The shaman seers of the Fourth World generally agree that those who tenaciously cling to the past will fall into mass insanity.John Hogue
The years gather momentum, hurtling faster and faster. Sunrise, sunset – strobing as the pace intensifies. Summer comes to it’s finale, and the leaves are starting to change. A good year for Acorns. It looks to be a cold winter.
Right Action, Friendship, Devotion, Being In The Present. A dip into the Daoist pond; and then we let it go. Another year, fleeting, but all is forever in the now. Such beauty, suspended like a mote in the air.
On The Menu:
Saltwater Burns – John Kanzius
A Daoist Parable
Alan Watts – Music & Life
Poetry:Lu Yu, Master of Tea….
Saltwater Burns – John Kanzius
A Daoist Parable:
There is a statue of Lao Tzu, the founder of Tao. And a young man has been thinking for years to go to the mountains and see the statue of Lao Tzu. He loves the words, the way Lao Tzu has spoken, the style of life that he has lived, but he has never seen any of his statues. There are no Taoist temples, so there are very rare statues and they are all in the mountains – standing in the open, carved out of the mountain – no roof, no temple, no priest, no worship.
And years pass, and there are so many things always coming in between. But finally one night he decides that he has to go – and it is not that far, only a hundred miles – but he is a poor man, and he has to walk. In the middle of the night – he chooses the time in the middle of the night so that the wife and the children and the family are asleep and no trouble arises – he takes a lamp in his hand, because the night is dark, and goes out of the town.
As he comes out of the town to the first milestone, a thought arises in him: ‘My God, one hundred miles! And I only have two feet – it is going to kill me. I am asking the impossible. I have never walked one hundred miles, and there is no road…’ It is a small hill path, a footpath – dangerous too. So he thinks: ‘It is better to wait till the morning. At least there will be light, and I can see better; otherwise I will fall somewhere off this small footpath. And without seeing the statue of Lao Tzu, simply be finished. Why commit suicide?’
So he was sitting just outside the town, and as the sun was rising an old man came by. He saw this young man sitting; he asked: ‘What are you doing here?’ The young man explained. The old man laughed. He said: ‘Have you not heard the ancient saying? Nobody has the power to take two steps together, you can take only one step at a time. The powerful, the weak, the young, the old – it doesnt matter. And the saying goes: `Just one step by one step, a man can go ten thousand miles – and this is only a hundred miles! You seem to be stupid. And who is saying to you that you should go continuously? You can take time; after ten miles you can rest a day or two days, enjoy. This is one of the most beautiful valleys and the most beautiful mountains and the trees are so full of fruits, fruits that you may not have even tasted. Anyway, I am going; you can come along with me. I have been on this path thousands of times, and I am at least four times your age. Stand up!’
The man was so authoritative, when he said: ‘Stand up!’ the young man simply stood. And he said: ‘Give your things to me. You are young, inexperienced; I will carry your things. You just follow me, and we will take as many rests as you want.’
And what the old man had said was true – as they entered deeper into the forest and the mountains, it became more and more beautiful. And wild, juicy fruits… and they were resting; whenever he wanted, the old man was ready. He was surprised that the old man himself never said it was time to rest. But whenever the young man said it was time to rest, he was always willing to rest with him – a day or two, and then they would start the journey again.
Those one hundred miles just came and went by, and they reached one of the most beautiful statues of one of the greatest men who has ever walked on the earth. Even his statue had something – it was not just a piece of art, it was created by Taoist artists to represent the spirit of Tao.
Tao believes in the philosophy of let-go. It believes you are not to swim, but just to flow with the river, allow the river to take you wherever it is going – because every river ultimately reaches to the ocean. So dont be worried, you will reach the ocean. There is no need to be tense.
In that lonely spot the statue was standing, and there was a waterfall just by the side – because Tao is called the watercourse way. Just as the water goes on and on flowing with no guidebooks, with no maps, with no rules, no discipline… but strangely enough in a very humble way, because it is always seeking the lower position everywhere. It never goes uphill. It always goes downhill, but it reaches to the ocean, to its very source.
The whole atmosphere there was representative of the Taoist idea of let-go. The old man said: ‘Now begins the journey.’
The young man said: ‘What? I was thinking, one hundred miles and the journey is finished.’
The old man said: ‘That is just the way the masters have been talking to people. But the reality is now – from this point, from this atmosphere, a journey of one thousand and one miles begins. And I will not deceive you, because after one thousand and one miles you will meet another old man – perhaps me – who will say: `This is just a stopover, go on. Go on is the message.’
The journey itself is the goal.
It is infinite. It is eternal.
Alan Watts – Music & Life
Lu Yu, Master of Tea….
Written in a Carefree Mood”:
Old man pushing seventy,
In truth he acts like a little boy,
Whooping with delight when he spies some mountain fruits,
Laughing with joy, tagging after village mummers;
With the others having fun stacking tiles to make a pagoda,
Standing alone staring at his image in the jardinière pool.
Tucked under his arm, a battered book to read,
Just like the time he first set out to school.
In twilit crosslight begins
as cocoon unthreads,
then hard arrowheads, airborne.
Through mosquito net light rays
as the brass stove’s sweet grass
steam spring clothes.
Pond fish whip caudal fin
to follow spillway;
over weir swallows zoom, wheel,
touch wings, return.
Petals have only fallen
not yet blown away,
but wet blooms ruddling bough
are where I put trust.
Caught in a Drizzle on the Way to Sword Gate Mountain
War dust and wine stains mix on my clothes.
My soul melts when I roam from a long distance.
Is this body of mine really that of a poet?
In a drizzle I enter Sword Gate on a donkey.
By a broken bridge outside the horse relay station
plum flowers bloom for no one.
Already it is evening and sad and lonely
and they are beaten by rainy wind.
They don’t wish to compete for spring,
though other flowers envy their early blossoming.
When petals drop to the mud and are ground to dust
the fragrance remains the same….
A Blessing on you this day!