empty and quiet, transcending everything


 

Those who are determined to practice the Way practice self-awareness and self-understanding twenty-four hours a day. They think of this and focus on this. They know that the one Great Cause is there right where they stand, that it is in sages without being augmented and in ordinary people without being diminished. They know that it stands alone free of senses and sense objects, and that it far transcends material things.

Wayfarers don’t set up fixed locations in anything they do. They are clear and tranquil, with solid concentration, and the myriad transformations never disturb them. They appear in response to conditions and go into action as they encounter events, leaving nothing incomplete.

You should just be empty and quiet, transcending everything. Once the main basis is clear, all obscurities are illuminated. “Ten thousand years — a single thought. A single thought — ten thousand years.” Passing through from the heights to the depths, the great function of the whole potential is in operation. It is like when a strong man flexes his arm: he doesn’t depend on anyone else’s strength. Then the illusory blinders of birth and death vanish forever, and the true essence indestructible as a diamond is all that shows. Once realized, it is realized forever — there is no interruption.

All that the enlightened teachers, ancient and modern, have said and done — the scriptural teachings, the enlightenment stories, the meditation stories, the question-and-answer sessions, all their teaching functions — all of this illuminates this true essence alone.

If you can be free and clear in actual practice for a long time, naturally you will come to meet the Source on all sides and become unified and whole.

Haven’t you seen Fadeng’s verse?

 

Going into a wild field, not choosing,
 
Picking up whatever plant comes to hand,
 
Rootless but finding life,
 
Apart from the ground but not falling.

 

Right before your eyes, it has always been there. Facing the situation, why don’t you speak?

If you don’t know it in your daily life, where then will you look for it? Better find out.

 

Yuanwu

 

i ching ☯️ hexagram 33


 

This is a time

for disengagement and retreat.

In stillness you are out of the

reach of danger.

 

It is inherent in the design of life that forces of darkness and disruption come into prominence from time to time. This hexagram indicates that this is such a time and advises you to respond by quietly retreating. To struggle or resist in anger now is to add fuel to the fire of negativity which threatens to consume you.

The superior person accepts that there is a natural ebb and flow between the forces of light and dark in the world. Wisdom lies not in resisting these movements but in responding to them appropriately. Just as a plant which sprouts in the dead of winter is doomed, and one which sprouts in spring flourishes, so it is with us. Success and prosperity accrue to those who advance in times of light and retreat in times of darkness. To retreat now is to benefit, in the end, from the changing tides.

Retreat is not the same thing as surrender, capitulation, or abandonment, which are desperate and unsatisfying measures. Neither is it characterized by a hardening into angry or punitive emotions. It is instead an acceptance and choice: we calmly accept that the energies of the moment are against us, and we wisely choose to withdraw into the safety of stillness. In this dignified and balanced manner we protect ourselves from negative influences and arrive rested in a more beneficial hour.

from The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 33, Tun / Retreat

 

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tao te ching ☯️ chapter 41


 

When a

wise person hears Tao,

he practices it diligently. When an

average person hears Tao, he practices it

sometimes, and just as often ignores it. 

When an inferior person hears Tao,

he roars with laughter. 

If he didn’t laugh,

it wouldn’t be

Tao. 

 

Thus

the age old sayings: 

The way to illumination appears dark. 

The way that advances appears to retreat. 

The way that is easy appears to be hard. 

The highest virtue appears empty. 

The purest goodness appears soiled. 

The most profound creativity appears fallow. 

The strongest power appears weak. 

The most genuine seems unreal. 

The greatest space has no corners. 

The largest talent matures slowly. 

The highest voice can’t be heard. 

The most luminous image

can’t be seen. 

 

Tao is hidden

and has no name. 

Tao alone nourishes

and  fulfills all

things. 

 

from The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 41

 

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Tao te Ching as part of a

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book.

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