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Pow Te Ching  

The Way of the Skier by Tyrone Shoelaces


A good traveler has no fixed plans,
and is not intent on arriving.

An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.

A leader is best when people barely know he exists,
when his work is done, his aim fulfilled,
they will say: we did it ourselves.

At the center of your being you have the answer;
you know who you are
and you know what you want.

Born to be wild - live to outgrow it.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength,
while loving someone deeply gives you courage.


Be Content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.

If you do not change direction,
you may end up where you are heading.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Nothing is softer or more flexible than water,
yet nothing can resist it.


Photo by Bob Barnes

Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.

Life and death are one thread,
the same line viewed from different sides.

Silence is a source of great strength.


Recognize beauty in the world......

......and other things become ugly

Recognize goodness.....

....and other things become evil

Is and isn't create each other
Difficult and easy complete each other
Long and short form each other
High and low fill each other
Tone and word define each other
Front and back follow each other
All this is inescapable


Therefore the paoist acts without a plan, teaches without a text
She creates, but doesn't define
Nurtures, but doesn't lay claim
Accomplishes, but walks away

Because he walks away, what he does, lasts

III. Without Seeking Acclaim

By retaining his humility,
the talented person who is also wise,
reduces rivalry

The person who possesses many things,
but does not boast of his possessions,
reduces temptation, and reduces stealing.

(Ptor Spricenieks)

Those who are jealous of the skills or things
possessed by others,
most easily themselves become possessed by envy.

Satisfied with his possessions,
the sage eliminates the need to steal;
at one with the Pao,
he remains free of envy,
and has no need of titles.

By being supple, he retains his energy.
He minimizes his desires,

and does not train himself in guile,
nor subtle words of praise.

By not contriving, he retains
the harmony of his inner world,
and so remains at peace within himself.

Administrators who are wise
do not seek honours for themselves,
nor act unfit,
towards the ones they serve.

(Sylvain Saudan, apres, with his clients)



It is the nature of the Pao,
that even though used continuously,
it is replenished naturally,

never being emptied,
and never being over-filled,

as is a goblet
which spills its contents
upon the ground.

The Pao therefore cannot be said
to waste its charge,
but constantly remains
a source of nourishment
for those who are not so full of self
as to be unable to partake of it.

When tempered beyond its natural state,
the finest blade will lose its edge.
Even the hardest tempered sword,
against water, is of no avail,
and will shatter if struck against a rock.

When untangled by a cutting edge,
the cord in little pieces lies,
and is of little use.

Just as the finest swordsmith
tempers the finest blade
with his experience,

(click to watch)

so the sage, with wisdom, tempers intellect.
(Dolores LaChapelle)

With patience, tangled cord may be undone,
and problems which seem insoluble, resolved.

With wise administrators, all can exist in unity,
each with the other,
because no man need feel that he exists,
only as the shadow of his brilliant brother.

Through conduct not contrived for gain,
awareness of the Pao may be maintained.
This is how its mysteries may be found.


The cup is easier to hold
when not filled to overflowing.

The blade is more effective
if not tempered beyond its mettle.

Gold and jade are easier to protect
if possessed in moderation.

He who seeks titles,

invites his own downfall.

The sage works quietly,

seeking neither praise nor fame;

completing what he does with natural ease,

and then retiring.

This is the way and nature of Pao.


Though thirty spokes may form the wheel,

it is the hole within the hub,

which gives the wheel utility.

(RIP Neil Valiton)

It is not the clay the potter throws,
which gives the pot its usefulness,

but the space within the shape,
from which the pot is made.

Without a door,

the room cannot be entered,

and without windows it is dark.

Such is the utility of non-existence.


Through sight,

the colours may be seen,

but too much color

blinds us.

Apprehending the tones of sound,

too much sound might make us deaf,

and too much flavour deadens taste.

When hunting for sport,

and chasing for pleasure,

the mind easily becomes perplexed.

He who collects treasures for himself

more easily becomes anxious.

The wise person fulfills his needs,

rather than sensory temptations.


All difficult things

have their origin in that which is easy,


and great things

in that which is small.

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