Re-New Your Mind Course by Gerald Crawford

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.

Category: Darkness

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu Chapter 10, Nurture the darkness of your soul

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu Chapter 10, Nurture the darkness of your soul


Can you coax your mind from its wandering
and keep it to the original oneness?
Can you let your body become
supple as a newborn child’s?
Can you cleanse your inner vision
until you can see nothing but the light?
Can you love people and govern your domain
without self-importance?
Can you deal with the most vital matters
by letting events take their course?
Can you step back from your own mind
and thus understand all things?
 
Giving birth and nourishing,
having without possessing,
acting without expectation,
leading without controlling or dominating;
this is the primal virtue.

This verse imparts the essence of Lao Tzu’s teaching with great directness and clarity. The first sentence, asking if we can coax our mind from its wandering and keep to the original oneness, urges us to tame our restless minds and be rooted in that still centre of peace within. This is the art of meditation: finding the space of pure awareness that existed prior to every thought, memory, emotion and perception and remaining centred in that.

This is again referenced when Lao Tzu speaks of cleansing our inner vision, which is often obscured by the untamed mind’s relentless barrage of thoughts in much the same way as heavy storm clouds block the sunlight. He compels us to step back from our own minds and thus allow true understanding to emerge. The Tao cannot be understood by the analytical mind and indeed, it may even sound quite nonsensical. But beneath the surface there is a place of inner stillness in which these words of wisdom can be understood and realised; the part of us that is fully at one with the Tao, in its pure undifferentiated state.

The rest of the verse relays some of the other prominent themes of the Tao Te Ching, as Lao Tzu implores us to lose our rigidity, relinquish our attachment to possessions, let go of our need to control others and instead let events “take their natural course”.

The entire Tao Te Ching might be seen as a set of directions to bring us back in touch with our essential nature and to live our lives more in tune with the flow and rhythms of the natural world, of which we are part.

Our perpetual striving and grasping is not only harmful for us and those around us in the long run, but it also runs counter to our true nature as expressions of the Tao. To live in tune with this mysterious essence is to rediscover “the primal virtue”.

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 1, Darkness born from Darkness

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu Chapter 1, Darkness born from Darkness


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.
Naming is the origin of all particular things.
Free from desire, you can see the hidden mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only what is visibly real.
Yet mystery and visible reality arise from the same source.
And the mystery itself is the gateway to all understanding.

The first verse of the Tao Te Ching opens on an almost cautionary note, warning us that the ultimate truth is beyond conceptualisation and abstraction. How then can we seek to express the inexpressible with words and concepts without losing its very essence? How do we approach this eternal Tao and understand the mystery from which all life arises?

The tendency of the mind is to create concepts and to regard these concepts as being the ultimate truth, when at best they can merely serve as pointers to this truth. A famous Zen story highlights this plight. In the parable, truth is analogous to the moon in the night sky. A wise man catches sight of the moon and attempts to point it out to his followers. However, most of his followers fail to realize that it is necessary to look beyond the tip of his finger to see what it is pointing to. Instead they mistakenly believe that the finger itself is the moon. From this fundamental misperception entire religions have been created, where words and doctrines (the pointing finger) have become more important than that to which they were pointing.

Most of us keep our attention fixed solely upon the visible M; the world of the ‘ten thousand things’ as many translations of the Tao Te Ching describe it. We’re so fixated upon objects (and this includes the objects in our minds, such as our thoughts, beliefs and ideas), that we are totally unaware of that which lies beneath, beyond and within them. Or, to use a metaphor, it’s as if we’re so focused on the words in a book that we’re completely unaware of the paper upon which they are written and without which the book wouldn’t exist. Only when taking both into account – the words and the paper; the forms and the formless – can true understanding be gained.

The Tao is the intangible, formless essence from which all forms arise and subside, like waves upon the ocean. It is the noumenon at the root of all phenomena. Without it, nothing could exist and yet with our senses we perceive only the outward visible manifestations, the ‘particular things’ of life. We name them and create abstractions about them in our mind.

From language, concepts are born and it is through this screen of concepts that we filter our reality. Our tendency is then to mistake our interpretation of reality as being reality itself. Instead of experiencing reality purely and directly as it is, we inhabit a virtual-reality determined by our ever-shifting thoughts and interpretations.

This is a second-hand experience of life at best. To lose ourselves in mental activity and abstract interpretation, forever engaged in naming, analyzing and categorizing the outer forms is to lose touch with the deeper essence of the Tao. When this happens, understanding remains incomplete because, in a sense, we’re living a one-dimensional existence, aware of and relating only to the surface level of life.

A life without depth is one that is perpetually unfulfilling and endlessly frustrating.

Our fixation with objects is rooted in desire. Desire obscures our perception and keeps us locked in the ceaseless mode of acquisition and attainment. We become lost in a mindset of ‘never quite enough’, always craving more and more things, unaware that what we truly yearn for is an experience of the Tao – the everything and nothing (‘no-thing’) that underlies all existence.

When we cease to fixate on and grasp at material objects, we are able to touch upon the mystery that lies at the heart of life. We move beyond a strictly one-dimensional experience of life and the innate richness, depth and beauty of life begins to reveal itself. This is what Lao Tzu calls the “gateway to all understanding”…

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

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.