A World in Balance

I am back from a wonderful time in Italy, and getting settled into the rhythm of life here. These words from Lao Tzu resonated with me.


hands on heart

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.

~ Lao Tsu

 

 

A world in balance, begins with finding it within ourselves.

Make time to pause and listen inwards.

Embrace the rhythmic harmony of each breath.

May you find your Middle Ground today.

Tao Inspiration – Be as nature

agricultural agriculture cars clouds

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“Think of the dirt beneath your feet and the skies above.
Do they give any thought to death? Of course not.
What one does not have cannot be taken away.
Therefore the sage pays no mind to status or rank,
and so is always in the perfect position;
Is not drawn off by any one thing, and so remains amongst them all.
True self-fulfillment arises in the absence of the ego.”*

~ Lao Tzu

Words to inspire us on our journey.

Be as nature. Without attachment or fear. Pay no attention to status and find fulfillment in simply being a part of it all.

… and don’t listen to your ego, who will tell you otherwise!

Namaste

 

*Braun Jr., John; Tzu, Lao; von Bargen, Julian; Warkentin, David. Tao Te Ching (Kindle Locations 168-176). Kindle Edition.

Inspiration – the Source

I came across this translation of the Tao Te Ching by Stephen Mitchell, and am really enjoying the fresh language and approach to the wisdom of Lao Tzu. A part of me also wonders, could it be that I have changed over time, and it is more than fresh words that open up new insight….

Let me know which version resonates with you today.

Tao Source

 

“Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.

Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.

If you don’t realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.

Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.”

~ Lao Tzu*

* Mitchell, Stephen. Tao Te Ching (Perennial Classics) (Kindle Locations 373-383). Harper Perennial.

Here is a translation of the same verse 16 by John Braun Jr..

“Seek the reality of emptiness and stillness,
The great constants of existence.
Though life abounds, its creations rise and fall.

Eventually all return, in their own way, to Tao.
To return to Tao is to embrace stillness,
The relentless way of nature.
The flow of nature does not change.
To see its constancy is to know the intricacies of the ordinary,
Revealing patterns of the grand.

To ignore this constant is to mistake the eternal for the mundane, Bringing unharmonious selfish action and discord,
Pathologies to humanity.
Accepting the constant means opening the mind.
This leads to compassion and impartiality,
A respect for all that Tao provides and takes away,
And an understanding that all return to the ultimate reality of Tao.
Life is fleeting, Tao is constant:
An eternal emptiness, full to bursting.”

~ Lao Tzu*

*Braun Jr., John; Tzu, Lao; von Bargen, Julian; Warkentin, David. Tao Te Ching (Kindle Locations 269-284). . Kindle Edition.

Inspiration – Knowing

This repost just about sums it up for me today. Its one of my favorite passages from the Tao Te Ching.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“Knowing the world is intelligent.
Knowing yourself is enlightenment.

Bending the world to your will takes force.
Willing yourself to bend is true strength.

Succeeding in the world yields riches.
Being content with what is yields wealth.

Apply Tao to the physical world and you will have a long life.
See past the physical world to the enduring presence of Tao and death will lose its meaning.”*

 

New to Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching? Read more about it here and here.

* Translation by Braun Jr., John; Tzu, Lao; von Bargen, Julian; Warkentin, David (2012-12-02). Tao Te Ching (Kindle Locations 492-499). . Kindle Edition.

Tao Wisdom – Water

Tao wisdom on water

Source: © Boris Djuranovic ID 1337543 | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Water teaches the wisdom of Tao:
It takes no pride in sustaining life.

Live near the flow.
Let the mysteries of life wash over you.
Be transparent.

Give part of yourself to everyone,
And remember every part is whole.
Allow natural order to lead the way
And do what must be done.

Do not fight the current,
And your head will remain above water.*

~ Lao Tzu

The wisdom of this passage from the Tao Te Ching touched me today. Water is a powerful  metaphor for living life in harmony.

Pause and dive into the many layers of this wisdom 🌊

 

*Braun Jr., John; Tzu, Lao; von Bargen, Julian; Warkentin, David. Tao Te Ching (Kindle Locations 177-186). . Kindle Edition.

Spinning Compass

“Allow things to flow naturally,
And evil will have no power.
That is not to say that evil loses its power…
Better, perhaps, to say that evil itself is lost.
Without a “good” to point away from,
Evil’s compass spins aimlessly.
And so, the sage leaves things to be what they are,
Leaving evil unharmed,
And in turn being unharmed by evil.
The spinning compass
Becomes a cycle of natural virtue”.*

~ Lao Tzu

Could it be so that our resistance to what we perceive as “evil” is what is feeding the distressing spinning compass we find ourselves living?

What would it take to leave evil unharmed and let it lose its power…

May the spinning compass becomes a cycle of natural virtue instead.

 

*Braun Jr., John; Tzu, Lao; von Bargen, Julian; Warkentin, David. Tao Te Ching (Kindle Locations 812-821). . Kindle Edition.

Potter and Space

The potter knows she plays with clay but works with space,
For the use of the bowl is its empty space.
It is the same with the room,
Made whole by the emptiness between the walls.
Remember that something is not everything.
Nothing is also essential.*

~ Lao Tzu

Without space there would be no substance. Substance is not everything, although our mind likes to think it so.

I remember a time when I was painting watercolors, and learning about negative space. This is the space or background that the subject is set against.  Imagine choosing a tree to paint, and rather than painting in the tree, you paint the space around it.

watercolor trees

Source: Pinterest

Space must be considered in order to allow the subject to shine forth from the paper. Its brings harmony to the piece.

When we consider that nothing is essential, it turns inside out how we see things. I know it also reminds me how limited our thinking mind can be.

Nothing is essential.

 

 

*Braun Jr., John; Tzu, Lao; von Bargen, Julian; Warkentin, David. Tao Te Ching (Kindle Locations 211-215). . Kindle Edition.