dao intellect

Chinese for "intellect"

coils of color, facing each other we finally see it! peacocks! wonderful peacocks!!

Scholars, drunk on words and obscure meanings,

Weave a tangled web of concordances.
Simple practice never occurs to them.
Give up education, and the world will be better.

There are many who seek Tao through the intellect. They revel in thousands of concordances, seek similarities in all the world’s religions, conduct learned discourses for enthralled audiences. But they would reach the truth faster if they tied their thoughts to experience.

The intellect is inherently dualistic. It makes distinctions and relates new connections between concepts and calls that “meaning.” This type of analytical thinking is extremely limited in the face of Tao, which is not fully rational, not fully quantitative, not fully describable. Though most followers of Tao are learned, they also realize that the intellect is but one aspect in what must be a multifaceted approach to Tao.

It is said one must give up education, not because we should be dumb, but because we must seek a level of consciousness beyond the intellect. We must study, but not to the point that emphasis on experience and meditation is lost. If we can combine the intellect and direct experience with our meditative mind, then there will be no barrier to the wordless perception of reality.

365 Tao
Daily Meditations
Deng Ming-Dao
ISBN 0-06-250223-9

The artists now work daily at the Janakpur Women's Development Center. It is a beautiful complex which the members decorated with traditional mud relief designs. The artists share ideas and images with women working in other sections of the Center who produce ceramics, textile, and papier mache. Over the years they have also received training in literacy, management, planning, gender awareness, health and child care. For them, painting is synonymous with a new social life with women friends from different villages and castes, and some of the stories they typically share are recounted in the next pages. My hope is that this exhibit will help to create a greater understanding of the Janakpur artists, as well as a new interest in how their art evolves.

this painting is called "two coiled peacocks"
Chinese for "coiled peacocks" anyone know a Napali or India translator?

the artist: Pulaba Mandalphoto of artist Pulaba Mandal
How old am I? Whatever you think: I was married when I was around sixteen and my eldest son is six. My parents never sent me to school because they were poor. After they had six girls they had two boys who were sent to school till class 3. So I worked for neighbors, putting mud on houses during Deepawali, or cutting grass. When I was thirteen or fourteen neighbors were going from place to place cutting rice, corn and grass. I packed rice, lentils, salt and took enough money for a bus fare to work in other places for one or two weeks.

I learned to make designs on houses from my mother. People would say, look at how her daughters can make designs. I saw my mother and sister do it, then I did it. We used lime and colors bought from the market which we mixed with milk. Now I paint just like I did on the walls of my house when I was first asked to join the center. I make elephants, horses, people, and wedding palanquins.

When I was married I went in a palanquin to my husband's house. I cried and couldn't eat. In my village I'd never had to cover my head but I always had to keep covered in front of my in-laws. Then for two years I wasn't given enough food because my father-in-law said my husband didn't work. So I'd meet my mother in the bazaar and she'd hand me salt, a kilo of rice which lasted two nights, and some kerosene. Then I grew angry with my husband and told him if my mother died we could never survive. So he began to work a little in the fields. Then I started work at the center and now he stays home and watches our three children.

In my designs I often make small triangles and two short double lines which make the image look nicer. My paintings often show rural people, vegetables and animals. Lately I like making up designs of peacocks and other birds—these designs come out of my head.

text and images © JWDC

T A O t e C H I N G

hand drawn calligraphy of the word dao
f i f t y - f o u r
Chinese characters for "daodejing verse fifty-four"

What is firmly established cannot be uprooted.
What is firmly grasped cannot slip away.
It will be honored from generation to generation.

Cultivate Virtue in your self,
And Virtue will be real.
Cultivate it in the family,
And Virtue will abound.
Cultivate it in the village,
And Virtue will grow.
Cultivate it in the nation,
And Virtue will be abundant.
Cultivate it in the universe,
And Virtue will be everywhere.

Therefore look at the body as body;
Look at the family as family;
Look at the village as village;
Look at the nation as nation;
Look at the universe as universe.

How do I know the universe is like this?
By looking!
— translation by GIA-FU FENG

Whoever is planted in the Tao
will not be rooted up.
Whoever embraces the Tao
will not slip away.
Her name will be held in honor
from generation to generation.

Let the Tao be present in your life
and you will become genuine.
Let it be present in your family
and your family will flourish.
Let it be present in your country
and your country will be an example
to all countries in the world.
Let it be present in the universe
and the universe will sing.

How do I know this is true?
By looking inside myself.
— translation by STEVEN MITCHELL

Cultivate harmony within yourself, and harmony becomes real;
Cultivate harmony within your family, and harmony becomes fertile;
Cultivate harmony within your community,
and harmony becomes abundant;
Cultivate harmony within your culture, and harmony becomes enduring;
Cultivate harmony within the world, and harmony becomes ubiquitous.
Live with a person to understand that person;
Live with a family to understand that family;
Live with a community to understand that community;
Live with a culture to understand that culture;
Live with the world to understand the world.
How can I live with the world?
By accepting.
— translation by P. MEREL
a reading list of books and interpretations of the Daodejing is available at
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