The book of Commentaries both explain and explore the many psychological and
spiritual states which these ancient pictures (beautifully drawn in vivid colour)
so fascinatingly portray. The cards, in brilliant graphic detail, reveal some of the
mythical gods and goddesses, dragons and demons of ancient China. Mark
Kumara suggests that all humans, at one time or another, will experience all
these different psychological states in the course of their many lives on the
physical plane as each person evolves, in his or her own way, toward

Written by Mark Kumara, author of THE JOY OF BEING (Trafford Publishing),
these commentaries, reveal to the world for the very first time, the long hidden
messages which lie behind the simplicity of The Tao. The commentaries in this
book - even without the cards - are both hugely inspirational and a tool for
personal transformation.

Excerpts From The Commentaries

l. THE TAO. (The Way). Card 1

A young man in a light sienna robe, wearing blue trousers is leaping through space. He has
blue ribbons in his hair. The sleeves of his arms and boots are white. His hands are open. In the
centre of his chest is portrayed the ancient Chinese yin/yang symbol of the Tao.

This handsome youth has a feeling of the eternal about him. He is carrying nothing. His hands
are open. He is leaping through the air, unsupported by anything. Yet, he is looking down. His
manner seems very composed, absorbed even. And, we might ask: is this what Lao Tzu, first
Taoist Master and founder of Chinese Taoism, means, when he speaks of "absorption into the

Lao Tzu left government service when an old man and travelled to the Gobi desert. There he left
to the world a few pages - a mere 5,000 characters - of his teachings. This small book, the Tao Te
Ching is one of the world's greatest treasures. Little known in the West, it is said to enshrine the
wisdom of the universe. What is the Tao?

Tao means The Way. It is not so much a movement along a path, not even an attempt to create a
way, but a profound transformation from limitation to liberation, through discovering and
realising the way. The Tao does not exist sometime else or somewhere else, but is everywhere
and at all times NOW. To Taoists, the Tao is the way that an individual has to be (or to follow) to
be in harmony with the cosmic principles that govern his (or her) life instead of putting up futile
resistance to them at the cost of needless stress and frustration. The teachings of the Tao Te
Ching seem, at first sight, to be paradoxical or irrational, and to encourage passivity. But Tao,
though meaning the way, doesn't point to any particular way. There is no fixed track to be
followed. Tao has reality but no form. Little can be taught of the Tao. Lao Tzu says: "That which
can be taught or put into words is not the eternal Tao." The Tao is not for anything or against
anything, but it warns against complexity, sophistication and cleverness as being corrupters of
mind and spirit. The Tao, the Way of Great Life, overflows into everything that is in harmony
with it. It is therefore the uncomplicated essence of what is right in your life: a way of yielding to
a superior cosmic principle. It is easy, because the way there is best found by not making there
your goal. It is the pathless path. Ambition, longings, the desire to make your mark in the world,
are real hindrances. Actions tied to results or achievement are limitations. The Tao has no shape,
but, like water, has dissolved within it all possibilities. In the words of Lao Tzu: "One may
designate NOTHINGNESS as the origin of the universe and BEING-NESS as the mother of all
myriad things".
He advises:
appreciate unflavoured things. As soon as the world regards something as
beautiful, ugliness simultaneously becomes apparent. The Tao can be experienced without
leaving home. The further you travel the less you will know. Silence is better than speech.
Beware the distraction of the senses. Cultivate the having of less in your life rather than more.
Power and learning is adding to oneself more and more; but the Tao simplifies you day by day.
Submission is better than resistance. To be rigid is death. To yield is life

The Tao reveals that the One is the root of all things and, as a principle, penetrates and pervades
all existence. The colour grey - a mix of black and white - in the symbol on this young man's
chest, shows us he has achieved absorption into the Tao. He is no longer walking along the way.
He is The Way.

Become The Way. Your way.

4. THE GIRL AND THE PEACOCK. (Beauty). Card 4

A pretty young girl in a red dress is sitting on a blue peacock. The peacock's twin tail feathers
are draped to the left. Both girl and bird are looking toward the right.

This card is all about beauty, and, irrespective of whether we are experiencing the world through
the body of a man or a woman, the message is the same: beauty which is derived from
integration and wholeness endures. Beauty that is partial does not. We are all striving, from
life-time to life-time, for enduring beauty. Beauty, however, derived solely from the form is
relative and ephemeral. It depends on the fickle and ever-changing perceptions of the dual
relationship between the one who perceives and the one who is perceived (note the peacock's
divided tail). So, we are talking here about the illusion of vision (beautiful though it may be) as
against our own inner truth - the eternal reality of spirit.

First, the red robe that this beautiful young lady is wearing shows that she has a strong creative
will. The handsome blue peacock upon which she is sitting indicates that she is able to express
that will as spiritual vision. But does she?

Now, using creative will for meeting your desires: such as having a beautiful home, crafting a
wondrous masterpiece of art, literature or music, or beautifying your body - or even the throwing
of your energy into the healing arts, be it for people or the environment - are all absolutely fine,
indeed, praiseworthy endeavours as far as they go. Yet, the use of will for inner change should
not be lost sight of as this is where the will-to-good comes into its own as your own personal
creative force for self-transformation. And, without self-transformation all that you have created
in the outer world might, one day, seem to be rather irrelevant. Emphasising personality desires
may lead you to contract your energy in the manner of a beautiful woman who finds herself in the
position of needing to protect herself, thus closing down her heart (note how this lady is slightly
hunched over her heart), due to the desires of those who would possess her.

It is as well to remember that the desire "to create your own reality" should be tempered by the
understanding that your truth, your eternal reality, cannot be created to be any more beautiful
than it already is. You cannot create what has already been created. All you need to do is to get
out of your own way and allow the TRUE YOU (your higher self) to surface.

Rather than the creating of your own reality, the request here is that you surrender to the
beautiful reality that you already are. All else shall follow. The fact that you are creating beauty
around you, at the same time as doing the great work of self-transformation, is merely economy
of energy. They go together. Priority, however, must necessarily be given, especially in times of
change and crisis, to the requirements of your inner life.
Both the girl and peacock are looking in the same direction, toward the right. This is significant.
This lady has vision. She has the ability to inspire and lead others by example. The challenge here
is - whilst being a visionary - not to lose sight of your own inner work - that which is required to
bring about your own enlightened destiny here on earth. This requires a certain on-going

Look always to the life beneath the form and serve its needs.

ANCIENT CHINA direct from Mark Kumara.
Write to
Cost per pack. $25 US. 18 EUR. 16 GBP. $30 AUS. (This includes postage in
Australia and New Zealand. Add $8 US for all other overseas postage).
Note, this is the cost of purchase for the pack of 55 cards only. It does not
include the book of Commentaries which are available from
The Dragon-Wisdom Cards Of Ancient China
Commentaries on the Tao (a guide to inner truth)
A pack of 55 wisdom cards depicting the gods and goddesses, dragons and
demons of ancient China, with a book of Commentaries on The Tao.

The book of Commentaries on The Dragon-Wisdom  Cards Of Ancient China
(but not the cards themselves) are available from

NOTE. The 55 card packs (the cards) are now available from Mark Kumara. They
need to be obtained direct from the author, (see below). They are not available
from Traffords.