81 Week Course to Re-New Your Mind - Tao Te Ching - The Chinese concept of yin and yang describes nature in daulities with two opposite, complementary, and interdependent forces. In other words, two halves balancing together that make a whole.

Author: Gerald Crawford (Page 1 of 9)

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu Chapter 16, Empty your mind of all thoughts

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu Chapter 16, Empty your mind of all thoughts


Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.
 
Each being in the universe
returns to the common Source,
to what is and what is to be.
Returning to the Source is serenity.
 
If you don’t realize the Source
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kind-hearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.
 
Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes you are ready.

Here we are urged to empty our mind of all thoughts, be aware of the turmoil around us and to realize something that most people don’t readily like to admit: that, like it or not, we’re all on a return trip. Returning is the nature of the Tao. A wave rises above the surface of the water but must ultimately return to that from which it came. So too it is with us. Lao Tzu calls this wellspring from which all life arises the ‘Source’.

Although we appear to be separate beings cut off from our Source, the truth is we shall all return to that Source, whether by physical death or by consciously aligning ourselves with it while we are still alive. This is called “dying before we die”. It allows us to consciously realize what we truly are. Many spiritual teachers over the centuries have highlighted this as the essence of spiritual awakening – simply, to know who and what we are.

Until we realize that from which we came, our lives are difficult and we stumble around in fear and sorrow. But when we realise where we came from – which is inseparable from what we are – we reach a state of peace with life. We naturally become tolerant, kind-hearted, disinterested (or detached, which simply means not unduly caught up in the transient comings and goings of life) and even amused by life.

In short, we are able to deal with whatever life throws our way because we are no longer caught up in the illusion that we are separate beings, disconnected from the whole, having to fight to survive in a hostile universe.

We no longer place undue emphasis on that which is but a transient dream, ever morphing and shifting – and, because we know what we are at the deepest level, we no longer fear death. Because we no longer fear death, we no longer fear life (which is really a far more tragic and crippling fear). Some have called this state of being ‘enlightenment’.

Please send us an e-mail to request the download link to the MP3 file. – E-mail: info@renewyourmind.co.za.

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu Chapter 15, Fluid as melting ice

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu Chapter 15, Fluid as melting ice


The ancient Masters were profound and subtle.
Their wisdom was unfathomable.
There is no way to describe it.
One can only describe them vaguely
by their appearance.
 
They were careful
as someone crossing a frozen stream in winter.
Alert as a warrior in enemy territory.
Courteous as a guest.
Yielding as melting ice.
Shapeable as a block of uncarved wood.
Receptive as a valley.
Amorphous as muddied water.
 
But the muddiest water clears
as it is stilled.
And out of that stillness
life arises.
 
Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?
 
The Master doesn’t seek fulfilment.
Not seeking, not expecting,
she is present, and can welcome all things.

Lao Tzu here describes the “Masters of old”, those that lived their lives in constant alignment with the Tao.

He poetically depicts them as being like elements of nature and this is a central theme of the Tao Te Ching; that by observing and aligning with nature and the natural rhythms and flow, we reconnect with our deepest essence, that which might be described as the Tao.

The Master is awake, alert, kind, malleable and receptive. There is no element of self-seeking and, precisely because of this, the Master has an openness and can, as another translation of this verse states, “remain like a hidden sprout that does not rush to early ripening”.

Take some time to reflect on which of the characteristics spoken of by Lao Tzu you already possess, and which you can develop, cultivate or strengthen. Contrary to popular assumption, our our personality is not rigidly set in stone. In fact, it changes all the time, and with a little conscious effort can easily moulded and developed.

Lao Tzu makes reference to muddy water, which could represent our unconscious neuroses, fears, aversions, attachments and the assorted mind-stuff that continually churns around our head. How do we clear this muddy water? Do we get agitated and try to stir it up or boil away the mud? Such actions only serve to worsen it. Instead, Lao Tzu suggests retreating to that still place within, in which we are in constant connection with the Tao. He urges us to be rooted there; to wait patiently, allowing the mud to settle and allowing right action to spontaneously arise.

By letting go of our constant grasping and craving – and our never-ending quest for happiness and fulfilment – we can reach a place of peace, in which we are more in tune with life in the present moment; and in which all things begin to shine.

Please send us an e-mail to request the download link to the MP3 file. – E-mail: info@renewyourmind.co.za.

« Older posts
81 Week Course to Re-New Your Mind - Tao Te Ching - The Chinese concept of yin and yang describes nature in daulities with two opposite, complementary, and interdependent forces. In other words, two halves balancing together that make a whole.