Feb
4
0

Quote for week of 2/3/14

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Under heaven everyone knows that the existence of beauty

depends on the existence of ugliness.

Everyone knows the capacity of kindness

depends on the existence of the unkind.

Existence and nothingness are mutually born,

difficult and easy complete each other,

long and short shape each other,

tall and short rest upon each other,

sound and music harmonize each other,

before and after follow one another.

Because of this the sage

dwells in the world of non-action,

practices teaching without speaking.

The ten thousand beings rise and fall

and she does makes no claim on them.

She creates but does possess them.

She works but does not take credit for it.

Because she does not take credit for her accomplishments

they will last forever.

                                  Daode Jing Chapter 2

4 agreements

I have been reading a wonderful book called The Four Agreements. I love this book! The teachings are very simple yet very profound, always a good combination!  They are as follows:

 

1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

 

I think I will be working with number 2 for the rest of my life! I think that if we really work on applying these principles to our daily life our self-cultivation will be that much more powerful. In chapter 2 of the Daode Jing Laozi says:

Under heaven everyone knows that the existence of beauty

depends on the existence of ugliness.

Everyone knows the capacity of kindness

depends on the existence of the unkind.

Existence and nothingness are mutually born,

difficult and easy complete each other;

long and short shape each other;

tall and short rest upon each other;

sound and music harmonize each other;

before and after follow one another.

Because of this the sage

dwells in the world of non-action,

practices teaching without speaking.

The ten thousand beings rise and fall

and she does makes no claim on them.

She creates but does possess them.

She works but does not take credit for it.

Because she does not take credit for her accomplishments

they will last forever.

The combination of the Four Agreements with the teachings of Laozi and Zhuangzi will make our cultivation practices even more powerful!

Jan
22
0

Solala Blog for 1/20/14

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Chu Chai Tzu said to this teacher Chang Wu Tzu, “I have heard from Confucious that the sage  does not involve herself with things of the world. She does not seek gain or try to avoid loss. She seeks nothing and does not even cling to Tao. She speaks without using words, and when using words does not say anything. Thus she travels beyond this world of dust. Confucious thinks these are just empty and fanciful words, but to me they seem like the very way of the mysterious Tao. What do you think?”

Chang Wu Tzu answered, “Even the Yellow Emperor himself would have been confused by these words; how can Confucious hope to understand them? I will speak to you a little recklessly and I want you to listen the same way. The sage floats alongside the sun and moon and embraces the universe,  joining it all together into one great whole. She rejects distinctions and ignores social rank. Ordinary men struggle and toil while the sage seems stupid and blockheaded. To her ten thousand years are but one. To her the ten thousand beings are all one, forming a whole.

“How do I not know that loving life is a foolish delusion? How do I know if fearing death is like a man, who upon leaving home, cannot remember the way back and becomes afraid?”

                             from The Inner Chapters of Chuang Tzu by Solala Towler

 

Jan
21
0

Quote for week of 1/20/14

Dao that cannot be named –that is called the Treasure House of Heaven. Pour into it and it will never be filled, pour it out and it will never be emptied. In the world, no one knows why this is so. This is called Inner Illumination.

                          Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu)IMG_1069

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Do You Believe in Magic?

 

I was driving today and saw a bumper sticker in front of me that said, “I brake for elves and unicorns.” It made me chuckle and it also made me think. I like the idea of being open to magic, miracles and wonder. Laozi said something like, when people lose their sense of awe Dao itself is lost. Or you could perhaps say, when people lose their sense of magic, they are lost.

Laozi says we need to become as children to enter Dao (or the as the other prophet said, into the kingdom of heaven.) What does he mean by this? Perhaps that a childlike sense of awe and magic is what we need to get us through the hard times as well as the good ones. Perhaps we need to remain open to miracles, the miracles of daily life as well as the once-in-a-lifetime ones.

I was very excited when I discovered the world of Daoism. I felt like I had come home. I still feel that way 25 years later. I have lost none of my excitement and wonder about this rich, endlessly fascinating life-long quest to experience myself as a living embodiment of Dao. Of course, you are also a living embodiment of Dao as are all living things, the “ten thousand beings.”

Zhuangzi says:

Words are not just blowing wind, they have meaning. But if we cannot agree on what they mean are we really saying anything? People think that their words are more meaningful than the peeping of birds, yet are they really any different? Dao is hidden behind partial understanding and the meaning of our words is hidden behind a screen of flowery rhetoric.

So how can we get beyond words, beyond “flowery rhetoric?” How can we become living embodiments of Dao? How can we remain open to the miracle of life and death and all that lies between? How can we not lose sight of the wondrous, the magical and the sublime? How can we wake up, more and more, deeper and deeper, vaster and vaster? How can we not lose sight of the amazing experience of students of the Way, in general and particular?

By practice, by going deep within, by meditating, by dwelling in the silence, by applying the words of Laozi, Zhuangzi and all the other great masters, now and before. By believing in magic and miracles and wonder, both within our own lopsided selves and in the world around us. By not thinking we know it all, by not thinking we know much at all.

Laozi says,

Abandon sageliness, renounce (book) knowledge,

and people will be a hundred times better off.

Take this advice:

know the plain and embrace simplicity;

reduce your sense of self

and lessen your desires,

give up (book) learning

and you will have no worries.