Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Inspired by Tao Te ching - chapter 41



My translation of Chapter 41 of Tao Te Ching:

When a wise man is being disclosed the secret of Tao, he practices it diligently;
When a common man is being disclosed the secret of Tao, he practices it occasionally;
When a smart guy is being disclosed the secret of Tao, he laughs and mocks at it.
If he doesn't laughs and mocks at it, he has not yet heard the secret of Tao.

Paul's comment for the first part: Substitute Tao with Taoist meditation. Most are common, many are smart, only a few are wise - from my experience. Meditation is probably the best initial approach to understand the secret of Tao.

Some fruits for thought:

An understanding of Tao looks like no technique;
Any progress in Tao looks like acting less;
Living calmly in Tao appears to be regressive;
The most virtuous looks like an empty valley;
The most unblemished looks like just being humiliated;
Those who have done many virtuous deeds always want to do more;
Those who have done virtuous deeds do them stealthily;
Those who have delivered the best quality still want to improve;
Those who are most generous will not cut corners;
Those who have great potential are late-bloomers,
Those who are powerful speak softly,
The most important sign has no form.

Like Tao which is hidden and bears no name
An aspirant of Tao knows when to move forward and when to back off.

Paul's comment for the second part: fruits for thought in helping a student of Tao to practice Tao outside the limited domain of our mind-body (yet any practice of Tao shall include our mind-body as an essential component). A pre-requisite is an experiential understanding of Tao in our mind-body, without which any discussion of Tao will most likely fall into empty talks. With such experiential understanding, the practice of Tao in our daily life becomes a reality and a real challenge. The fruits are not wise talks to be followed as (Taoist or whatever) commandments. A student practising Tao practises with his mind-body (during meditation and in daily life, the latter situation is far more complex and difficult to apply than the former), instead of talking about it, analyzing it, or writing about it (which is perhaps even worse....:))

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