Passing the baton and test / Volume 8

Sharing the process of discovery. Putting your hand out and asking others to come on the journey with you. Allowing others to cross over the line and come into what you are writing.

Garden of the Tàipíng Heavenly Kingdom Historical Museum in Nanjing

 Making what you write more available, so that others may follow. Sharing your vision and letting another’s eyes see it. Giving the reader space to see themselves, thereby creating their own.

Becoming universal and making others say: “Yes ‑ me too!”    1/7/1995

Mindfulness –How are we to meditate so that our silence is but a true mirror of ourselves? Begin by letting thoughts and the writings of others pass directly through us without thinking about our previous thoughts and emotional attachments. See yourself as the conduit for/of universal teachings and spirit as time becomes irrelevant as connecting with these vibrations are what define us in eternity. It’s identifying with how and who we are, and yet to become.

 “I teach because you and all beings want to have happiness and want to avoid suffering. I teach the way things are and that you should be your own guiding light.” The Buddha

 It’s what Plato, Emerson, Buddha, Confucius, etc., knew connecting us through nature with our essential selves knowing that the atoms that define us have always been present. As we become the continuum, or conduit, for who we have always been. Meditate on that… and what will be our own highest endeavor going forward. Loving ourselves as we are merely a reflection of the sun, moon, and stars as our own guiding light that mirrors and brings us into harmony with the universe.

For myself, it’s just to think as Lieh as if at home with simplicity, to speak with insight and freedom as Chuang, and to act with universal wisdom as Lao Tzu. What more could there ever be as my writing continues their story.

From the Tao Te Ching – The sage settles himself, and knows how to be content.

Verse 46   Prevailing Contentment

How can we live within what the Tao teaches us, if we are never content with what the world brings to our doorstep and why should it matter? If we are busy cultivating things instead of ourselves, how can we find our true place in the ten thousand things? What can the seeds of contentment bring unless controlling our desires comes to the forefront and contentment decides to stay?  If we do not remain still, how will we know when the way comes to find us?

Cultivating the Tao through meditation, thought, appearance, action and deed is the key to the sage’s security. By not seeking things outside himself, he becomes an extension of the Tao. He is internally guided by the knowledge that no crime is worse than yielding to our desire, no wrong is greater than discontent and no curse greater than getting what you want when you are unprepared for the consequences.

Before showing the way, the sage must truly know contentment and remain confident with what the Tao teaches and exude that confidence by showing the contentment of being content.  When he can do this, others can see the folly of what external desires bring and can begin to find contentment for themselves.

Finding that the Tao has come full circle and begun to prevail in the world, the sage can be on his way. ##

The three above landscapes are from the Chongqing Museum. If I become published in the future, appropriate credits will be given. If only for my enjoyment just acknowledging where all photographs originate is enough.

It always comes back to what we are doing to emulate “the Virtue of Heaven” and acknowledging that there is no separate self.

The Bodhi Tree or Bodhi Fig Tree (“tree of awakening”) was a large and ancient sacred fig tree located in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, under which Siddhartha Gautama, the spiritual teacher who became known as the Buddha, is said to have attained enlightenment or Bodhi circa 500 BCE. 

While Buddhism and Taoism always seems inseparatable (for me anyway), Taoism always seems to come back to someone referred to as Master Lao, the author of the Tao Te Ching. In my earlier entries here, I make reference to a second book attributed to Lao Tzu entitled the Nei-yeh – Inward Training. It’s contribution to Taoism has been as great or greater for those who see the Taoist path as essential to living a good life. It was written more than two thousand years ago. It can be found here on my website. The next two chapters, chapters fifteen and sixteen of twenty-six are as follows:

Nei-yeh – Inward Training


For those who preserve and naturally generate vital essence
on the outside a calmness will flourish.

Pre-historic Dragon / Wuhan Temple

Stored inside, we take it to be the well-spring.
Flood like, it harmonizes and equalizes and we take it to be the fount of the vital energy.
When the fount is not dried up,
the four limbs are firm.
When the spring is not drained,
Vital energy freely circulates through the nine apertures.
You can then exhaust the heavens and the earth
and spread over the four seas.
When you have no delusions within you,
externally there will be no disasters.
Those who keep their minds unimpaired within,
externally keep their bodies unimpaired.
Who do not encounter heavenly disasters
or meet with harm at the hands of others,
call them Sages.


The Winding Path

If people can be aligned and tranquil,
their skin will be ample and smooth.
Their eyes and ears will be acute and clear,
their muscles will be supple and their bones will be strong,
they will then be able to hold up the Great Circle [of the heavens]
and tread firmly over the Great Square [of the earth].

They will mirror things with great purity
and they will perceive things with great clarity.
Reverently be aware [of the Way] and do not waver,
and you will daily renew your inner power.
Thoroughly understand all under the heavens,
and exhaust everything within the Four Directions.
To reverently bring forth the effulgence [of the Way]:
This is called “inward attainment.”
If you do this but fail to return to it,
this will cause a wavering in your vitality.

What does it mean to see beyond oneself knowing time is best spent with old friends made in eternity? Moving beyond what may be considered or seen as superficial – to great purity and great clarity as described above.

Life becomes a transformative process as you proceed assisting others in having compassion for all sentient beings as illustrated by your everyday thoughts and actions. You try not to take yourself too seriously. But at some point, you must acknowledge that there is something to all this. To what others may see as simply a vivid imagination. Or even as The Buddha tells us that with life as simply a continuum… there is never a last word.

Perhaps it is to awaken others through your writing from worldly dreams and perceptions by resonating with the way of nature and virtue, while internally following the Tao and Buddha.

For myself, this transformation becomes my own highest endeavor. To be blessed with finding comfort now in doing so moving all further to new heights. When I first began writing it seems I was admonished to “Keep to the lower clouds”.

Now twenty-five years later – after much study, and almost fifty trips to China and living there the equivalent of over eight years… I sense that I have earned my keep. Chuang Tzu laughs at the thought I would feel the need to do so and reminds me of something I wrote years ago from my book in April 1994, “An American Journey through the I Ching and Beyond”, as I wrote of things yet to come.

As Chuang Tzu’s Perfected Man

As Chuang Tzu’s Perfected Man begins by abandoning the ways of the world, you begin by simply letting go of that which is not significant to the Tao. As you are now seen traveling with old friends who guide you along an unknowable path or way.

Xian Old City

Just as the dragons would have it, they are pleased.

Eternal sacrifice made to capture the moment knowing everything rests on your finding and staying on the road yet to be traveled.  Searching for immortality and freedom to go where few have gone before.  Just as a sage would find the true reality of all things. Always leading the way. Knowing that the Tao is everywhere to be found by simply looking and understanding what is and finding one’s own standard within the oneness of virtue.

Eternity existing forever both before, now and yet to come. As you continually search for your place in the overall scheme of things. With a comfort known as something done repetitively over and over again. A great sense of satisfaction that all becomes and is second nature.

    Xian Old City

Remain simply within the oneness of everything and pursue nothing ethereal as the reclusive sage. Complete with the knowledge of the Tao and understanding what it means. Remember from where you have come. As we are here to remind you of where you will return with us. Everything is here within yourself to rediscover and relearn. Keep to the open road as the Perfected Man and know immortality can only follow. 4/12/1994

Then something the following year from “My travels with Lieh Tzu”…

Chapter One – Heaven’s Gift

Introduction…    Becoming Sanctified

Traveling as one with the wind you become sanctified as one with Lieh Tzu. Coming out of the security you have found as the sage forever only concerned about images and things always to remain translucent. Keeping always to new heights found only in the mountain retreat where nothing is to be found but stillness.

Everything following its natural course as heaven and earth dictates. Simply coming to know the seasons and continuity found in following day and night.

The inn at the mountain pass  Qingcheng Mountain north of Chengdu

Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, growth and decay, birth and death. Man alone in knowing his true path. With only the sage knowing the proper sequence of events of the path that must be followed.

Man occupying the small unseemly place on the mountain’s trail as shown in the paintings of antiquity. Living only to come forward to find the true way to be found only by following the Tao. Without thought or purpose. Without choosing to be born or to die. Yet following the Way. Basing our every action on instinct and spontaneity. To distinguish between benefit and harm, understand alternative courses of action and form moral and practical courses of conduct without the need to do so.

Appropriate rituals Qingyang Taoist Temple Chengdu 

To discard knowledge unfamiliar with the Way, cease to make distinctions, refuse to impose your will on nature. To return to the innocence found in a newborn child and allow your actions to come naturally as a part of nature itself. To reflect things like a mirror and respond as an echo without intervening thought.

Perfectly concentrated and perfectly relaxed as one who finds his second nature on hands and knees pulling weeds from his garden. Cleansing one’s soul of unwanted intrusions.

Remaining fully attentive to the external situation. Responding naturally to events as they occur. Not analyzing, as if spontaneously allowing your response to just take the unified action that comes forth simply to occur.   1/10/1995

Finally, from the Book of Chuang Tzu:

Section 3                The Secret of Caring for Life

Follow the middle staying with what is constant. Use your limitless power to rediscover your latent talents and abilities.  Come forth to use the power and knowledge you have always possessed unconcerned with how others see or perceive you in their limited vision of the way.  Travel in complete sincerity and wu wei. What you need will always be present at that moment without need to worry about the past or some sense of time wasted as you have lived your life. As a student of Chuang Tzu, you are safe from harm. Just live and rest in the moment and all will be made clear.

Resting in the moment with sincerity… the key to learning wu wei. What comes naturally without hesitation with pure joy, as you have become a transformative influence. How you will live will show others how to live. It’s as the Tao tells us we establish the Way of Heaven from within. For those with doubts, let your actions show the way.

By 1dandecarlo

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