picking up whatever comes to hand


If you make slogans

based on words and sprout interpretations

based on objects, then you fall into the bag of antique curios,

and you will never be able to find this true realm

of absolute awareness beyond



At this stage you are free

to go forward in the wild field without choosing,

picking up whatever comes to hand: the meaning of the ancestral

teachers is clear in all that grows there. What’s more, the thickets of green

bamboo and the masses of yellow flowers and the fences and walls

and tiles and pebbles are inanimate things

teaching the dharma. 


The water birds and the

groves of trees expound the truths of suffering,

emptiness, and selflessness. Based on the one true reality,

they extend objectless compassion, and from the great

jewel light of nirvana they reveal uncontrived,

surpassingly wondrous powers.


Changqing said,

“When you meet a companion

on the Path, stand shoulder to shoulder and

go on: then your lifetime of learning

will be completed.”



her quietness is the mirror of heaven and earth



non-action of the

wise person is not inaction.

It is not studied. It is not shaken by anything.

The sage is quiet because she is not moved, not because she

wills to be quiet. Her quietness is the mirror of heaven and earth,

the glass of everything. Emptiness, stillness, tranquility,

traceless, silence, non-action: this is the level of 

heaven and earth. This is the

perfect Tao.


Chuang Tzu


enter into a conversation with the sage


You serve

as an example to others by

sacrificing your ego and accepting 

the guidance of the Higher



The hexagram

Ting concerns the nourishment

and guidance one must have in order to fully

succeed. While the culture around us often encourages

us to “take charge” and make aggressive demands on life, the

I Ching offers far wiser counsel. Here we are encouraged

to give up the incessant demands of our ego —  

to deepen our humility and acceptance

and to listen carefully to the

instructions of the



The image

of the caldron concerns

your inner thoughts: whatever you hold

in the “caldron” of your mind is your offering

to the Higher Power. The quality of assistance you can

receive from the universe is governed by the quality of your

offering. If you constantly indulge in the concerns of the ego —

fears, desires, strategies to control, harshness toward others —

you repel the Higher Power and block your own nourishment.

If, on the other hand, you consciously let go of your

resistance to life and hold quiet and correct

thoughts, you become receptive to the

Creative and your continual

nourishment is



Ting comes

to suggest that the wisest

thing that you can do now is to still

your ego and conscientiously enter into 

conversation with the Sage. To influence others, or to

achieve a proper goal, follow the same path. By cultivating

humility and acceptance, purifying your inner thoughts,

and concentrating on that which is good and innocent

and true, you summon the power of the Creative

and meet with good fortune in

the outer world.


from The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 50, Ting / The Caldron


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