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Poetry of Loy Ching-Yuen

Loy Ching-Yuen (1873 – 1960)

Loy Ching-Yuen was one of China’s best known Taoist tai chi masters of the early 20th century.

To know Tao

To know Tao
and still the mind.
Knowledge comes with perseverance.

The Way is neither full nor empty;
a modest and quiet nature understands this.
The empty vessel, the uncarved block;
nothing is more mysterious.

When enlightenment arrives
don’t talk too much about it;
just live it in your own way.
With humility and depth, rewards come naturally.

The fragrance of blossoms soon passes;
the ripeness of fruit is gone in a twinkling.
Our time in this world is so short,
better to avoid regret:
Miss no opportunity to savor the ineffable.

Like a golden beacon signaling on a moonless night,
Tao guides our passage through this transitory realm.
In moments of darkness and pain
remember all is cyclical.
Sit quietly behind your wooden door:
Spring will come again.


We can hold back
neither the coming of the flowers
nor the downward rush of the stream;
sooner or later,
everything comes to its fruition.

No Fretting

No use fretting over gold, beauty or fame;
Nurturing these, how can we calm our fluttering heart?
Non attachment brings deep truth,
And a truthful nature brings immortality.
Empty your heart,
Sit quietly on a mat.
In meditation we become one with All;
Tao billows like the vapors
In a mountain valley,
And its supernatural power wafts into our soul.

Quite Heart

With a quiet heart it’s good to practice Tao
Exercising power in the inner places,
The source of knowledge.
Diligence fosters the effortless flow of ch’i
Enjoins us with All,
Omnipotent Tao,
Self subsumed by non-self;
The pearl within the oyster.

Forging Self

Never forget the folly of greed;
We may as well swim against the current of the Yellow River.
Training our inner self is like forging lead;
nine times a blacksmith turns his dipper in the flame.
Yin and yang, earth and fire
find their own harmony.
Precious metals and our inner pearl are waxed
and chamoised with the pass of days.

When the mind is empty, blue flame licks the firebox.

Speaking Out and Spoken Word

Poetry of Li Bai
Breaking Free of Expectations
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