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TheAikidoka 07-13-2011 05:18 AM

On Humanity
 
Here is a little something I found today on Taoism.net, and I wanted to share. Is this the state we are in?

I am trapped in the ego, blind to the awareness of the true self, and caught up in every desire of the body and mind that the world has to offer. The tranquility and peace of the Tao is supplanted by the raging flood of passion and emotion and I am powerless to control the tiny ship of my spirituality as it is tossed on to the boulders of conflict by the waves of my own choosing. The reason I am not a Zen master, is because I know I am not.

How shall I call myself a teacher when I cannot follow my own teaching? How do I become the Taoist equivalent of Saul of Tarsus, "king of all sinners"? How can I expect others to quell their thoughts and emotions when I myself burn? How can I teach a way of peace when anger strangles my heart?

The Tao is infinite mysterious and all encompassing. In my peace and my conflict both I am true to my nature and from my failures grow new and sometimes profound teachings. Like the moon which is a reflection of the sun's light, I am but a reflection, a ghost seen through a smoky mirror, of my true self. Calm returns, the window opens and the carress of the Tao fills my senses.

I am reminded that we are not judged nor are we condemned, we only are. In this moment, we exist, in the next moment we do not. Both of these moments are in and of the Tao.

Will the transition that is death cause me pain? I do not know. Will I awake to a new lifetime, or to non-existence, and if to nothing, have I returned home to the Tao?

I have waited a hundred lifetimes to hear a whispered "I love you" from a hundred lifetimes ago when the words were the truth. I have waited for lifetimes to fall asleep peacefully in the arms of the one who whispered the words secure in peace and in love.

I meditate, I am empty. I breathe in and out but there is no motion, only the silence.

By Bill Bunting

Thoughts please

In Budo

Andy B

Cliff Judge 07-13-2011 08:10 AM

Re: On Humanity
 
What's up with "the tranquility and peace of the Tao?" Isn't there all kinds of Fire, Gnawing, and Cutting Away and such in there?

TheAikidoka 07-14-2011 09:00 AM

Re: On Humanity
 
Yes I believe everything is in and of the tao/way,

Cliff Judge 07-15-2011 08:52 AM

Re: On Humanity
 
I understand that Taoist practice would be very concerned with perceiving, interacting with, and being one with reality at an essential level. But I was not aware that the illusory self and the physical body were considered to be a hindrance to this. I've always associated that with Buddhism. I wonder if you or anybody else who frequents taoism.net might have anything to share about that.

Another question is, this passage describes a spiritual progression. First we're like, "dang ego and emotions and stuff." Then we establish some ability to move beyond the confines of our illusory selves and we calm down. Then we're moving back towards the Tao, and eventually we die. What is going on in the background here? What kind of practices are being performed that help move us from point to point in the narrative?

mathewjgano 07-16-2011 03:44 PM

Re: On Humanity
 
I only have a few loosely organized thoughts to offer (and only based on my own "tao"), but one of the things that came to mind is a kind of koan of mine: very often, knowledge obfuscates as much as it reveals. Much like how we look away from one thing to look at another, in focusing on some truth, we often must take our awareness to it, and thus somewhat away from other truths. As our awareness grows, our ability to track multiple truths grows and we can hold them together in meaningful/useful ways (musubi, I think). Our senses fill our mind with a poor resolution of reality, but we can store those "samples" of reality and improve the resolution with mindful practice.
Quote:

How shall I call myself a teacher when I cannot follow my own teaching? How do I become the Taoist equivalent of Saul of Tarsus, "king of all sinners"? How can I expect others to quell their thoughts and emotions when I myself burn? How can I teach a way of peace when anger strangles my heart?
We all have our wrinkles to iron. The question I would ask relates to the degree with which those things manifest. As a self-avowed artist I have made it a point to nurture my emotions, since it is from them that I get my "inspirata." I love and hate because they are hard-wired into my body, but how I express those things when they arise is based on how I've connected them with my various bahaviors. I feel emotions that at times seem ready to tear me apart and have for as long as I can recall, yet among the people who know me best, I've often been called the mild one. For many things, at least, "it's all relative."

graham christian 07-17-2011 04:30 PM

Re: On Humanity
 
Quote:

Andrew Bedford wrote: (Post 287804)
Yes I believe everything is in and of the tao/way,

Ah. A man following a path. That's what I like to see.

Regards.G.

lbb 07-17-2011 09:49 PM

Re: On Humanity
 
Quote:

Graham Christian wrote: (Post 287957)
Ah. A man following a path. That's what I like to see. .

I saw a man following a path today.

"Hey," I said to him, "I just came up this path, there's a lot of bear sign, and watch out for the--"

"I know what I'm doing," he said and breezed on by.

Well all righty.

phitruong 07-18-2011 08:02 AM

Re: On Humanity
 
Quote:

Mary Malmros wrote: (Post 287964)
I saw a man following a path today.

"Hey," I said to him, "I just came up this path, there's a lot of bear sign, and watch out for the--"

"I know what I'm doing," he said and breezed on by.

Well all righty.

hey! you didn't finish the story.

as the man walked on, through the wood, thinking enlightened thoughts about man and nature and circle of life. he stumbled upon two bears who promptly ate him. one bear turned to the other and said "see! what did i tell ya! they taste like chicken!" :)

Anthony Loeppert 07-18-2011 09:30 AM

Re: On Humanity
 
Quote:

Phi Truong wrote: (Post 287984)
as the man walked on, through the wood, thinking enlightened thoughts about man and nature and circle of life. he stumbled upon two bears who promptly ate him.

If this joke was made into a movie it would be this one. Excellent tragic comedy.

graham christian 07-18-2011 10:48 AM

Re: On Humanity
 
Quote:

Phi Truong wrote: (Post 287984)
hey! you didn't finish the story.

as the man walked on, through the wood, thinking enlightened thoughts about man and nature and circle of life. he stumbled upon two bears who promptly ate him. one bear turned to the other and said "see! what did i tell ya! they taste like chicken!" :)

Then the other bear said "But that was a chicken!" "Aw shucks!" said the oyher bear, licking his lips. "Those damned buddhas always lead my mind, and now we've missed that woman too!!!"

lbb 07-18-2011 12:28 PM

Re: On Humanity
 
And me? I was long gone, down the other side of the hill, having raided the bears' blueberry bushes.


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