Cotswold Way – Chapter 5

We are on the Cotswold Way. Today we walk from King’s Stanley to Wotton-under-Edge.

I read Chapter 5 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell.

“The Tao doesn’t take sides;
it gives birth to both good and evil.”

We look at a Neolithic burial ground, the Nympsfield Long Borrow.

Information boards describe the history of this site.

“The Master doesn’t take sides;
she welcomes both saints and sinners.”

“The Tao is like a bellows:
it is empty yet infinitely capable.”


We come to a town.

“The more you use it, the more it produces;”

“the more you talk of it, the less you understand.”

“Hold on to the center.”

We climb the tower.

And descend.

walking on

Cotswold Way – Chapter 4

We are on the Cotswold Way. Today we walk from Painwick to King’s Stanley.

I read Chapter 4 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell.

“The Tao is like a well:
used but never used up.”

“It is like the eternal void:
filled with infinite possibilities.”

We reach the half-way point in the Cotswold Way – approximately equal distance between Chipping Campton and Bath.

Clouds gather

“It is hidden but always present.”

“I don’t know who gave birth to it.”

“It is older than God.”

Cotswold Way – Chapter 4

We are on the Cotswold Way. Today, we walk from Birdlip to Painswick.

I look at the inside of a British drywall. The outer part is made of shaped, stacked stones. The inner part is filled in with unshaped stones.

I read Chapter 4 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell.

“The Tao is like a well:
used but never used up.”

“It is like the eternal void:
filled with infinite possibilities.”

We reach Coopers Hill, a place where annually they have a kind of festival during which guys chase a huge cheese that is rolled down the hill. Each year many are injured but they do it anyway! The cheese is placed in a barrel and given a one second head start down the hill. Then the participants try to catch it as it tumbles down. Apparently it bounces around so much that the contestants are often injured.

We see the remains of an Iron Age hill fort, dating from 400 BC.

We arrive at Painswick and visit the Rococo Garden, designed and first constructed in the 1740s as a baroque garden.

“It is hidden but always present.”

I watch.

We walk in the maze.


“I don’t know who gave birth to it.
It is older than God.”


Cotswold Way – Chapter 3

We are on the Cotswold Way, a 102 mile hike in England. Today we walk from Killkiney Inn to Birdlip.

Much of the hike today involves walking beside escarpment — looking down at Cheltenham, England.

I read Chapter 3 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell.

“If you overesteem great men,
people become powerless.”

“If you overvalue possessions,
people begin to steal.”

“The Master leads
by emptying people’s minds”

I see an incredible butterfly but am unable to get close enough to document its beauty.

“and filling their cores,
by weakening their ambition”

“and toughening their resolve.”

We come to some information boards that describe the archeological history of this area.

The area was occupied during the Neolithic, Iron Age, and Post-Roman Age.

I watch a bee on a flower on the side of the Iron Age Bank.

“He helps people lose everything
they know, everything they desire,
and creates confusion
in those who think that they know.”

Remaining earth of the “long mound.”

“Practice not-doing,
and everything will fall into place.”

We look at Cheltenham, again.

Cotswold Way – Chapter 2

We walk on the Cotswold Way in England. Today we walk from Winchcombe to the Killskiney Inn near Dowdeswell.

We pass the Winchcombe War Memorial (World War I).

I read Chapter 2 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell.

“When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.”

Fog in the morning

“When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.”

“Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.”

“Long and short define each other.”

“High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.”

“Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything”

“and teaches without saying anything.”

“Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.”

Our lodging at the Killarney Inn is. 1.3 miles off the Cotswold Way, a dangerous road walk at the end of the day

“She has but doesn’t possess,
acts but doesn’t expect.”

“When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.”

Cotswold Way – Chapter 1

We walk from Stanton to Winchcombe on the Cotswold Way, a 102 mile path in Gloucestershire, England.

We look at the church in Stanway — it’s oldest features are the decorative faces.

I read Chapter 1 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell.

The tao that can be told

is not the eternal Tao.”

The name that can be named

is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.

We reach the Hailes Church, which is next to the ruins of Hailes Abbey. The Church predates the Abbey, which was constructed in 1246. It is full of very old artifacts.

Naming is the origin

of all particular things.

Most of the Catholic medieval art was destroyed during the reign of Henry VIII but this church has medieval art on its walls.

Free from desire, you realize the mystery.

Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

We visit the ruins of the Hailes Abbey, built in 1246.

All the Catholic abbeys were closed during the reign of King Henry VIII.

Yet mystery and manifestations

arise from the same source.

This source is called darkness.

Darkness within darkness.

The gateway to all understanding.

We see our destination.

We walk on until we reach Winchcombe.

Cotswold Way, England – Chapter 81

We begin at Chipping Campden, walking to Stanton, our first stage of the Cotswold Way, a 102 mile hike to Bath, England.

We visit the. Church of St. James in Chipping Campden, the beginning of the Cotswold Way.

Elements within this church date back to the 15th century.

The old market place of Chipping Campton.

The Cotswold Way also passes by St. Catherine’s Catholic Church.

I read Chapter 81 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell.

“True words aren’t eloquent;
eloquent words aren’t true.”

“Wise men don’t need to prove their point;
men who need to prove their point aren’t wise.”

We reach the Broadway Tower.

We climb.

To the top.

“The Master has no possessions.”

“The more he does for others,
the happier he is.”

We reach the village of Broadway and look inside the Church of St. Michael and All Angels.

We look back at the church.

“The more he gives to others,
the wealthier he is.”

“The Tao nourishes by not forcing.
By not dominating, the Master leads.”

We arrive in Stanton and look at the church there — also named for St. Michael and all the Angels.

The old pulpit dates from the 1300s. The baptismal font dates from the 1500s.

Our lodging is in the attic of a very old building – perhaps from the 1600s. Of course it has been updated so that it has electricity and plumbing.

York, England – Chapter 80

We completed our Coast to Coast hike and took a train to York, England. We visit the Railway Museum, York Minster, and the Castle Museum.

The Railway Museum contains engines and cars from all eras.

The York Minster is the largest medieval, Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe. The history of the site dates back 2000 years and the current building is about 800 years old.

The Roman Emperor Constantine was proclaimed emperor on this site in 306.He is credited with converting the Empire to Christianity.


I read Chapter 80 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell.

“If a country is governed wisely,
its inhabitants will be content.”

Chapter House

Great West Window

Karen looks at the seating situation.

I seek the place with sanctity but this is a very public domain. We go to a lower level.

We see the tomb of St. William of York. He was a pilgrim who believed in peace. Prayers to him have resulted in miracles.

William of York, patron saint of York, was archbishop from 1141-1154. In 1153, when William was returning to York from Rome, a large crowd greeted him on the Ouse Bridge.  So many people were crowded on the bridge that the structure collapsed.  William stopped and called on God to save those drowning.  Miraculously, no one was hurt. The miracle at Ouse Bridge, and many later miracles, led to his canonization. Although his tomb became a pilgrimage site, he was a somewhat minor saint.

The Doomstone is a survival of the first Roman Minster. It shows lost souls in hell.


The bottom photo shows the circular “Rose Window.”

We visit the Castle Museum, a collection of artifacts from many eras, collected in the early 1900s.

“They enjoy the labor of their hands
and don’t waste time inventing
labor-saving machines.”



“Since they dearly love their homes,
they aren’t interested in travel.”

Although the Tao te Ching portrays less technological societies as bucolic, the museum exhibits suggest something different.

A form of public punishment – other forms include torture and execution.

“There may be a few wagons and boats,
but these don’t go anywhere.”

Plagues created a need for coffins.

“There may be an arsenal of weapons,
but nobody ever uses them.”

“People enjoy their food,
take pleasure in being with their families,
spend weekends working in their gardens,
delight in the doings of the neighborhood.”

“And even though the next country is so close
that people can hear its roosters crowing and its dogs barking,
they are content to die of old age
without ever having gone to see it.”

Karen watches a projected movie of a woman describing her life in prison. She became a thief because her husband failed to support her. The castle served as a prison over many centuries and was the site of many famous executions.

A final section of the museum focused on World War I.

A German machine gun.

Percentage of forces killed – British Empire (10% died in combat and another 10% died from other causes, such as disease)

The exhibit provide a chalk board that allowed people to provide reactions.

Coast to Coast Way – Chapter 79

We are walking across England on the Coast to Coast Way. Today we walk from Littlebeck to Robin Hood’s Bay, the final day of our hike.

We stand in front of the “Hermitage,” a shelter carved from solid rock in 1799.

I read Chapter 79 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell.

“Failure is an opportunity.

If you blame someone else,

there is no end to the blame.”

“Therefore the Master

fulfills her own obligations

and corrects her own mistakes.”

We see the ocean!

We are walking toward Robin Hood’s Bay, beside the North Sea.

Our Coast to Coast Walk is almost over.

Soon we will see Robin Hood’s Bay.

Not yet.

There it is!

We arrive and go down to the sea.

“She does what she needs to do

and demands nothing of others.”

We look down from the window of our lodge room.

The Coast to Coast Way is 192 miles from St. Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay.

View from the window of our lodge.

Coast to Coast Way – Chapter 78

We walk across England on the Coast to Coast Way. Today we walk from Glaisdale to Littlebeck — but the taxi that was supposed to take us to Glaisdale not show up and we found we had no cell connection to call. We decided to start at Egton Bridge — where we had spent the night.

We look at St. Hedda’s Church in Egton Bridge.

I read Chapter 78 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell.

“Nothing in the world
is as soft and yielding as water.”

The Way follows an old toll road; we see a sign left from those days.

We arrive at Grosmont, a town famous for steam engine locomotives. An early train line began here and they brought old steam engines here for repair and to “retire” them.

“Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible,
nothing can surpass it.”

“The soft overcomes the hard;
the gentle overcomes the rigid.”

We walk through the first railway tunnel ever constructed.

“Everyone knows this is true,
but few can put it into practice.”

We walk up a road — to a moor.

Past ancient stones.

Over the level moor.

“Therefore the Master remains
serene in the midst of sorrow.”

We reach our destination – the Methodist Church in Littlebeck.

“Evil cannot enter his heart.
Because he has given up helping,
he is people’s greatest help.”

There is no lodging in Littlebeck and we take a taxi back to our lodging in Egton Bridge. We will return to this place tomorrow to start for Robin Hood’s Bay.

We watch England play Sweden in the World Cup playoffs.

“True words seem paradoxical.”

GOAL! England scores a second goal and beats Sweden 2-0 to go on to the semi-finals.

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