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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds When we teach the DDJ for westerners We try to get away from words and into images Actually Daoism is a great traditional painting for that very reason for that you have to feel the painting not just think about it So my favorite image for the DDJ is water And of course, the DDJ talks about water all the time It°Øs Yin it°Øs feminine but also I say there is no such thing as a °∞pure°± Daoism There is no such thing as a pure translation there is no one right translation and Daoism there you understand the DDJ the Daoism in the American will be different from the Daoism in Ireland the Daoism in Ireland will be different from the foreign version in China So I like this image, the Daoism is like water it will take the shape of its container It will take the shape of the mind that reads it And you have to allow it to do that It is Daoism in the west will not be the same as the Daoism in China That is ok because it is fluid and like water gives life to whoever reads it Each world will figure the teachings of the Dao to its own use For instance just to show that no western tradition is the same in every culture When Buddhism came from India into China over thousands of years it became transformed When Buddhism went from China to Japan it became transformed Transformation that is changing shape, changing color£¨is the heart of Daoism

Skip to 1 minute and 55 seconds and it urges us also to be transformed 46 00:02:00,720 –> 00:02:02,360 in the way we read it and we think about it So the Dao of today will not be the Dao of tomorrow the DDJ you read today will not be the same as DDJ tomorrow depending on how you bring it into your life I always say to westerners Look, it takes English translation half an hour to read it takes a life time to understand it So there is no such thing as a pure Daoism and that°Øs fine Daoism doesn°Øt value purity what it values is fruitfulness is a life that can be given over and not a life that is unchanging and fixed but a life is open to change and to self-transformation as well as the transformation of the world around it So, finally I love this image because each of us in reading the DDJ will find our own reflection By looking at our own reflection we are understanding a lot more about ourselves and about the world in which we move


When we teach the Dao De Jing for Westerners, we try to get away from words and into images. A favorite image for the Dao De Jing is water. Daoism is like water; it will take the shape of its container. It will take the shape of the mind that reads it.

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Taoism and Western Culture

DeTao Masters Academy