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 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.”

Coast to Coast Way – Chapter 77

We walk across England on the Coast to Coast Way. Today we walk from Blakey Ridge to Glaisdale.

I read Chapter 77 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell.

“As it acts in the world, the Tao
is like the bending of a bow.”

“The top is bent downward;
the bottom is bent up.”

“It adjusts excess and deficiency
so that there is perfect balance.”

“It takes from what is too much
and gives to what isn’t enough.”

“Those who try to control,
who use force to protect their power,
go against the direction of the Tao.”

We see a “grouse butt” — a “blind” for shooting birds.

We arrive in Glaisdale and visit the Glaisdale St. Thomas Church.

There is a story connected with one of the church members, Tom Ferres, a man who was in love with a local girl but was considered too poor to marry her. He planned to see her one last time before going to Sea to seek his fortune but was prevented by the flooded river. He achieved success, married the girl, and had a bridge built ( called the Pauper’s Bridge).

We looked at his photo inside the church.

We visited the bridge.

“They take from those who don’t have enough
and give to those who have far too much.”

Someone left flowers on the bridge, perhaps due to a broken relationship or a death.

“The Master can keep giving
because there is no end to her wealth.”

“She acts without expectation,
succeeds without taking credit,
and doesn’t think that she is better
than anyone else.”

We eat pork pies and drink water for lunch.

Coast to Coast Way – Chapter 76

We are walking across England on the Coast to Coast Way. Today we walk from Clay Bank Top to Blakey Ridge.

The Wainstones are the area we crossed yesterday. We continue walking in the Cleveland Hills.

I read Chapter 76 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell.

“Men are born soft and supple;

dead, they are stiff and hard.”

“Plants are born tender and pliant;

dead, they are brittle and dry.”

“Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible

is a disciple of death.”

“Whoever is soft and yielding

is a disciple of life.”

“The hard and stiff will be broken.

The soft and supple will prevail.”

Our guidebook provides information that does not fit what we see. There is no sign with “Welcome to Blakey” on it. We missed the turn to the Lion Inn. Many British people hike with topo maps on pages that they carry with a string around their necks. Navigation is a major problem when following the Coast to Coast Way.

We came to a road and some people directed us to the Lion Inn.

Coast to Coast Way – Chapter 70

We walk from Keld to Reeth on the Coast to Coast Walk across England. We start by walking for over a mile on the Pennine Way to get back to the Coast to Coast Way.

I read Chapter 70 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell.

“My teachings are easy to understand
and easy to put into practice.”

Mother grouse and chicks

“Yet your intellect will never grasp them,
and if you try to practice them, you’ll fail.”

“My teachings are older than the world.”

“How can you grasp their meaning?”

“If you want to know me,
look inside your heart.”

We arrive at the Kings Arms Hotel. Reviewers say, “It does not smell as bad as it did before and the staff is less surly.”

Coast to Coast Way – Chapter 69

Karen has severe sunburn and we must stay out of the sun. We will ride in the van that takes our packs to Keld.

I walk on the Coast to Coast Way as it passes our lodging, the Old Croft House Guest House.

I read Chapter 69 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell.

“The generals have a saying:

‘Rather than make the first move

it is better to wait and see.'”

I walk on the Way to the old bridge.

“‘Rather than advance an inch

it is better to retreat a yard.'”

“This is called going forward without advancing,

pushing back without using weapons.”

I go to the Kirby Stephen Parish Church, first constructed as a Norman Church in 1170, then an English Church in 1220, with the tower added in 1506.

“There is no greater misfortune

than underestimating your enemy.”


“Underestimating your enemy

means thinking that he is evil.”

“Thus you destroy your three treasures

and become an enemy yourself.”

“When two great forces oppose each other,

the victory will go to the one that knows how to yield.”

Look inside yourself.

We ride to the Frith Lodge outside of Keld. Karen must stay inside to recover from sunburn.

The Pennine Way, which connects to the Coast to Coast Way, passes nearby our lodge. I walk toward the place to get on it.

I walk on the Pennine Way.

We do very little walking today. Remember the three treasures: simplicity, patience, compassion.

Coast to Coast Walk – Chapter 67

We walk from Orton to Kirkby Stephen on the Coast to Coast Walk, across England.

We reach a Neolithic rock circle, constructed 8000 years ago. It is hard to see the circle due to the sheep and because some rocks are missing.

I do a kind of ritual, walking around the existing rocks. There is magic in this for you – focus your mind on a problem or question. Look inside yourself.

I read Chapter 67 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell.

“Some say that my teaching is nonsense.
Others call it lofty but impractical.”

“But to those who have looked inside themselves,
this nonsense makes perfect sense.”

“And to those who put it into practice,
this loftiness has roots that go deep.”

“I have just three things to teach:
simplicity, patience, compassion.”

The lump in the ground is actually an ancient living structure, a future archeological site, past of a Neolithic village. There are a number of similar lumps in this area.

“These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and in thoughts,
you return to the source of being.”

“Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.”

The photo of the viaduct shows lumps in the ground close to the wall in the lower part of the image. These lumps were thought to be the graves of giants. Karen is very skeptical.

“Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”

Coast to Coast Way – Chapter 68

We walk from Shap to Orton on the Coast to Coast Way, walking across England.

We leave Shap, crossing the railroad.

I read Chapter 68 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell.

“The best athlete
wants his opponent at his best.”

We look at an ancient stone circle, with two concentric rings, constructed about 8000 years ago.

“The best general
enters the mind of his enemy.”

I do a kind of ritual. Bring into your mind a specific request or prayer. I walk about the outer circle and then the inner circle. People have been praying here for thousands of years. If you watch this, you can become part of something that brings about inner change.

“The best businessman
serves the communal good.”

“The best leader
follows the will of the people.”

“All of them embody
the virtue of non-competition.”

“Not that they don’t love to compete,
but they do it in the spirit of play.”

In the center of the previous video are some rocks which some people think mark Robin Hood’s grave. These stones are in the center of this photograph – a small dot.

We reach the road to Orton.

We stay at the George Hotel.

The All Saints Church was first built in the 12th century with its tower dating from the early 16th century.

“In this they are like children
and in harmony with the Tao.”

In the Tao te Ching, Lao tsu speaks of a harmony, even within the realm of competition. You can experience this within.

Coast-to-Coast Walk – Chapter 66

We travel from Patterdale to Shap, taking a ferry and walking to Shap. We take an alternative route from the Coast to Coast Way in order to take the steamer on Ullswater. We carry sun umbrellas because the sun is very hot and the wind is not as strong as during previous days.

I read Chapter 66 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell.

“All streams flow to the sea
because it is lower than they are.”

“Humility gives it its power.”

“If you want to govern the people,
you must place yourself below them.”

We reach a place where there is a circle of stones constructed thousands of years ago by pre-Christian people.

“If you want to lead the people,
you must learn how to follow them.”

“The Master is above the people,
and no one feels oppressed.”

“She goes ahead of the people,
and no one feels manipulated.”

We reach a small village, not too far from Shap, where we were told that we could find the path to Shap by walking through the cemetery toward the river.

“The whole world is grateful to her.

Because she competes with no one,
no one can compete with her.”