Archive | January 2015

Out of the City on his Buffalo and other older posts

Lao Tzu and Shan


Painting – Lao Tse 1943 by Nicholas Roerich

Here are links to older posts you may not have seen yet:

Out of the city on his buffalo

Brecht and Lao Tzu

Paddling upstream against disappointments

Wintry sparrows

Immortal splashed in ink




Depending on dandelions

I was once told, by someone for whom it was a reality, that there are seven plants which,  together,  keep the universe from unraveling.  I do not know the other six, so over time I take it almost for reality that it is the dandelion that keeps the universe from unraveling.

Dandelions on the pavement lawn

Be that as it may, the dandelions are a dance of transformation in themselves – open bright yellow flowers to the sun, happy harvest for bees, corkscrew no-flowers to the dusk sky, round puff-ball seeds, whisps of seeds on the wind . . . . and a root for a roasted beverage (if you know how to do that).

The dandelion-dao, maybe (maybe not) keeping the universe, or at least my bit of the beautiful planet,  woven together in rough times.

Cartoonist Michael Leunig once had a cartoon called “A man meets twelve great spiritual leaders” leunig25

I am doing a list called “A woman meets twelve great spiritual teachers”  or perhaps “Somebody meets twelve great immortals”.

Number one on the list, herewith the dandelion.




From a highveld summer afternoon thunderstorm

Warm lively wishes for 2015 from a wonderful warm and wet day of thunderstorms on the highveld.

I am starting the year with a question about insisting.   There are so many ways in which people, peoples, and our planet home are calling out for what is truly needed, for peace, for fairness, for a future.  What is most urgent is often hard to express, difficult to work towards and awkward to sustain when it makes others uncomfortable.   It takes courage to stand up and be counted.   At the same time, if one always sings the same song, it is hard to bring people along.

My paraphrase:  Nature does not have to insist, the wind can blow for only half a morning, and it can rain for only half the day. If nature does not have to insist, why should we?  (Chapter 23 Tao Te Ching Witter Bynner version).

My 2015 question:  How to be faithful to what is right, but also learn from the thunderstorm?