opening doors and shutters

awakening to the tao

 
When the doors are open, the air passes through. When the shutters are open, the light shines in. If the doors are closed, there is no circulation between the inside and outside. If the shutters are closed, the energy of the light is kept outside.

What I realize as I observe this is the tao of great use of great potential.

People in the world today who practice taoism go into the twisted byways of sidetracks, some closing their eyes and gazing into emptiness, some staying inactive in isolated and quiet places, some deliberately sitting and thinking of the spirit.

They think they have the tao, but they have not realized that the tao is the tao of creative evolution of yin and yang of heaven and earth. This tao, this Way, fans out everywhere in the universe, but this does not multiply it; it is concentrated in one energy, but this does not make it less.

All beings in the universe, animate and inanimate, the myriads of different beings, all live and develop on the basis of this. Everything and everyone has it. It is just that while people are in the midst of the tao they are not conscious of the tao, as while fish are in water they are not conscious of the water.

If you want to practice this Way, you must do it in the creative evolution of yin and yang of heaven and earth, realize its experience in the midst of all things and all events, and practice and hold it in the presence of all people.

This is work that is alive, effervescent, free, liberated, gloriously enlightened, true, and great. Do you think it can be attained by people who shut the door and sit quietly with blank minds?

If you want to attain the Way by shutting the door and sitting quietly with a blank mind, that is like shutting the doors and shutters and hoping to see the sun. What “way” does that accomplish? It must be the way of dark rooms, I guess. 

Understanding Reality says, “Practice, mixing in with the ordinary people and integrating hyour illumination. When it is time to be round, be round; when it is time to be square, be square. As you appear and disappear, now reversing, now going along, no one can fathom you, since you make people unable to know what you are doing.”

It also says, “You should know that the great recluses live in the cities and towns; why stay still and alone deep in the mountains?”

Only when you mix with the ordinary people, integrating illumination, living in the cities and towns, are you activating great use of great potential. This is the real function of practicing ahd holding the Great Way.
 

Liu I-Ming

☯️

 

cultivate yourself in this life

the very good wife of the very good fellow

 

Goodness is important

on the way. Once you turn to the tao,

why fear old age? The spiritual immortals have

left methods of grafting life energy, which aspirants

should practice with a true heart. Going back to the root

produces life-prolonging tea; turning the attention

inward is a restorative balm. If you do not

cultivate yourself in this life, how will

you know what road to return on

in the coming life?

 

Harmony is important

on the way — what is the purpose

of quietistic escapism? One of the ancient

adepts used commerce to complete the great Way,

another nurtured the spiritual tree while serving as an

official. To be in the world yet beyond the world is the road

transcending the ordinary; detached from society while

in society, one enters the lair of immortals.

So many realized people since

ancient times have refined

themselves in cities

and towns.

 

Liu I-Ming