the value of emptiness

dean potter

 

Thirty spokes

meet at a hollowed-out hub; 

the wheel won’t work without its hole. 

A vessel is moulded from solid clay; its inner

emptiness makes it useful. To make a room, you

have to cut doors and windows; without

openings, a place isn’t livable. 

To make use of what is here, 

you must make use of

what is not.

 

from The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 11

 

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discover the harmony in your own being

alfred eisenstaedt

 

Why scurry

about looking for the truth?

It vibrates in every thing and every

not-thing, right off the tip of your nose.

Can you be still and see it in the

mountain? the pine tree?

yourself?

 

Don’t imagine

that you’ll discover it by accumulating

more knowledge. Knowledge creates doubt,

and doubt makes you ravenous for more

knowledge. You can’t get full

eating this way. 

 

The wise person

dines on something more subtle:

He eats the understanding that the named

was born from the unnamed, that all being flows

from non-being, that the describable world emanates

from an indescribable source. He finds this subtle

truth inside his own self, and becomes

completely content. 

 

So 

who can be

still and watch the

chess game of the world?

The foolish are always making

impulsive moves, but the wise know

that victory and defeat are decided by

something more subtle. They see

that something perfect exists

before any move

is made.

 

This

subtle perfection

deteriorates when artificial

actions are taken, so be content not

to disturb the peace. Remain quiet.

Discover the harmony in

your own being.

Embrace it.

 

If you

can do this, you will

gain everything, and the world

will become healthy again.

If you can’t, you will be

lost in the shadows

forever.

 

from Hua hu Ching, Chapter 38

 

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mind like clear blue sky

liberation

 

Make your mind 

like the clear blue sky at dawn,

unmarked by any message from man 

or heaven. Continually stoking the

 fire of emptiness with the breath, 

you instantly incinerate 

whatever appears.

 

Wei wu Wei Ching, Chapter 36

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the aristocracy of the heart

 

Tawazu’ in Sufic terms

means something more than hospitality.

It is laying before one’s friend willingly what one has,

in other words sharing with one’s friend all the

good one has in life, and with it,

enjoying life better.

 

When this tendency

to tawazu’ is developed, things that

give one joy and pleasure become more enjoyable by

sharing with another. This tendency comes from the aristocracy

of the heart. It is generosity and even more than generosity. For the

limit of generosity is to see another pleased in his pleasure,

but to share one’s own pleasure with another is greater

than generosity. It is a quality which is foreign

to a selfish person, and the one who

shows this quality is on the

path of saintliness.

 

Hazrat Inayat Khan