dancing gardener

" The Contentment of Ko Hung"


The contented man can be happy with what appears to be useless. He can find worthwhile occupation in the forests and mountains. He stays in a small cottage and associates with the simple. He would not exchange his worn clothes for the imperial robes, nor the load on his back for a four-horse carriage. He leaves the jade in the mountains and the pearls in the sea. Wherever he goes, whatever he does, he can he happy - he knows when to stop. He does not pick the brief-blossoming flower, he does not travel the dangerous road. To him, the ten thousand possessions are dust in the wind. He sings as he travels among the green mountains. He finds sheltering branches more comforting than red-gated mansions, the plow in his hands more rewarding than the prestige of titles and banners, fresh mountain water more satisfying than the feasts of the wealthy. He acts in true freedom. What can competition for honours mean to him? What attraction can anxiety and greed possibly hold'? Through simplicity he has Tao, and from Tao, everything. He sees the light in the "darkness", the clear in the "cloudy", the speed in the "slowness", the full in the "empty". The cook creating the meal with his own hands has as much in his eyes as a famous singer or high official. He has no profits to gain, no salary to lose, no applause, no criticism. When he looks up, it is not in envy. When he looks down, it is not in arrogance. Many look at him, but nobody sees him. Calm and detached, he is free from all danger, a dragon hidden among men.


Leave a Reply.

daniel tomelin, dancing gardener, dancing gardener