Daily TAO – July 1st – Flow

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If the boulders are moved,
Even a river will change its flow.

Except for occasional flooding, the mightiest river keeps to its bed. It flows where it finds openings between cliffs and rocks. If the river is dammed, if the cliff walls are moved, if the boulders are shifted, it will flow a different course. It could even be made to flow backward if the earth moved enough.

So it is with the flow of our lives. Once the fixed objects of our lives shift, our circumstances change. If we move to another city, life will change. If we marry one person over another, life will be different. If we situate our business in a good neighborhood, life will be prosperous. If we choose a house in a good setting, life will be healthy. If we arrange our furniture properly, life will be comfortable. If we eat correctly, life will be prolonged. In short, followers of Tao realize the flow of life can be affected and to some degree consciously manipulated simply by altering its parameters.

Life is the flow of energy. It is the air that we breathe, the force that moves the weather, the force of all minds combined. It keeps the rivers flowing, our hearts beating, and the sky blue. This flow of energy moves constantly according to the fixed points that exist at any given moment. Therefore, by manipulating the cardinal points of our lives, we can change the flow. The freedom to choose and to change belong to us.

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Daily TAO – June 30th – Axle

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The mind is in spinning wheels at the
Navel, heart, throat, head.
The connecting shaft is emptiness.
Without an unobstructed route,
Energy cannot flow.

People search for the sacred and are told it is within themselves. It is sometimes difficult to see how literally the sages mean that. They see the mind as existing in other areas of the body in addition to the brain. These centers, nominally functional in the average person, are called chakras or wheels by those who follow Tao. Through meditation, one becomes acquainted with each of them and learns how to release power so profound that one is literally divine.

The concept of void is central to many philosophies including that of Tao. However, it seems so abstract at times. Here void has a functional role. The pathway connecting the energy centers of the mind is like a long shaft beginning from the perineum and ending at the top of the head. If not for emptiness, or hollowness of this shaft, the sacred energy of the body could not be conducted.

All the diversity of our lives is merely a manifestation of our minds, expressed through the turning of the various wheels within ourselves. The more they turn, the more complex circumstances and thinking become. However, if we want simplicity and tranquility, we need only go the center of the spinning mind where it is empty and still. Thus it is said that diversity comes from the revolving of the wheels and origins come from the central void.

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Daily TAO – June 29th – Force

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A sword is never sheathed
Until it has tasted blood.
A good swordsman
Is seldom seen with a sword.
Many centuries ago, there was a wanderer who was constantly chased by assassins. He was the best swordsman in the country. His challengers wanted to overcome him and thereby establish their own fame. Although the swordsman had long ago repented his killing and had renounced his status, he was still considered the best.
Over and over, his enemies came for him, and just as many times he defeated them using things at hand – umbrella, fan, sticks. He did not draw a real sword for he knew he was far too lethal when armed.
So it is that the wise remain humble so that others are not aroused against them. They avoid conflict whenever possible. If trouble comes to seek them, they use only the bare amount of force in return. To go further is to fall into excess.

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Daily TAO – June 28th – War

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Weapons are tools of ill omen
Wielded by the ignorant.
If their use is unavoidable,
The wise act with restraint.
The greatest sorrow is to be a veteran,
Witness to the atrocities of humanity.
If you hold a real weapon in your hand, you will feel its character strongly. It begs to be used. It is fearsome. Its only purpose is death, and its power is not just in the material from which it is made but also from the intention of its makers.
It is regrettable that weapons must sometimes be used, but occasionally, survival demands it. The wise go forth with weapons only as a last resort. They never rejoice in the skill of weapons, nor do they glorify war.
When death, pain, and destruction are visited upon what you hold to be most sacred, the spiritual price is devastating. What hurts more than one’s own suffering is bearing witness to the suffering of others. The regret of seeing human beings at their worst and the sheer pain of not being able to help the victims can never be redeemed. If you to personally to war, you cross the line yourself. You sacrifice ideals for survival and the fury of killing. That alters you forever. That is why no one rushes to be a veteran. Think before you want to change so unalterably. The stakes are not merely one’s life, but one’s very humanity.

CAM02434

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Daily TAO – June 27th – Childhood

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No. No. No.
This ruins a child.

Children are one of the most precious aspects of life, and yet they often are mistreated and abused. If you are a parent, your most important task is to raise your child with as little trauma as possible. Firmness, consistency, and patience are essential. There will undoubtedly be times when you have to correct a child to prevent mistakes and bad habits. However, when it comes to a child’s curiosity, individuality, or initiative, there should never be any discouragement. In that sense, it is wrong to say no.

There is a legend about a thief who stole into heaven and took the peaches that gave immortality. He returned to earth and was about to eat them when he chanced upon two little boys. Taken with their intelligence, he asked them riddle after riddle about the deepest meanings of life and they answered with laughing ease. The thief decided to share his peaches with the boys, and they all became immortal.

If the boys had had their curiosity killed early in life, could they have answered well? If a thief could be kind to children, can’t the rest of us be too? And if the children never had an opportunity, could they have become immortals?

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Daily TAO – June 26th – Unfortunate

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An unfortunate one is a rootless ghost,
His walk a mad angel’s gait.
Insolent steps of thrown from heaven
To toil in red dust,
As if he had not had enough
In a thousand previous lifetimes.
Where is his heart? Where is his soul?
To call this heaven’s will
Is a cheap answer.

There was once a god who committed a crime. His punishment was to be thrown back to earth to suffer the misfortunes of being human.

When you see those less fortunate than yourself, whether they are the homeless on the streets or simply the ugly and unpopular, can you be sure they are not like that god flung back to this made planet?

Is their misfortune their own fault? Or do you explain with references to morality, destiny, reincarnation, and cosmic justice? Even the words of saints offer no relief for their suffering, so it hardly seems fair to blame them.

Let us not hold ourselves above our fellow human beings, no matter how great the disparity. To withhold your scorn is already beautiful. To see how we are all of one family is compassion.

Thanks Region Rick

Thanks Region Rick

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Daily TAO – June 25th – Cultivation

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Imagine a sculpture
You work on every day.
If you stop, the beauty
Will slowly go away.

What if you were at work on a beautiful sculpture but your material reverted or decayed if you ever ceased to progress? This is the unfortunate nature of spiritual efforts.

You can never stop trying to purify yourself, improve yourself, strengthen yourself, and cultivate the sacred that is inside you. If you do well one day, that is good. But if you cease your efforts, you will slide backward. That is why you must strive on every level, from the physical to the mental to the spiritual. Your vigilance must never flag. Your determination must never waver.

Paradoxically, there is nothing to achieve. It is only our minds that convince ourselves that we must do something. We are already pure, already sacred. But we live in a polluted world, we have egotistical thoughts that constantly divide us from the true Tao, and we cannot remain forever in a pure state and still function in the world. If you attained the higher levels of Tao, you would appear to an outsider as if in a trance, and it would be impossible to interact with others. So if you are trying to be spiritual in today’s world, you must never cease striving to keep yourself pure. Once you are not with Tao, you must constantly struggle with the impurity of the world.

Oscar & Ernie Dio

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Daily TAO – June 24th – Diversity

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Gods have many faces,
But true divinity has no face.

There are so many gods in the world. Taoists have their pantheon. The Buddhists, Hindus, and other religions have theirs. The Islamic and Judeo-Christian schools may be monotheistic, but their sects differ vastly from one another. Those who follow Tao assert that each of us sees the divine in our own way. Is there one god, or many?

Among those who follow Tao, there are those who say if there are gods, then everyone is a god. You are god. There is nothing in the sky, and no one lives your life but you. Whatever one believes in terms of deities is fine. It’s all individual preference, and it ultimately means self-awareness. But there is something beyond the diversity of gods, and that is the absolute.

That which is absolute is formless. Thus Tao is nameless and faceless. We cannot consider Tao our god. That would be to give it form and therefore bring it back into the world where the myriad things have names. We use the word Tao for convenience only, but in fact, we are referring to a deep mystery. As long as we live in the world of diversity, whether it is the frantic pace of our professional lives or the involvement with all the gods of the world, we will not be with Tao. It is only when we leave the diversity of existence and find the formless absolute that we reach Tao.

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Daily TAO – June 23rd – Worship

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You can worship gods.
You cannot worship Tao.

Adoration of your god is more beautiful than lovers, more fulfilling than feasts, more valuable than mammon. It provides greater shelter than places. Proper worship is joyous and ecstatic.

If you have a limited view of worship, you can always lose sight of holiness. When you are on a junior level of achievement, you can turn away from your gods at any time. Those who follow Tao know that Tao is not the god on the altar; they therefore see their god in their every action and never lose sight of the divine.

Gods can be worshiped, but the Tao can’t be worshiped. Why? Because gods lead to good things and inspire our highest devotion. As magnificent as this is to imagine, it is still limited when compared to the eternity of Tao. Tao has no definitions, no limit, and no personal or individual consciousness. Thus, to worship Tao is meaningless, for our effort would be lost in an infinite sea. There is no supplication to it, for it will not respond. There is no adoration of it, for it displays no glory. There is no ecstatic union with it, for it has no differentiations. Tao is great. Tao is eternal. Anything limited and small – even worship – disappears in it. One can only enter Tao to become a part of its limitlessness.

Wisconsin Church

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Daily TAO – June 22nd – Renunciation

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Wine’s pleasure,
Love’s intoxication,
Work’s obsession,
Children’s involvement,
Age’s sorrow.
When will craving end?

Originally there was nothing. It is to nothing that we return. Differentiation came out of the interplay of cosmic opposites. Human life became mired in complexities, and this constant diversity is stressful and disruptive. We ourselves add to the problem with our own lusts and ambitions. We intoxicate ourselves, we indulge in sensual gratification, we strive for success in our careers, we commit decade to the raising of children. All this only to be caught in the closing jaws of old age, gradually hemmed in until there is not alternative other than sorrows, infirmities, and senility.

Duty is inevitable, but we need not saddle ourselves with extra responsibilities. Keep life simple. Give up as much as possible. Renounce unnecessary cravings and desires. Leave behind the trappings of wealth and success. Turn toward the divine. It satisfies, it brings knowledge, and it brings joy.

UGH-Knife

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