When time and everything else has passed, is said, and done… it will have been our virtue or lack thereof that defined us. How can we be so cruel and disrespectful to others and the nature that surrounds us? What can be the point? How can we think or say that my way is better than your way when we are unsure of our own or the outcome that may follow? Eternity only speaks for each of us when we are listening and ready to use what we think is our imagination and insight to go there.
As living in the present moment is said to be most important.
We are to celebrate those things that move ourselves and others to a universal view, to our highest aspiration and virtue. Growing accustomed to the ever-present flow of wisdom and understanding of the ages and moving others to becoming ubiquitous and omnipresent, what that means, and what we are here to contribute. To see and respect the innate nature of all things. We do not simply live in a house; we surround ourselves in and with our dreams of our highest aspiration. Not simply in a physical sense, but as the embodiment of impermanence of who we are yet to become. Open to change and authentic to our true selves, we become a constant like a beacon of light from the stars others look to for direction. As we in turn evolve and change signaling our ability to become more universal as well.
To the right a depiction of a dragon (some would say phoenix) outlined in the stars from more than two thousand years ago at the Taoist Cave next to the Leshan Giant Buddha south of Chengdu. Both figures are seen to possess a reserved yet elusive spirit, capable of freely transcending the boundaries of heaven and earth, they were often referred to as metaphors in ancient China for gentleman and sages. For example, Confucius compared Lao Tzu, a famous philosopher and thinker of ancient China, to a dragon. It is also believed that Taoists compared Confucius’ wisdom and grace to the lofty virtues associated with the phoenix. Both took benevolence as the ultimate virtue towards the treatment of others.
Below is an entry from “My travels with Lieh Tzu” written in May 1995. This is from an unpublished manuscript I wrote found on my website. In Chinese and Taoist history Lieh Tzu, Chuang Tzu, and Lao Tzu of Tao Te Ching fame, and their writing, were the foundation of Taoism.
Taoism and Buddhism became intertwined in Eastern philosophy so much so that adding thoughts attributed to the Dali Lama with my own become appropriate to our path going forward. Traveling with Lieh Tzu above the clouds, is as if you are immortal having no concept of time spending time with old friends from the past. Even Einstein’s Theory of Relativity conveys our ability to move in the past.
Excerpt from “My travels with Lieh Tzu”:
Finding peace of mind from within. Striving for contentment while staying within yourself with simple simplicity and an innate sense of modesty. Finding a certain strength of character to not be challenged nor surrender to the provocative that leads to an affluent or comfortable lifestyle or way of life.
As you find the natural temperament within yourself, the stronger your will and capacity to endure hardship. With this, you will gain enthusiasm and forbearance laying a solid foundation for spiritual progress to develop a singleness of mind and penetrating insight.
Aspire only to tranquil abiding. Strive for and achieve a sense of contentment and modesty and an ethically sound and disciplined way of life. In thinking about discipline, it cannot be imposed from outside. But you must come from within yourself. Discipline should be based on a clear awareness of its value and a degree of introspection and mindfulness. Once ingrained, it becomes automatic or self-imposed. You then become free to develop alertness and mindfulness.
The bodhisattva Manjusri is the bodhisattva of wisdom not confined to knowledge or concepts who works for the enlightenment of all beings.
When you have developed these two basic factors of awakening, then you can attain singleness of mind. Have no personal involvements or obligations that will direct your attention from the path you must now follow.
Originally constructed in the 800s, Qingyang Palace, the name means Black Goat, named after the bronze goat statues, which can be found outside of Sanqing Hall. It’s the largest and oldest Taoist temple in Chengdu and is well known throughout western China. Second to Qufu and Confucius, I am drawn to Chengdu in southwest China east of Tibet, famous in both Buddhist and Taoist history and religion. I have visited Chengdu and Qufu many times.
Transcend the limits of your human existence. Forever losing your identity and endeavoring to take care of your ultimate aspiration. Understand the role of attachments and clinging and use them in letting go. With little or no obligation and involvement remain free to fly away.
(From excerpts of an article in the May 1995 issue of the Shambhala Sun by the Dalai Lama with interjections by DCD 4/12/95)
Seeing beyond the clouds on Yellow Mountain in China
Those you encounter only fleeting glimpses of what remains undefined and/or uncompleted with what may close never closing and what begins never-ending.
Anything outside yourself in effect non-existent as if you have reached the point where living becomes beyond the present moment. With music and a sense of tones and vibrations of the universe as your guide.
A never-ending contentment knowing that life is simply a continuum with nothing remaining that needs to be done other than adding to mindfulness that can be attributed to universal peace and understanding. Living beyond the clouds, as you have seen and done before. At rest with no hurry to reach for the next rung on the ladder. Only looking for peaceful beginnings and endings and to something you wrote all those years ago that may be added to.
As you look to the present with your eternal presence in mind. Twenty-seven years after writing the above as a tribute to tranquil abiding, that while my travels have taken me far, knowing that I still have far to go.
To the right depiction of the dragon from more than two thousand years ago the Wuhou Temple in Chengdu.
Empowering myself and others with the mindfulness described above never-ending. Why looking to the bodhisattva Manjusri, the bodhisattva vow, Chuang Tzu’s Perfect Man, and the wisdom of my mentors (in Eastern philosophy and thought referred to as dragons) reminds me of the past and future yet to come.