates how Qianlong achieved this magnificent level. Politically adept, he recognized and supported all facets of Chinese civilization. Although he was a Manchu and remained proud of his nomad forebears, he cultivated the Han Chinese, who formed the majority of the Chinese people. Like his predecessors, the Kangxi and Yongzheng emperors, Qianlong carried out a balancing act between his Manchu heritage and the culture of Han China, which the Manchu Qing dynasty had conquered. (continued from the Curator’s essay: about the exhibit and the art we will continue to see here:)

While all these diverse religious traditions are represented here, the Tibetan Buddhism that Qianlong favored is the most prominent. There is a large cloisonné enamel stupa and a rare set of Tibetan Buddhist Buddha figures with Qianlong’s mark, exemplifying esoteric Buddhism. The prominence of this kind of Buddhism at court is indicated by the presence of several buildings devoted to Tantric Buddhism in the Forbidden City, as well as by the painting in the exhibition of Qianlong as the Bodhisattva Manjusri.

The exhibition, following the arc of Qianlong’s life and one of the longest reigns in Chinese history, ends with his memorial tablet and funeral throne for quiet contemplation. Never before displayed, the funeral objects invite meditation on how even one of China’s most powerful and creative rulers comes to death, as all men do.

T A O t e C H I N G

hand drawn calligraphy of the word dao
f i f t e e n
tao verse 15

The enlightened possess understanding
So profound they can not be understood.
Because they cannot be understood
I can only describe their appearance:
Cautious as one crossing thin ice,

Undecided as one surrounded by danger,
Modest as one who is a guest.
Unbounded as melting ice,
Genuine as unshaped wood,
Broad as a valley,
Seamless as muddy water.

Who stills the water that the mud may settle,
Who seeks to stop that he may travel on,
Who desires less than what may transpire,
Decays, but will not renew.
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