favor and disgrace are equally problematic

Favor

and disgrace are

equally problematic. Hope

and fear are phantoms

of the body.

 

What

does it mean that

“favor and disgrace are

equally problematic”? Favor

lifts you up; disgrace knocks you down.

Either one depends on the opinions

of others and causes you to

depart from your

center.

 

What

does it mean that

“hope and fear are phantoms

of the body”? When you regard your

body as your self, hope and fear have real

power over you. If you abandon the

notion of body as self, hope

and fear cannot

touch you.

 

Know

the universe as

your self, and you can live

absolutely anywhere in comfort.

Love the world as your self,

and you’ll be able

to care for it

properly.

 

from The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 13

 

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accomplish by not straining


 

Act by

not acting,

accomplish by not

straining, understand

by not knowing. Regard the

humble as exalted and the exalted

as humble. Remedy injury

with tranquil

repair.

 

Meet

the difficult while

it is still easy; cross the

universe one step at a time.

Because the sage doesn’t try

anything too big, she’s able

to accomplish big

things.

 

Those

who commit lightly

seldom come through.

Those who think everything

is easy will find everything hard.

The sage understands that

everything is difficult, and

thus in the end has no

difficulties.

 

from The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 63


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live with the mind of nothingness


 
 

There are names,

such as Buddha, God, or Heavenly Way;

but they all point to the mind which is nothingness.

Live always with the mind of total nothingness,

and the evils that come to you will

dissipate completely.

 

Munan 

 

all good comes when we are innocent


 

In the

very center of each

of us there dwells an innocent

and divine spirit. If we allow ourselves

to be guided by it in every situation, we can never

go wrong. Wu Wang comes to remind us that

we must actively disengage our egos

before we can obtain the vast

rewards that come from

living in a state of

innocence.

 

The nature

of the ego is that when

we exercise it, it takes us out

of the present. When we engage in

ambitions, anxieties, or anticipations,

our ego is skipping ahead, and we miss the

guidance of the Creative in the present moment.

When we engage in anger, judgment, and condemnation —

whether toward ourselves or others — our ego is looking

ackward, and we cannot see the Sage’s clear solution

o the present situation. In either case, the result is

misfortune. Only by stilling the ego and accepting

life in its entirety can we become innocent.

In this state we are receptive to the help

of the Higher Power and can

meet  with good fortune

wherever

we go.

 

You are

advised now to stop

looking forward and backward,

to abandon your ambitions, to disengage

from judgments and critical thinking. If a thought,

attitude, or action is not in accord with the principles of

acceptance, equanimity, humility, and gentleness,

do not indulge in it. The I Ching encourages you

to actively practice innocence. Because

the  ego is strong, you must make a

conscious and conscientious

effort to be

innocent.

 

If you

willfully unstructure

your attitude, open your heart

to the Deity, and allow yourself to be

guided by that which is innocent

and pure, you will meet with

success in the coming

time.

 

from The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 25, Wu Wang / Innocence (The Unexpected)

 

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tao leaves nothing undone


 

Tao

doesn’t do anything, yet

it leaves nothing

undone.
 
 
If you

abide by it,

everything in existence

will transform itself. When, in the

process of self-transformation, desires

are aroused, calm them

with nameless

simplicity.
 
 
When

desires are dissolved

in the primal presence, peace

and harmony naturally occur,

and the world orders

itself.
 

from The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 37


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