About Me: "Wakiya" (Thunder)
I am a Tribal, Musician, Writer, Artist. I try to walk the path and have studied the tradition of the "Wisdom keepers" like Lame Deer, Fools Crow, Black Elk, and Rolling Thunder from the tribes of this region, and Lao Tzu, Buddha, Bodhidharma, Yeshua, and other enlightened ones from the many various tribes of the earth. I understand the worlds religions and belief systems, and realize the division this can cause by the lack of understanding the "real message" from the Masters. My intention, and life's prayer is to try to live in harmony with Grandmother Earth, Grandfather sky, (Nature) and "the spirit that moves in all things," and help in any way I can to build a bridge between all men and tribes so they can walk their path in a manner that will benefit themselves, the Earth and others. I open up, and ask Great Spirit, The creator, The Tao, The Universe, to work and direct healing and positive energy through me by different means, like the Flute, drums, Words, Prayer, and Touch. I try to be loving and accept others from the heart, and practice forgiveness. I honor all people, the winged one's, and four legged ones considering us all equal, not one being above another. I honor the bountiful Harvest from Mother earth in the form of plant life, water, air and herbs which sustain our oneness with her. I pray all tribes should re-unite as one, so we may protect the planet and live in harmony. Within you, without you.

Mitakuye Oyasin
( all my relations)


The Vinegar Tasters

The Vinegar Tasters is an allegorical image representing Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism (Daoism), and generally favourable to Taoism and critical of the other two. It depicts three men dipping their fingers in a vat of vinegar and tasting it; one man reacts with a sour expression, one reacts with a bitter expression, and one reacts with a sweet expression.

The three men are depictions of Confucius, Buddha, and Laozi, and represent the three major philosophical traditions of China — Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. Each man's expression represents the predominant attitude of the religion: Confucianism saw life as sour, in need of rules to correct the degeneration of people, and the present was out of step of the past and that the government had no understanding of the way of the universe—the right response was to live in the past, and worship the ancestors[1]; Buddhism saw life as bitter, dominated by pain and suffering; and Taoism saw life as fundamentally good in its natural state. Some Taoists have described it as the expression of the "comedy of life".
“ From the Taoist point of view, sourness and bitterness come from the interfering and unappreciative mind. Life itself, when understood and utilized for what it is, is sweet. That is the message of "The Vinegar Tasters". ”

—from The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff

A more conciliatory interpretation of the painting is that, since the three men are gathered around one vat of vinegar, "the three teachings are one". Another contrasting interpretation is that the vinegar in the vat was of very poor quality, but Laozi tasted it with relish because of his sunny disposition and undiscriminating palate.

It may also be interpreted with Confucianism being concerned with the outside world, and viewing the vinegar as "polluted wine"; Buddhism being concerned with the self, and viewing the vinegar as a polluter of the body and soul of the taster; and Taoism being concerned with a holistic view, viewing the vinegar as perfectly in order, because vinegar is supposed to have a sour and bitter taste.

This painting was made even more popular when it was cited in Benjamin Hoff's book, The Tao of Pooh. As mentioned in the book, the scroll painting was a popular piece of art in ancient times. However nowadays it is rarely painted in China anymore with the exception of dedicated speciality places like the one at Vinegar Tasters Painting store.

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