~ Stick # 55 ~TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATION
The Chief Minister was the wisest of all men.
Loved by good people; feared by the unjust.
He promoted honesty throughout the land
And advised the people to attend to their farms.
Try to attend to your own home rather than putting all your energy into work, and do not crave for more money and status than you already have. It is a good idea to settle any outstanding disputes; otherwise they will likely be resolved against you. You are likely to remain in good health for a long time, and someone long absent from you may soon return.REFLECTION
Good ministers and honest judges were highly honored in ancient China, and after death, they were often made judges in the afterlife. To be given good advice by such a person was to be given the wisdom of Heaven. And the usual advice, as in the Tao Te Ching, was to be content with what you have. Stop trying to find greener pastures. Live at ease with who and what you are.
~ Stick # 38 ~TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATION
Free from his day's work, the poet sailed leisurely home.
Though not spacious, his little cottage always served him well.
He would write poems or drink wine by the south window,
Or go for a lazy stroll, enjoying the beauty of the mountains.
While you are unlikely to achieve great fame, you will probably find happiness, provided you are prepared to settle for modest gains rather than overreaching yourself. You should learn to avoid taking risks and exercise caution in most matters. Little effort is required on your part for you to achieve a contented life.REFLECTION
Contentment is the theme of this poem. We see poets as creatures of leisure. But most Chinese poets were scholars, administrators, or judges. They worked hard, but when the day was done - or they had retired - they found true peace in being content with the simple things of life.
Each day I sit down, take up the cup of sticks and ask the same question, “What does the Keen community need to know or hear today?” I shake the cup until a stick (or 2 or 3…) falls out. I then post the stick number and the meanings for you to get what you can out of them.
The sticks themselves are a form of I-Ching. There are a total of 64 sticks in the set that I use* with a poem and small interpretation/story to go along with each stick. The poems, meanings and reflections are meant to be read and (as a good friend of mine once said) marinated in. In our culture, we’ve grown accustomed to getting instant gratification. In other words, we’re used to everything being given to us with little or no work on our parts. These readings are the exact opposite of that type of attitude.
Chinese Fortune sticks are meant to make us slow down and reflect on what is being said. As each sticks’ meaning can be profoundly personal to each person who reads them, it’s more important for you to read them rather than have someone give you a watered down version. These readings are meant to sing to a level of your consciousness and bring you a measure of peace, or at least enlightenment.
The best way to get the most you can out of these readings is to approach them with an open mind. Before sitting down to read that morning’s reading, make some quiet time for yourself. Sit still for a moment and clear your mind. Silence the chatter in your head and take a few deep breaths, letting them out slowly. Once you feel yourself slow down a little (or a lot), read through the reading of the day. Go over it a few times if you feel the need. Then take a moment, sit back and think about what that reading means for you. Some will be very straightforward; others require a bit more thinking. Either way, let the reading from the sticks guide you that day on the decisions or experiences you have. These aren’t meant to tell you what to think, but rather to help you look at things in a different way or to allow you to access truths you already have.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me!!
* written by Zhao Xiaomin & Martin Palmer