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Laoshan Taoist

Laoshan Taoist

(Chinese Classic Revised by BoSt)



Once upon a time there was a young scholar named Wang Ch’i who was fervent about Taoism and so read every available book and practiced daily to be an ardent Taoist. Somewhere along the way he’d learned that there were many immortals living on Mount Laoshan, so he undertook the long arduous journey there. When he reached the summit of the mountain, true enough he spotted a secluded monastery nestled in the woods.  He raced towards it as fast as his feet could carry him and pounded on the large door.  As no one responded, he tried the latch and found the door was not locked. He hesitantly let himself in and when his eyes adjusted to the dim light he saw some ways  in a distinguished Taoist priest with white hair hanging down to his shoulders who appeared to be in a deep contemplation sitting on a rush mat.  Approaching tentatively, Wang kowtowed to show his respect and knelt before the priest in silence in order to compose his thoughts and allow the priest to respond to his presence. As the latter seemed impervious to Wang’s presence and no response was forthcoming, Wang cleared his throat then again kowtowing begged forgiveness for his intrusion then voiced his innermost desire to learn more of Taoism and asked the priest to be his teacher.

 The priest’s eyelids slowly lifted and his pupils gazed straight at Wang for a seemingly endless time.  His astute observation revealed that Wang, however sincere, was still too pampered to endure all the required hardships to be a proper Taoist.  This simply put, failed to deter Wang. He was adamant and emphatically argued that he could adapt and learn new ways, being most willing to endure any hardship to do so. Therefore he was provided with meager living accommodations and was allowed to remain in the monastery for a time, depending on his progress.


Early the next morning, the priest sent for Wang. He was given an ax and told to go with the other disciples to cut firewood in the forest. Wang happily obeyed. After more than a month of cutting wood however, Wang’s hands and feet were covered with thick calluses. The sparse living conditions and the rigid schedule, the enforced quiet, to say nothing of the simple rations eventually took its toll on Wang. Unable to stand the suffering any longer, he began entertaining the idea of returning home.


One evening, when he returned from his assigned task, he discovered two guests drinking wine with his master. It was already dark, so the priest cut a piece of white paper in the shape of a round mirror and stuck it on the wall. Instantly, it turned into a brilliant white moon which lit up the room.


The few other disciples streamed in order to wait upon their master and the guests; however one of the guests, not standing on ceremony went forth, took a jug of wine and offered it to the disciples to drink. The jug was passed around accordingly, but the disciples were astonished to see that the wine in the jar did not diminish even after several rounds of consumption.

The other guest said:”It is rather dull drinking by ourselves. Why not ask the moon goddess to join us?”  The priest nodded, then he threw a chopstick at the moon on the wall and a beautiful girl appeared. Less than a foot tall at first, she stepped down from the wall and grew to human size. She then proceeded to sing and dance gracefully.



When she finished singing, she jumped onto the table and turned back into a chopstick. The three quests laughed heartily. They talked, joked around and drunk some more, enjoying a truly pleasurable time.  Afterwards one of the guests said:”It has been a very pleasant evening. Will you all drink another glass with me in the Moon Palace?”The three guests ascended and in a flash they disappeared, seeming having moved their table up into the moon.



Wang rubbed his eyes in disbelief at these phantasmal events. He looked up and strangely enough actually spotted the three figures drinking on the moon, their images completely vivid as though reflected in a mirror.



After a while, the moon slowly dimmed. One of the disciples brought a lit candle and they saw the priest, once more manifest in the room sitting alone and the two guests gone. The remains of the meal were still on the table and the mirror like paper was still on the wall.

“Have you all had enough to drink?”The priest asked his disciples.”Yes.” they answered. The priest told them to go to bed early, so they wouldn’t be late for their wood-cutting the next day. Full of wonder, Wang thought no more of leaving.



Another month passed.  Once again Wang found it hard to endure the daily grind and all that hardship, but he stubbornly refused to relent, for the priest still hadn’t taught him any magic. One day Wang again approached the priest with his request:”I have been here for several months already. All I do is get up at daybreak to cut firewood and return at sunset. I never bore such hardship when I was at home.”

“I predicted you wouldn’t be able to stand it,” interjected the priest smiling, “You may as well go home tomorrow morning.”



Wang had a stubborn streak and would not give up so easily however, so he pleaded with the priest to teach him some small trick, any trick, to make it all worthwhile.

“Which one then?” asked the priest; nodding.

Wang had noticed that the priest could walk through walls and said that he would be content to know how to do that. The priest smiled and agreed. He taught Wang the spell and bade him to repeat it so he could walk through the wall. At first, Wang was hesitant; he dared not to make the bold move. “What if he got stuck inside the wall?”  He envisioned horrifying images, with his head stuck outside or a foot while the torso was trapped within. The priest anticipating his fear smiled reassuringly and voiced his encouragement anew for him to try anyhow. Refusing to be a coward, Wang did as he was told and lo and, behold, passed through the wall unhindered. “Ye!!!!” Elated he turned around but he found himself outside the wall.


Overjoyed, Wang raced around and went back in to thank the priest. The priest told him to be serious and not misuse the spell when he got home; otherwise, it wouldn’t work. Wang promised to remain vigilant and thanked the priest for his instructions. Shortly after he took his leave and descended the mountain.


When he got home, Wang boasted that he had met an immortal and learnt the art of passing through walls. His wife refused to believe him, so Wang repeated the spell the priest had taught him, backed away a few feet from the wall and ran straight at it.

Thugg!!!  He hit his head hard at the wall!


To Wang’s surprise, the spell had lost its magic. He banged his head against the wall again and again, failing each time, and collapsed disoriented and almost unconscious, flat on the ground. When he got up a big bump, the size of an egg, started to swell up on his forehead.

His wife could not help herself and was doubled over with laughter. Wang’s face fell then grew dark, as he was consumed by shame and rage. Gnashing his teeth he inwardly cursed the old priest for his ingratitude and for the perceived betrayal.

Days and month’s passed with Wang incensed at the priest. Eventually reason took hold and he understood what had happened. With humility and longing he anew undertook the journey to visit the monastery.  He followed the same paths and searched every corner of the mountain summit, all however without avail; for there was no trace of either the monastery, or the priest or the many novices.

Eventually he gave up and went back home but he was never the same. Often he would be seen as sitting outside in the garden, silent and staring at the moon. On occasion he would raise a cup to the moon and utter a silent prayer or a wish.


The End


The Distinguished Man

The Distinguished Man


Tzu Chung asked: What must a man do in order to be considered, distinguished?

The Master said: What do you mean by the term, distinguished?


Tzu Chung replied: I mean one whose fame fills both his own private circle and the state at large.


The master said: That is notoriety, not distinction. The man of true distinction is simple, honest, and a lover of justice and duty. He weighs men’s words and observes the expression of their faces. He is anxious to put himself below others. Such a one is truly distinguished in his private and his public life.

As to the man who is merely much talked about, he puts on an appearance of charity and benevolence, but his actions belie it. He is self-satisfied and has no misgivings. Neither in private nor in public life does he achieve more than notoriety.



Time for Mother

Time for Mother

Mother’s are precious and much loved by us all. Words can’t convey enough of our appreciation. Throughout the ages, artists have rendered their interpretation of Mothers on Canvas. These are my favorite selections this year. And just in time for Mother’s Day.

I wish to all the mothers out there:

“A Happy Mother’s Day”


Click to see Video:


Below is selection of Art depiction mothers: 


1-Camille Monet e criança!

Camille Monet e criança!

2-Charles Baugniet

Charles Baugniet

3-Edelfelt, Albert (Finnish, 1854-1905) - The Park of Luxembourg - 1887

-Edelfelt, Albert (Finnish, 1854-1905) – The Park of Luxembourg – 1887

4-Frederick Arthur Bridgman

Frederick Arthur Bridgman

5-Gaetano Chierici

Gaetano Chierici

6-Isabel Guerra (1947)

Isabel Guerra (1947)

7-Jean-eugène buland- The happiness of the parents.1903

Jean-eugène buland- The happiness of the parents.1903

8-Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, (Spagna, 1863-1923) Dopo il bagno - After the Bath (1902)

Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, (Spagna, 1863-1923) Dopo il bagno – After the Bath (1902)

9-Mother and son- Pablo Picasso

Mother and son- Pablo Picasso

10-Peek-a-Bo - circa 1900- Bernard Blommers -Dutch, 1845-1914

Peek-a-Bo – circa 1900- Bernard Blommers -Dutch, 1845-1914

11-Reginald Bottomley (1856-1933) A Mother and Child Looking at the Virgin and Child.

Reginald Bottomley (1856-1933) A Mother and Child Looking at the Virgin and Child.

12-Returning from Market,1886- Charles Sillem Lidderdale-British 1830 - 1895

-Returning from Market,1886- Charles Sillem Lidderdale-British 1830 – 1895

13-Richard MacNeil .

Richard MacNeil .

14-Sorolla y Bastida , Joaquin (Spanish, 1863-1923) - The First Child - 1890

-Sorolla y Bastida , Joaquin (Spanish, 1863-1923) – The First Child – 1890

15-Steve Hanks

Steve Hanks

16-The Clothes Line - Helen Allingham -English, 1848-1926

The Clothes Line – Helen Allingham -English, 1848-1926

17-The Sleeping Child - 1911- Mary Curtis Richardson -American, 1848-1921

The Sleeping Child – 1911- Mary Curtis Richardson -American, 1848-1921

18-Trent Gudmundsen2

Trent Gudmundsen

19-Vicente Romero

-Vicente Romero

20-Vladimir Volegov

Vladimir Volegov

And finally, here’s a lovely poem:

To My Mother

O thou whose care sustained my infant years,

     And taught my prattling lip each note of love;

Whose soothing voice breathed comfort to my fears,

     And round my brow hope’s brightest garland wove;

To thee my lay is due, the simple song,

     Which Nature gave me at life’s opening day;

To thee these rude, these untaught strains belong,

     Whose heart indulgent will not spurn my lay.

O say, amid this wilderness of life,

     What bosom would have throbbed like thine for me?

Who would have smiled responsive?—who in grief,

     Would e’er have felt, and, feeling, grieved like thee?

Who would have guarded, with a falcon-eye,

     Each trembling footstep or each sport of fear?

Who would have marked my bosom bounding high,

     And clasped me to her heart, with love’s bright tear?

Who would have hung around my sleepless couch,

     And fanned, with anxious hand, my burning brow?

Who would have fondly pressed my fevered lip,

     In all the agony of love and wo?

None but a mother—none but one like thee,

     Whose bloom has faded in the midnight watch;

Whose eye, for me, has lost its witchery,

     Whose form has felt disease’s mildew touch.

Yes, thou hast lighted me to health and life,

     By the bright lustre of thy youthful bloom—

Yes, thou hast wept so oft o’er every grief,

     That wo hath traced thy brow with marks of gloom.

O then, to thee, this rude and simple song,

     Which breathes of thankfulness and love for thee,

To thee, my mother, shall this lay belong,

     Whose life is spent in toil and care for me.


(Credits: This poem is in the public domain.

About this Poem:

“To My Mother” was first published in Poetical Remains of the Late Lucretia Maria Davidson (Lea and Blanchard, 1841). Author:  Lucretia Maria Davidson)


Spring Flowers and Ancient Wisdom

Spring Flowers and Ancient Wisdom

1-Blooms in Spring 2018 (4)

Ah, long at last the spring has arrived and along with it, our spirits soar to the sky amidst the colourful embrace of the blossoms.

2-Blooms in Spring 2018 (22)

Much like the blossoms, age old wisdom and their colourful reference always fresh, always true keeps us advancing on the right path towards an honourable and fulfilling life.   

3-Blooms in Spring 2018 (19)

Here are some pearls of wisdom put in writing by illustrious T’ang Dynasty Zen master named Zengetsu for his pupils:

04-Blooms in Spring 2018 (10)

 Living in the world yet not forming attachments to the dust of the world is the way of a true Zen student.

5-Blooms in Spring 2018 (25)

When witnessing the good action of another: encourage yourself to follow his example. Hearing of the mistaken action of another, advise yourself not to emulate it.

6-Blooms in Spring 2018 (21)

Even though alone in a dark room, be as if you were facing a noble guest. Express your feelings, but become no more expressive than your true nature.

7-Blooms in Spring 2018 (8)

Poverty is your treasure. Never exchange it for an easy life.

8-Blooms in Spring 2018 (16)

A person may appear a fool and yet not be one. He may only be guarding his wisdom carefully.

9-Blooms in Spring 2018 (5)

Virtues are the fruit of self-discipline and do not drop from heaven of themselves as does rain or snow.

10-Blooms in Spring 2018 (3)

 Modesty is the foundation of all virtues. Let your neighbors discover you before you make yourself known to them.

11-Blooms in Spring 2018 (13)

A noble heart never forces itself forward. Its words are as rare gems, seldom displayed and of great value.

12-Blooms in Spring 2018 (26)

To a sincere student, every day is a fortunate day. Time passes but he never lags behind. Neither glory nor shame can move him.

13-Blooms in Spring 2018 (6)

Censure yourself, never another. Do not discuss right and wrong.

14-Blooms in Spring 2018 (20)

Some things, though right, were considered wrong for generations. Since the value of righteousness may be recognized after centuries, there is no need to crave an immediate appreciation.

15-Blooms in Spring 2018 (1)

Live with cause and leave results to the great law of the universe. Pass each day in peaceful contemplation.

16-Blooms in Spring 2018 (14)

Blooms in the garden… Enjoy!


The End



New Year’s Customs and Superstitions

Originally posted on Notable Inklings:
New Year’s Customs and Superstition Slideshow of Seasonal Pictures from 2011 in Review. Click here: New Year’s Customs and Superstitions At one time in (Scotland .Ireland, Wales) the Highlands, traditionally on ”Hogmanay,” or New…

The Hunter and the Bobcat

The Hunter and the Bobcat

(original story by BoSt)



Once there was a great hunter and his family who lived in a remote part of the Northern wilderness, a long distance from any other lodge and it was seldom that they saw any faces other than those of their own household.

He was nevertheless content living in isolation, for he had a fair wife and two healthy, boisterous sons. Each day they were left in the lodge while he went out hunting in quest of the game whose flesh was their primary source of food.


Game was very abundant in those days and his labors in the hunt and chase were often well rewarded. His two sons were still too young to accompany him and so all day long they were free to play make believe and discover things so long as they played within the confines of the lodge.

Observant as they were, they once espied a young man who visited the lodge during their father’s absence, and noted that these visits became more frequent as time went by.


Curiosity winning over, once the elder of the two asked his mother in all innocence:

“Mommy, tell us who this tall young man is that comes here so often during our father’s absence.  Does the stranger wished to see father, but misses him? Shall we tell father when he comes back this evening so he can delay his departure time just a little?”

“Donquri, you little fool,” said the mother angrily, “this is grown up business, mind your bow and arrows, and do not be afraid to enter the forest in search of birds and squirrels, with your little brother. It is not manly to be ever about the lodge. Nor will you ever grow up to become a warrior if you tell fibs or all the little things that you see and hear to your father. Say not a word to him about this.”

The boys obeyed, but as they grew older and still noticed the visits of the stranger, their gut feeling being ill at ease, they resolved to speak again to their mother.

They now told her that they meant to make known to their father all that they had witnessed, for they frequently saw this young man passing through the woods, and he did not walk in the path, nor did he carry anything to eat. If he had any message to deliver at their lodge, why did he not give it to their father? For they had observed in other cases, that messages were always addressed to men, and not to women.

When her sons spoke thus to her, the mother was greatly perturbed. Fear took hold in her heart and she in great fury admonished them:

“You are still both young and have no real comprehension of things.  Hence, you should not interfere in adult concerns. If you insist with your meddling and cause trouble, I will be forced to be more severe. “She said, “I warn you both, do not speak of this to your father or me ever again!”

In fear they, for a time, held their peace, but still noted that the stranger’s frequent stealthy visits to the lodge persisted, they long at last resolved to brave any consequence and disclose this fact their father. Their loyalty to their father demanded it after all!


Accordingly, one day when they were out in the woods, by then having grown up and learned to follow the chase, they caught up with their father and quickly told him all that they had seen in the past.

They watched with worrying eyes as the anger manifested on their father’s face then grew unnaturally dark. He remained silent and still for a while, and when at length he looked up there was unholy fire flaming in his pupils.

“It is done!” he said. “My children I ask that you tarry here until the hour of the setting sun, and then come to the lodge and you will find me there.”


In two shakes of a hat he was at the lodge. The door flew open and he barged right in resembling a big fierce bear ready to tear all about him into smithereens.

But she was seated lone mending some tears in the children’s coats.

“Where is he?” He bellowed.

“Who?” She cried out in fear.

“You know very well who?” He murderously grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her senseless. “You broke your promise… Now I shall not beholden to my promise. I shall vanquish your kind one and all.” He growled at her.

She knew no amount of pleading will be of any use. He was heartless, a brutal hunter that had no compunction about killing entire species and wiping them from the mountains.  On that day he’d cornered her and her younger brother after killing her parents, the two little bobcat pups were shivering with fright.


He was   about to deal both  a death blow when she had  stood in front of her brother  to protect him and swore by the Great Spirit of the Mountains, that if spared, she would serve this brute without complaint to the end of her days. The Great Spirit had answered her prayers, and turned her into a human. The hunter in turn had promised never to hunt her kind, so long as she stayed away even from her brother and served only him.  Tears streamed from her face remembering that cursed day and all the miserable days after that when she was not free and missed her brother terribly.  Her only solace was that her kind was left alone from then on to thrive and hunt in the mountain whereas all other predators faced extinction without mercy from the Hunter. Some species were hunted to extinction. Meanwhile her brother had grown up among other bobcats that adopted him. Missing his sister terribly, he’d eventually tracked her scent and found her for the bond of kinship was very strong.


She was fearful for what the Hunter might do if he ever found out; still she could not help herself, for she loved her brother dearly. He called on her frequently and relayed to her all the news about her kind which somewhat mitigated her homesickness.

She pleaded and pleaded with the hunter for his mercy.  But he was bent on revenge and called on the Great Spirit to punish her.  The Great Spirit punished her for violating her promise by turning her into a horrid version of a Bobcat.  And so from then on she was barred from having any contact with her children as well as being shunned by her own kind. She was forced to live a horrible existence for the duration of her natural life, always lurking in the shadows.

Meanwhile, the two ingrate sons, that had more their father’s temperament than their mother’s, remained sporting away the time till the hour for their return had come.

When they reached the lodge the mother was not there. They dared not to ask their father whither she had gone, and from that day forth her name was never spoken again in the lodge.

In the course of time the two boys grew to be men and, although the mother was nevermore seen neither in the lodge nor on the paths in the forest, nor by the river side, she still lingered near the lodge.

Changed, but the same, with ghastly looks and arms that were withered, she appeared to her sons as they returned from the hunt, in the twilight.


At night she darkly unlatched the lodge-door and glided in, and bent over them as they sought to sleep. Oftenest it was her bare brow, white, and bony, and bodiless, that they saw floating in the air, and making a mock of them in the wild paths of the forest, or in the midnight darkness of the lodge.

Fuelled with false facts, with outraged bias against her, the sons viewed their mother as a terror that hunted their peace and lives.  They cursed her existence for according to them she made every spot where they had seen her, hideous to the living eye. The hunter never witnessed such; still he was frustrated and grew somewhat weary of his sons’ complaints. Finally his sons were resolved, together with their father, now stricken in years, to leave the country.

They began a journey toward the South. After traveling many days along the shore of a great lake, they passed around a craggy bluff, and came upon a scene where there was a rough fall of waters, and a river issuing forth from the lake.


In pursuit of them the mother came out of the woods in the form of a giant, grotesque, rabid bobcat. At this moment, one of them looked out and saw a stately crane sitting on a rock in the middle of the rapids. They called out to the bird, “See, grandfather, how we are persecuted? Come and take us across the falls that we may escape her.”

The crane so addressed was of extraordinary size, and had arrived at a great old age, and, as might be expected, he sat, when first described by the two sons, in a state of profound thought, revolving his long experience of life there in the midst of the most violent eddies.


When he heard himself appealed to, the crane stretched forth his neck with great deliberation, and lifting himself slowly by his wings, he flew across to their assistance.

“Be careful,” said the old crane, “that you do not touch the crown of my head. I am bald from age and long service and very tender at that spot. Should you be so unlucky as to lay a hand upon it, I shall not be able to avoid throwing you both in the rapids.”

They paid strict heed to his directions, and were soon safely landed on the other shore of the river. He returned and carried the father in the same way; and then took his place once more where he had been first seen in the very midst of the eddies of the stream.

But the woman, who had by this time reached the shore, cried out, “Come, my grandfather, and carry me over, for I have lost my children, and I am sorely distressed.”

The aged bird, now questioning his earlier judgement, at first obeyed her summons, and flew to her side. He was a suspicious sort and seeing how hideous she looked in her grotesque bobcat form, once more doubted her story.  She had to have been an evil spirit in pursuit. She would harm then soon as she crossed the water. And so feeling rather noble he harboured a secret desire to harm this evil spirit and defend them. He carefully repeated the warning, expecting her to disregard it, that she was not to touch the crown of his head. Outwardly he begged her to bear in mind that she should respect his old age, if there was any sense of virtue left in her.

She promised to obey; but they were no sooner fairly embarked in the stream, that instantly the crane cast her into the rapids, and shook his wings as if to free himself of all acquaintance with her.


“Why have you wronged me?” She cried as she sunk in the raging stream. The woman disappeared, was straightway carried by the rapid currents far out into the waters, and in the wide wilderness of shore-less depth, without companion or solace, and was lost forever.

“I’m preventing you from harming any other, you foul creature!” He responded very much pleased with himself for doing the noble thing. 

Suddenly however the gust of wind derailed him and unable to find his bearing, he too plummeted into the waters.


“What a fool!” The hunter gritted his teeth for the loss of such a fine meal. They picked themselves off the ground and trudged along to find some other game to satisfy their growing hunger.

The mountain spirit could stand this injustice no longer, and in one breath, turned the hunter and his sons all to field mouse.


They deservedly from then on live in fear and hunted by many.






Nature's Abstract Palette 2017 (7)


When clouds rise in the sky, it is a sign that it will rain.  

There is nothing to do but to wait until after the rain falls.

 It is the same in life when destiny is at work.

 We should not worry and seek to shape the future by interfering in things before the time is ripe.

We should quietly fortify the body with food and drink and the mind with gladness and good cheer.

Fate comes when it will, and thus we are ready.

I Ching


Nature's Abstract Palette 2017 (1)