Dao is like great rivers

 

 

譬道之在天下,猶川谷之與江海。

The relation of the Dao to all the world is like that of the great rivers and seas to the streams from the valleys.

.Translation from the Chinese Text Project.  http://ctext.org/dao-de-jing

Dao has been called “The Watercourse Way” because to be attune with Dao is to flow like water. The following passage from the Dao De Jing, courtesy of the Chinese Text Project.

514hpx7rzl-_sx329_bo1204203200_Alan Watts was one of the first western authors to write on Dao – he called his book “The Watercourse way”.

Water plays an important part in Chinese philosophy. fengshui,风水 literally means wind and water, and when divining the energy of the land, determining  where and in which direction to build houses, water plays a large part.

West Lake  Hangzhou – one of the most beautiful water views in China.

The Longhu Water fund near Hangzhou is aiming to change agricultural practices, protect land and save water. Lack of water is a global problem, and China is attempting to deal with this issue in a myriad of ways.

 

Dujiangyan, photo courtesy of http://www.tibetpandatours.com/attraction-v293-dujiangyan-irrigation-system.html

A look back two millenia ago might give some ideas.  Dujiangyan in Sichuan is the largest non-dam water conservatory project in the world, and it was built some 2200 years ago. The Chengdu plains, which once continually flooded, has not experienced floods since the completion of the Dujiangyan Irrigation system. People still worship Li Bing, the designer of the project, on Qing Ming Festival. Li Bing had his workers construct bamboo cages, and floated on the river. They took heavy rocks and threw them into the water, eventually creating a levee.

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For those of you following the new Traditional Chinese Medicine series, there is an acupuncture point called 水道shuidao or the water-way. This point is on the stomach meridian, and not suprisingly, it regulates the bladder.

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the blue ocean of Hong Kong Harbour, the South China sea.

Its a trueism to say that ‘water is life’. Why then, do companies like nestle, insist on drilling ground water to sell in plastic bottles, leaving the community with nothing much to drink? Nestle, it seems pays the grand total of $524 to 27 million gallons of water.

Meanwhile, back in China, the country is preparing to build 20 major water conservation projects this year.  This includes a major project in the dry North China plains. China thinks big. By 2020, around 170 water projects are planned.

In China, the ancient and modern mix in an ever-changing dance.

neon lights reflecting on water of Jin Ji Lake.

the highest excellence is that of water.

Laozi, verse 32 of the Daodejing

上善若水。水善利萬物而不爭,處衆人之所惡,故幾於道。居善地,心善淵,與善仁,言善信,正善治,事善能,動善時。夫唯不爭,故無尤

The highest excellence is like (that of) water. The excellence of water appears in its benefiting all things, and in its occupying, without striving (to the contrary), the low place which all men dislike. Hence (its way) is near to (that of) the Dao. The excellence of a residence is in (the suitability of) the place; that of the mind is in abysmal stillness; that of associations is in their being with the virtuous; that of words is in their trustworthiness; that of government is in its securing good order; that of (the conduct of) affairs is in its ability; and that of (the initiation of) any movement is in its timeliness. And when (one with the highest excellence) does not wrangle (about his low position), no one finds fault with him