The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Tranquility Taverna Entry From Eileen

July 24, 2005

The Chinese characters on the cover of the “Tranquility Taverna” journal that I am contributing to represent tranquility, clarity and harmony. It is possible that Chinese characters appeared as early as 8,000 years ago.

The character tranquility can be translated into one who is unaffected by disturbance. As early as 3,000 BC, courtyards were designed and built to offer Chinese families a private place for rest and rejuvenation. Without tranquility, we experience chaos and violence.

The character for clarity is qing, and can have different connotations, depending on other characters that it is used in combination with. This character is also related to the heart sutra in that the individual who has obtained clarity has gone beyond and is enlightened. Conversely, without clarity, one lives in a haze of unclearness. Thoughts and feelings can be obscure, distorted.

The character for harmony represents agreement. When you have harmonious relations with others, daily life can become less stressful and more peaceful. Alternatively, when we have disagreement and dissonance, life presents greater difficulties.

These characters speak to me on a personal and a global level. We live in a fast-paced world. Chaotic events, whether they are natural disasters, famine or war affect all of us. The challenge for peace loving individuals is to work fro the aspects of tranquility, clarity and harmony in our own lives, and then from a place of being centered, tranquil and clear we are better positioned to work towards peace and harmony in the world.

From the Tao Te Ching:

Intelligent people know others.
Enlightened people know themselves.

You can conquer others with power,
But it takes true strength to conquer yourself.

Ambitious people force their will on others,
But content people are already wealthy.


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