The Lunar New Year is determined by cycles of the moon and therefore the dates are movable, each new year commencing on the new moon which occurred in the late January or February of the Western Calendar. It is not the “Chinese New Year” but the “Lunar New Year” as the date is celebrated by many others besides the Chinese.
The first day of the lunar year is the "Lunar New Year." There are 12 lunar months in the year and by definition the evening of the first day of the month is the darkest night of the month. As the nights progress, the moon becomes fuller and fuller until the fifteenth of the month when there is a “full moon,” the brightest evening of the month.
To determine the Lunar New Year of another year, for example 1991, refer to a calendar. Counting the number (24) of “new moons” from the 1998 Lunar New Year will give the start of that Lunar Year.
Above: Thanks to Lim Mar
My father had informed me quite a few years ago that the full moon comes on the 15th of the month on the lunar calendar. So, using reverse logic, the new moon comes on the first of the lunar calendar month.
Above: Thanks to Don Gee
When is New Year? Most people will answer January 1. Well, that is correct. But if we want to be more specific, it depends on which calendar system in use. Most of us use the Gregorian system which is accepted internationally. Many people think Chinese use the lunar system only. Actually Chinese lunar system (Ying Lik) also takes into consideration the solar system by adding a month every certain years. Moreover, the solar year (365 or 366 days) is divided into 24 periods, each consisting of 15 or 16 days. The beginning of each period is identified by a name corresponding to the position of the sun. The important ones are:
Dong Ze (Winter Summit/Solstice) on December 22. At this time the sun is at the southmost. People expect the sun to come back. To celebrate, warm soups of ginger and wheat-balls are served.
Chun Fen (Aries Point) on March 21. At this time the sun is exactly at the equator. No celebration is held.
Qing Ming (Clear and Bright) on April 5, 15 days after Chun Fen. It is supposed to be sunny but not too hot. People go to clean graveyards which otherwise will be covered by grass.
Of importance is Li Chun (Establish Spring) on February 4, which is exactly midway between Dong Ze and Chun Fen. Some people call it Qiao Chun (Hand-over to Spring). Philosophically this is the true New Year, because it is the real beginning of spring, while Chun Fen (Aries) is the summit of spring. European culture might regard Chun Fen as the beginning of spring due to different philosophy.
This auspicious holiday, which has been observed annually in China for more than 5,000 years, falls on a different date each year because the Chinese calendar is based on a combination of the lunar and solar cycles.
According to legend the Chinese started to compute time from 2696 B.C., during the reign of the Yellow Emperor, Huang Ti, when his prime minister devised system of 60-year cycles. In the twenty-third century B.C., the Emperor Yao commanded his astronomers to observe the solstice and fix the dates of the four seasons so that farmers might know when to plant their seeds and harvest their crops.
Evidence suggests that the Chinese used a gnomon, a crude sundial, to determine the solstice and equinox sometime before the twelfth century B.C. Using that information, a year was divided into days and lunar months. A lunar month consisted of 29.53 days, the time required for the moon to make one complete revolution around the earth. Consequently, a year made up of twelve lunar months was not 365.25 days (the time for the earth to completely circumnavigate the sun), but only 354.3 days, about eleven days shorter than a year in the Gregorian calendar. Therefore the lunar calendar required periodic adjustment. This was accomplished by adding a day or a month to the calendar when the cumulative fractions equaled a complete unit.
An extra day was added about every two months so that some lunar months had twenty-nine days and others had thirty. To correct the deficiency of eleven days a year, a lunar month was added every three years.
In the lunar calendar, the first day of the month coincides with the new moon and the middle of the month usually coincides with the full moon. The new year arrives with the second moon following the winter solstice (on or about December 21) and the lunar new year begins between January 21 and February 20.
Reprinted with Permission by the Copyright Holder: Man-U Import News 980 So. Amphlett Boulevard San Mateo, California 94402
More about Chinese New Year Traditions
The Chinese begin preparations for the new year during the last few days of the last lunar month. Debts are paid, hair is cut, and new clothes are purchased. Homes are thoroughly cleaned to sweep away any ill fortune and to make way for the incoming good luck. Doors and windows are decorated with paper cut-outs with the themes of happiness, wealth and longevity. Incense is turned in homes and temples to pay respect to ancestors and ask the good for good health in the coming year.
On new Year’s Eve, families come together to feast. Popular in Northern China is jiaozi, a steamed dumpling, while in Souther China nian gao, a sweet rice pudding, is preferred. Family members engage in playing cards and board games or watching television programs dedicated to the occasion. At midnight, celebrants ring in the new year with fireworks, intended to drive away evil spirits. Lights are to be kept on throughout the night.
On the first morning of the new year, children greet their parents and receive lay see, lucky money tucked in red envelopes. Then the family goes door to door with good wishes for relatives and neighbors. Old grudges are easily dismissed during this time of reconciliation and goodwill, and gifts are exchanged during visits over the next several days. The festival is marked by peace. socializing, folk dancing, and fun.
The 'hole' objective (in life) is to dissolve the Ego, so you might experience the 'Total,' or Tao! This takes practice!
The chant for is:
We're coming together!
We're coming together!
Everything, and everybody, everywhere,
We're coming together!
My practice involves Tantric Buddhism combined with Shakti Yoga (Hindu in orgin.). The idea is to balance out the 'other,' in the case of being male, testosterone, in the case of being female, estrogen. You visualize, or use an image to help (male and female in sexual union). This is what the Buddhist chant OM MANI PADME AUM, means: the 'jewel' (penis) is in the lotus flower (vagina). Note, I'll bet 90% of the Buddhist world doesn't even 'no' that.
...the key has unlocked the door, oneness, wholeness, union, Singularity, sing, sing, sing, sing sing, sing, sing, sing!
This helps to dissolve the 'I.' the Ego, as you become both, or 'we!' It's important in life to use the pronoun 'we,' instead of 'I,' as ultimately there is 'know I.'
We're coming together!
We're coming together!
Everything, and everybody, everywhere,
We're coming together!
This is spiritual intercourse!
The union of compassion and wisdom,
That's the goal, unconditional love!
Jesus brought the concept of 'love' into the world. We add the concept of unconditional love, or giving/caring without any expectation (conscious or unconscious) of some yield -- and this, no matter how the object responds (Jesus said, 'Turn the other cheek!)! The closest thing in Duality is the love a mother gives to her child. Farthest from that is romantic love, or lust, or our definition, 'Nature's Joke,' designed to propagate the species.
You have the stereotypical idea of a 'lama,' or 'monk.' Probably the image of such from the Dalai Lama, in his saffron/blood red robes, bowing with hands in prayerful clasp, This is not me.
Taoist colors are grey and blue. If I wear such it's by accident. You think I should go from one peace organization to another. I don't. You think I should know the Taoist organizations in N.Z. I don't. I don't seek out such, although they come to me, that's why I ask others (to put out that energy). Best, let things come to you, rather than to seek them. This is the Taoist Way! The 'water course way:' going with the flow, not trying to change it.
Additionally, I'm a cyclist, travelling the world. If the subject of peace and/or Taoism comes up this gives me the opportunity to speak about such. I've said/write about whatever and that is available via my BLOK (www.cyclingpeace.org) -- for example this to you. If you want to know what I think/write, read my BLOK (I've combined 'blog' and 'book.' ).
I have a two-hour program early morning (0400 - 0600) which includes, prayer, chanting, and exercise. The spiritual part includes Tantric Buddhism, Shakti Yoga, and the Tao (and other ideas). Does this make me a 'lama' or 'monk,' I don't know... I'm only a 'devotee,' by initiation (Taiwanese order), but I've never been there, and have no plans to go to Taiwan ever. Does this qualify me as a 'monk?' I don't know. Ask, Karma Sherpa, the Buddhist monk (in Nepal) who initiated me.
I'm more a Taoist mystic. What does that mean? 'Mystics,' seek a direct relationship with the divine, not through another living human being. All religion is penultimate. You never 'get there' with religion, created by man for a variety of reasons.
I've 'gotten there!' But, 'where' you ask, wanting simple and quick answers. If I respond with the following, what do you say?:
There's no objective reality. We create our 'worlds' with your own 'thoughts' (energy) and words you think, speak/write. You have to 'get there,' your own way as you see fit. I'm (we're) not trying to convert anyone to anything. Maybe open y/our 'eyes' a bit (developing your 'third eye').
Modern life is destructive, in that it keeps you in a perpetual state of 'wanting' material things: money has become 'God!' Better to 'want' the Spirit, named, not 'buy,' but 'by' you!
I was in the entertainment industry for fifty years, with one toe still in it. I watch a movie every night. I would guess in your world monks don't do that. They should wear robes and go around chanting 'OM MANI PADME AUM!' (Note, 'The Jewel is in the Lotus flower,' a 'metawhor' for 'union.' But, it's the 'sound,' the vibration, that Buddhists use, more than the intellectual idea. 'I' ('we') use the idea in Shakti Yoga.)
Dispel all pre-conceived notions about who and what people and things are -- open thy mind! My bicycle (Mr. Fetes) is just as 'alive' as you are (at least to me). The sacred 'rocks,' I have are just as 'alive' as any breathing thing (again, at least to me). I think our 'worlds' probably a little different, but we come together in the English Dictionary (a 'contract' between English speaking people).
But, you need to understand what Louis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, also took vows of celibacy). He had 'Humpty Dumpty' say (in 'Through the Looking Glass' ) some of the most profound words I've ever read: 'When I choose a word, I also choose its meaning!'
My poetry has to do with deconstructing language, a la Louis Carroll. Words are not etched in the stone. More like 'stone,' etched in a 'word!'
What does the word 'lama' or 'monk' mean? I think we're talking about two different people here, as we're different as well. I've invented a new kind of 'lama' or 'monk' (Note, I should come up with a new word for such.): a person that rides around the world on a bicycle, trying to open people's eyes, a 'messenger' of sorts:' Maybe 'bikm,' or 'lamcycle?'
You are what you think! So, think better thoughts and you will have a better life! It's a big, wide wonderful world 'out here,' where 'we' live. The world is not just New Zealand (as Keith now knows). The world isn't just China as one billion Chinese think either! And hopefully the world isn't the U.S. (only) -- how awful that would be!
Call me whatever. Give me a name. Maybe that will help you understand, I'm whatever you want me to be, really just a humble servant of 'It.' But, the 'It,' you call the 'It,' isn't the 'It!' 'It's something else, like 'me!'
a 'bum' on a bicycle!
Currently in living/cycling in and around Yunnan Province, China
P.S. I'm certainly 'knot' a 'lama:' From www.dictionary. com:
[lah-muh] Show IPA
a priest or monk in Lamaism.
1645–55; < Tibetan lama (sp. bla ma ) lit., superior one (in Tibetan applied only to monks of high rank)
a priest or monk of Lamaism
I'm not a 'monk,' either according to www.dictionary.com
The basic problem: U.S. capitalism was/is out of control, money/power having become our 'God!' In the process we have been 'dumbed down,' held 'prisoner' by our own desires for material things (90% of the U.S. population; perhaps the world's population).
'What shall it profit a person, if s/he gains the entire world, but loses their own soul in the process?' Hasn't this happened to the majority of people in the U.S. , living on the surface of life -- i.e. watching the 'Super Bowl?' Is the 'Super Bowl' ultimately important...? Will it be on the day you die?
What is needed is 'metanoia,' a word, only .004% of the entire U.S. population knows the definition of: 'A fundamental change in thinking!'
What we need is a fundamental change in the way we think! Is this possible? No, I don't think so! It will take a cataclysmic event to get our attention (or 'The Second Coming'). Even then I wonder...
I think that homo sapiens are at the very beginning of their emotional development. The 'end game' problem, however, is: will we, can we survive our own selves? Or, are we even that important in the total scheme of things...? I don't think so!
I think like the dinos, we will go the way of extinction. But, the biggest of all philosophical questions... When the last living human being succumbs will we have been 'here' at all?
From the 'Tao Te Qing,' by Lao Zi (if I have any 'bible' this is is):
"Fine weapons are nonetheless ill-omened things. That is why, among people of good birth (note, 'evolved'), none exist! 'The 'Quietist,' even when s/he conquers, does not regard weapons as power objects. For to think of them as 'power objects,' means to delight in them, and delight in the slaughter of people. And he who delights in the slaughter of people will never get what s/he wants! Someone who slaughters people will receive nothing but grief and mourning!"
'Thank whatever Gods that may be for my unconquerable soul,' the 'Year of the Tiger' is ending! But, even to the end it annoys (and delights!). There's never just one 'thing' one action ('for every action there is a reaction'), the main point of Taoism.
My little 40W desk lamp has developed a 'tick,' annoying me, 'Sunny' continues to delight me, this blight, happy soul, an artist (my latest Chinese daughter).
Recently a friend wrote this:
"Rap for Hutch:
Hutch, a friend of mine, is a slacker dude
he's always polite and never rude
he writes poetry to salve the world
his new found eastern philosophy unfurled
in his new enlightenment he is cleansed of stress
where he goes from here is anyone's guess!"
Does anyone really know where they're going...? No! Th/we/y think we do, and we make plans. But, often these plans go awry, and we end up in an entirely different situation.
Life is a collaboration between the known and unknown *You' (the ego 'I') and the Tao. 'But the Tao is call the Tao is not the Tao!' Once you name something it's gone.
Thus, is reasonable to assume that by naming something we create 'our worlds!' So, choose your thoughts (*energy'); your words carefully!
'I,' (we) shall never forget today as two different people blessed me with a status I'm hardly worthy of: One said, 'You are my God!' Another said 'You are an angel!' How is it possible that 'I' (we) could be associated with such accolades?
First of all, the Chinese people that said these things, don't understand the true meaning of these English words (at least our interpretation of). Secondly, I had help/ed these two people in a time of need so, of course, they were thanking me (us).
It's easy to be a 'God,' or an 'angel!' All you have to do is think of others, put them first. Yet, so few do. What does the Christian Bible say... 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'
An even greater challenge: 'Endless acts of compassion.'
P.S. The only 'God,' / 'angel' I know of, is my German partner, Rotraut Boyens!
in a male form, And there are few who wish to work for the welfare of living beings in a female form. Therefore may we, in opposite bodies (male=female, and vice versa), work for the welfare of all beings, until such time as all humanity has found its fullness."
The 'space-time continiuum,' what is it? It's the dual 'reality' we live inside like clothing on a body. No space, no time. No time, no space. These are only 'metawhors,' of course. With science trying to describe, by mathematics, our 'world.' Oh, woe be unto them, for taking us away from the truth, leading us down the wrong road. Organized religion not much better!
The discussion of 'dimensions,' just a way of limiting, creating a finite existence, one that we can try to understand (for money no less).
'Their' ultimately, is no 'understanding' in a scientific way. Only consciousness can lead the way... Finally, to something so profound we can't 'no,' (entirely) with a body, but we can begin to make 'sents' out of...
Only our 'transition' ('death' in the dictionary), matters! We should celebrate it, not mourn it, for it is a great accomplishment, if... The only 'losers' of the event are the living left behind! If, we have lived the kind of life that has developed our 'potential,' then we can glimpse the 'unknown,' via Taoism. For, 'The Tao you call the Tao is not the Tao.'
The 'trick' is to get beyond words, while you still have a body! The ultimate is the 'feeling beyond feeling,' the 'unfeeling!' unconditional love (spiritual intercourse).
The closest thing to unconditional love is the love between mother and child The kind of 'love' people talk about ('I"m in love!') is conditional, and why so many times it doesn't work out -- too many expectations. I call this 'Nature's Joke,' how Nature propagates the species. Men are 'driven' to women for physical sex (Bunuel's 'That Obscure Object of Desire'), women to men for children and security. Most are unconscious of this. Most people unconscious period, living on the surface of life the 'depths' too scary.
'No time! No space! No space! No time! In Duality you can't have one without the other.
'Singularity,' is without an 'other,' beyond the 'space-time continiuum.' Beyond Duality, but 'knot' beyond 'noing!'
Tucson, Arizona, I call my 'hometown,' as I grew up there, beginning in 1945. Of course, in those days it was a dusty little Mexican/Indian village. The last time I was there, 1990, I didn't recognize it! I couldn't find the University, nor KVOA/4, the TV station, where I started by 'show biz.' career (in 1958).
Tucson, The Old Pueblo, is where I purchased my first firearm, and became a 'hunter,' a la Ernest Hemingway. So, I'm part of the problem as well, at least back then. I remember how upset my mother was when this happened in 1960, as I was only 20-years old. It was a Winchester, model 88 (lever action), that fired a .308 caliber cartridge. I once decimated a rabbit with it, and God forgive me for such. I've killed birds too, and the thought reviles me now. How could I? But, 'back then,' I was unconscious of such, apart of a male zeitgeist that had to have a firearm, or not be a man! I went on to fire many exotic weapons in the U.S. Army.
When you're unconscious, you don't k(no)w that you don't k(no)w! And certainly I didn't k(no)w that I didn't k(no)w! I only knew I wanted to be the two-fisted, 'fuck'em and leave 'em'-kind of lover, the hunter/killer like my hero, when young, Ernest Hemingway. What did I k(no)w? Little! When you're 'little,' you want (or need) to be bigger!
Today, I only kill cockroaches and mosquitoes, and then only in a 'knee-jerk' reaction. So, I understand the impulse to kill. I've killed.
Recently, I wrote that I thought our 1958 graduating class (Catalina High School, Tucson, Arizona) had failed. Why? Because we have helped to create collectively a culture where killing is the solution (thanks to the theme of 80% of 'Hollywood' movies). We love making 'war!' We believe destroying the 'enemy' will solve all our problems, when in fact, 'We have met the enemy and he is us!' (Walt Kelly's 'Pogo'). We are the world's largest arms dealer. This only confirms what I'm saying. We love making war!
We need to change! We need to live up to all our lofty and holy words the U.S. was founded upon!. We need to stop worshiping money! We've taken Capitalism to its extreme, and where did it get us? Heading back in the opposite direction to save us from the abyss (this is the Tao at work).
Note, The Tao is open to creativity (this is what consciousness is!) Consciousness is potential, Deepak Chopra wrote.
But how to develop this potential...? How to evolve beyond the 'Hollywood' theme of 'Violence is the solution!'? As I've written so many times before it all has to do with consciousness (which 90% of America is bereft of). We don't know that we don't know! On the other hand, we 'k(no)w' we're right! Everyone 'know's their' right! No one, or few are willing to compromise and come half-way to the middle (a little right and a little wrong)! 'It's our way or the highway!' It's "The 'Reagun' Paradigm" (David J. Carter & F.A. Hutchison, 'The Forum'/Polebridge Press, 1988).
Wake up! Stop watching televison! Be different! Develop your potential! Evolve beyond your little world of guns, and meat, of fast food and pizza! Discover the entire world, not just your community so tightly controlled by 'the owners' for money!
I thought I should summarize the past solar-calendar year, 2010 (the 'Year of the Tiger'). It started out well enough, but became progressively more difficult, until I was 'dying a slow, agonizing death!'
The 'Tiger,' who rules the earth, made it extremely difficult for the Dragon (who rules the sky). But, the 'Ahya Dragon' won in the end and I/we survived. In the process I/we was/were redeemed (can happen more than once in a lifetime) and given a greatest gift you can ever receive, 'eternal 'life!' How's that for an accomplishment in one calendar year?
There's only one way to 'heaven,' and that's through 'hell!' What do you think the story of 'Jesus' is all about...? The problem with Christians, they read the English words as literal truth, when the message is 'figurative.' That you can 'die on the cross,' (metaphorically) and gain 'eternal life' (the Spirit) just like Jesus did. We ultimately 'shed the body, the 'clothing' that covers the truth!
Note, what has happened to 'me' (my entire life, not just in 2010) maybe is different from yours, and maybe hard to relate to. My experiences, mired in the mundane, have born transcendental 'fruit' in Nature.
Explain to me my cycling trip to Blanca Peak (southern Colorado, U.S.A.), all that happened there, me receiving a rock (which became 'The Heart Stone'), and why I carried this heavy rock on my bicycle half-way around the world (to Mt. Kailas)?
Thus, the big event, the only meaningful one of 2010, was my 'Pilgrimage to Mt. Kailas,' my delivery by bicycle, of two holy objects to Kang Ripoche, some five months and 5,000KM / 3,000 miles in length (and with many different people from different cultures). Actually this took six years beginning from Blanca Peak, Colorado, U.S.A.!
So, the first part of the solar year (2010) was enjoying winter and making preparation for the BIG trip. This including as many loaded/heavy-bike rides as possible (Lugu Lake with Paolo).
I knew this Tibetan trip would be difficult for several reasons: elevation, terrain, weather, road conditions, and once up on the Plateau, no chance to get below 3,600M for months (so high and dry). It becomes an 'endurance contest' (where water and nutirents play a major role in your physical survival. Dehydration, the leading 'trigger' of ELS). You really have to be born at that elevation ('Roof of the World'), or highly adaptable, to be comfortable for very long. For example, the sun extremely powerful at that elevation. Light complected people, beware! Tibetans are almost black.
Rucha, my German partner came in April and we purchased a support motor vehicle, a Beijing Jeep. This was my first cycling trip ever with a support vehicle -- it came in handy as this trip so long, but ultimately was a 'pain in the ass!').
Note, I learned two valuable (practical) lessons on this cycling adventure: the more capacity you have available, the more you will carry, and go 'low,' not 'high' tech. All our high-tech, expensive gear failed. We ended up cooking on a 100RMB / $13 U.S. dollar wood/coal/dung fired stove, and illumination from candle light.
In April, my house in Lijiang became a 'bikehive' of activity, those going finally arriving from around the world. Most Westerners know some English, many older Chinese know little. Many times it sounded like the 'United Nations,' at dinner, but with help from the bi-lingual we managed.
There were two young Chinese girls, Xuni, 20-years of age, and Fei, 24-years of age, that had never taken ANY long tour-cycling trip before. I devoted special care to them, two of my Chinese daughters (I have about 20 all over China!). Although Xuni and Fei are near to my heart, I love all my Chinese sons and daughters equally!
Two of our more experienced cyclers, Chris R. from Australia, and Christophe D. from France had gone ahead because of a Chinese visa situation. We would meet up with them in several months on highway #109 (Geemu).
We departed, finally, from Lijiang (Zhao Gang's Merida Bicycle Shop) on May 5th, and with some fanfare (local media coverage). Roman, a German cyclist friend, and Muli, an unnamed Chinese boy, accompanied us for the first 20KM.
The only accident (during the entire trio) happened going down to the Yangtze River. Fei flew off her bicycle and hit the pavement (I saw the whole thing.) Later, she explained she had braked too hard (inexperience). She was lucky as wearing her new helmet, and no traffic at that point (as this happened right in the middle of a busy highway). I was impressed that motorists stopped immediately to help. Shaken, of course, but very 'game' she got back on, and we continued to 'Tiger Leaping Gorge town,' making something like 80KM the first day.
We made it to Sangrilla (Zhongdian) in three days, not bad for a start (200KM down and up) or a 67KM per day average. Note, Shangrilla at 3,200M / 10,500ft. is similar to Leadville, Colorado (U.S.A.) in elevation.
But, it was here the first of many 'demons' struck and with some force! Needless to go into great detail, but the group, sans Rucha, Xutan and Mr. Zhu, spent two weeks 'cooling our heels' while we solved a problem with our truck and truck driver. I went slightly 'mad,' one day, getting sucked up into some full-moon energy. But, doesn't everything happen for a reason?
I got to know Sangrilla, read 'Lost Horizon,' (James Hilton's) while 'there,' cycled around the area, and enjoyed some 'laowei' food (breakfast at 'N's Kitchen' every morning... oatmeal and toast, with good coffee). We ate dhal bhat in a nearby Nepali Restaurant on several occasions.
I met Yoji (from Japan) one day just outside of 'N's Kitchen!' I'll never forget being overwhelmed by what he was carrying on this bicycle (had cycled up from Singapore, some 10,000KM) -- at least 80KG / 200lbs! But, it was his style that attracted me! Whereas, my style is 'neat and organized,' Yoji's is just the opposite. Some of this has to do with money, as I spare no expense, while Yoji had to make do with mudguards from discarded plastic-water bottles. I marvel at Asian's ability to manage with little (Fei made panniers out of canvas bags for 30RMB / $4 U.S.).
Actually I had met Yoji and Shingo earlier on the street one day in front of Xinhua Bookstore (I was buying a map.) I invited them to lunch where our group was lodged (International Hostel). Note, I stayed at Noah's G.H. in Old Town (more expensive of course). I don't know if it was 'love at first sight,' but because of Fei, Yoji decided to join us. Shingo followed, and I was so glad he did as a good bicycle mechanic!
Note, our two Japanese cyclists, Yoji and Shingo (Yoji departing after Mt. Everest), deserve special thanks for their help, kindnesses, generally making my 'job' easier. I think I told someone later... 'If Yoji and Shingo represent contemporary Japanese culture, I"m moving there!'
While I was staying in Noah's G.H. (Old Town) several unusual things happened. First, the female 'manager,' at Noah's turned out to be a friend of Alex's (friend in Lijiang), and the 'connection' turned out to be useful. Additionally, the French woman (name?) came with Peter (Peter from Australia, Peter). I was so surprised until I learned they were delivering something from Alex to Noah's/the woman (ah names escape me)... Coincidence? Additionally, another friend, Dr. Bruce called said he was next door (he lives in Lijiang). He was having coffee and to join him. I was dumbfounded! With Xutan present, Bruce went on and on about how W. was so messed up, when, if the truth be known...
Who of us can deal with the truth about ourselves? ... If you can, R. Kipling wrote, 'You'll be a 'wo/man,' my daughter/son!'
After roughly two weeks word from Lijiang that things had all been straightened out: the ownership of the truck had been transferred to Xutan, and we had a new driver.
The group, by in large young (oldest closest to me was Mr. Zhu at 48), we're 'chomping at the bit' to go! I knew if we didn't depart soon, we'd lose some of them (the younger ones can't stay in one place for too long).
The big day came, finally, first loading up the truck, then off north on highway #s (217 first, and then 219). Note, Chinese highway signs and #s, not very accurate.). No media this time, but with firecrackers (scaring Nian away) and we were on our way for the second time....
The entire trip was too long and convoluted to go into much detail here. But, I will describe generally, as divided into four phases:
One, from Lijiang to Geermu, Qinghai Province. (2,000K.M.)
Two, Geermu to Lhasa (1,500K.M.)
Three, Lhasa to Mt, Kailas, via Mt. Everest ('Qomolungma' in Chinese), 1,500K.M.
And then, 'fourth,' the 'hellish' trip back to Lhasa in the truck.
NOTE, IF INTERESTED IN THE EVERYDAY, READ MY 'BLOK' ABOUT SUCH AT: www.cyclingpeace.org (although BLOG 'blocked' in China). It's a daily account of our 'ups and downs.' For example, I'll never forget coming up onto the Plateau in Qinghai, this on highway #214 (going north). Heading out in the morning the weather had been reasonable, but just over the 'pass' it turned into a semi-serious situation: going down I got caught in a violent hail storm (hail stones as large as golf balls): with the wind, the hail, and fog, I couldn't see very well, and on a slick busy highway. Thank God, it didn't last too long!
And finally here's the 'upshot' (the yield) of it all... Or, the lesson... I had thought by delivering the two holy objects to Kang Rinpoche, that would be it, that 'mission accomplished,' I'd be immediately rewarded in some way. WRONG! The 'shit' started the first hour on the way back to Lhasa (the police wouldn't let us depart Trachen without paying RMB). This began a barrage demons unleashed as the day went from bad to worse! This turned out to be the real 'test,' not cycling to Mt. Kailas. Note, read 'The Shambala Sutra' to understand.
I don't know how we survived, except to give credit to our group, their slogan, 'We will let nothing stop us!' Ultimately, nothing did, but the 'demon attack' continued, continued in Lhasa (where $3,200U.S. was 'stolen' from my U.S. Bank account), I ended up paying 10,000RMB / $1,500U.S. for a new truck engine, I lost my Swiss Army Knife, to mention just a few things that went wrong. Note, I was finally reimbursed for the 'missing' $3,200U.S. (from my account), but it took six weeks (and much effort on my part).
The ultimate 'attack,' came once I had returned to Lijiang, this in the form of an email message to Rucha (in Germany). It turned out to be SPAM, but caused me such pain, anguish, and worry as to 'go(d) mad.' There are three kinds of pain: physical, mental, and emotional. Physical, the easiest to bear!
'I died on the cross' a thousand deaths! But, in the end, master, Lord, and God (the Divine Lover) saved me (from myself: 'We have met the enemy and he is us!'). I felt such relief as to spiral up into a heaven beyond description! Of course, you won't believe this unless you understand and experience the metaphysical as I do.
Not that I am! Not that I am enlightened! Certainly not, but I did get 'the message!' That you too (everyone) can be redeemed ('eternal life') if you are willing to go through 'hell' (to get 'their')! Life, for me at least, has been climbing up the 'rungs of a ladder,' now finally nearing the top!
The difference between me and you, maybe, is that I have always sought this. Salvation, has been my primary goal in life, at first unconscious of it, but gradually gaining insight via Taoism (Tantric Buddhism, and Shakti Yoga). Note, I took vows in Nepal, and became a Taoist monk in 2005. I became celibate after Marina.
Modern life is destructive/creative! It robs you of the opportunity to achieve 'eternal life,' because we are so distracted just trying to survive (money, job, spouse/family, culture/society, religion, government, etc.). Few get the opportunity to take 'the road less travelled,' like I have.
So, what to do?
It all has to do with consciousness! Consciousness, according to Deepak Chopra is potential. What did Albert say but, 'Imagination is more important than knowledge!' This is where Chinese culture misses out, as they're all knowledge with little imagination!
Develop your imagination! Develop your potential! Develop your consciousness!
Dr. C.G. Jung, once said something that changed my life (I've written about this before.). In a BBC interview near the end of his long life, the host/interviewer asked him, 'Dr. Jung, do you believe in God!' He said, 'No, I don't have to believe, I know!'
Now, I know what Dr. Jung did! And you can too!
Up for the task? Join us!
030111 (a '6' day when WE completed this)
P.S. Oh yes, the lesson... It comes from the 23rd Psalm (Christian Bible): 'Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil! For thou art with me!'
Recently the Catholic Pope said that God caused the 'Big Bang!' We think the 'Big Bang' was God's 'orgasm!' Of course, a 'metawhor!'
Everything is a 'metawhor,' there is no such thing as objective reality! Words are only metaphors, we choose their meaning when we use them. Read the words that Louis Carroll put into 'Humpty Dumpty's' mouth.
We've collectively created this Universe, this world! We 'come' together, via energy, thoughts and ultimately 'words,' sharing 'it!' But, 'words' are not etched in stone. The literal meaning, or the dictionary meanings are only for children.
Individually we don't 'no!' Collectively we do! This is what 'God' is, a 'collective consciousness!' That's why the more 'we; grow, the more 'we' evolve, the more 'God becomes.' Consciousness is potential, Deepak Chorak said.
Ours is just another 'story.'
What happened, 'way back when,' (symbolized in the Garden of Eden Myth') 'we' gained ego consciousness = to become aware of ourselves to 'no' something else (in a dual existence): 'God!' That 'something else' is the Total. or Tao!
'But the Tao you call the Tao is not the Tao!' Ah, all just the words we use to create our own world!
How many times have we heard, 'Trust the Lord,' or 'Trust in God?' Yet, we don't because we don't know how. We don't know how to 'let go;' to trust! Thus, we live in doubt, in fear!
Padmasambhava said, 'The absence of all doubt leads to complete success!'
Thus, the task: Eliminate the doubt! Eliminate the fear!
Doubt comes in the form of energy, conceptualized in thought, that become words.
And sometimes these 'words' attack us with vehemence. We drive ourselves crazy, allowing the 'monkey mind' (Buddhist) to control us. Shakespeare said, 'Nothing is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so!' 'We have met the enemy and s/he is us!' I've quoted 'Pogo' so many times before.
The means: You have to learn how to stop the 'Monkey mind,' those negative random thoughts (from 'nowhere) that enter into consciousness.
Basically, 'meditation,' is a form of mind control. We've got to get better control of our minds not allowing the negative to overtake us.
When not meditating (chanting particularly good), and 'out there' in the 'real' world, I try to catch and balance the negative with the positive. For example, if the following thought comes into my mind, 'You're going to die tomorrow!' I will counteract that by 'saying,' (thinking). Well, if I do I hope it's quick and easy. I've had a good life, with no regrets! I pray that my spirit may come to 'you' (supply the noun) without shame!'Or, when a negative thought comes I will simply say, 'That's not going to happen!'
We really are the 'masters of our fates, the captains of our souls.' (from the poem 'Invictus' (now a motion picture):
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."
William Ernest Henley (I don't know how Clint Eastwood got away with making a motion picture entitled, 'Invictus' (about Nelson Mandala) without ever giving credit to Henley for the poem...? Clint, you 'stink!'
Henley was blind.
Most of us are blind about ourselves, leading 'quiet lives of desperation.'
We've lost our faith if we ever had it. We live in fear!