Once upon a time, I, Chuang Tzu, dreamt that i was a butterfly. flitting around and enjoying myself. I had no idea I was Chuang Tzu. Then suddenly I woke up and was Chuang Tzu again. But I could not tell, had I been Chuang Tzu dreaming I was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming I was now Chuang Tzu? However, there must be some sort of difference between Chuang Tzu and a butterfly!
Tzu Li went to see Tzu Lai who was dying. Leaning against the door, he said, 'Great is the Creator! What will he make of you now? Will he make you into a rat's liver? Will he make you into an insect's leg?' Tzu-Lai replied, 'The universe gave me my body so I may be carried, my life so I may work, my old age so I may repose, and my death so I may rest. To regard life as good is the way to regard death as good. . . . If I regard the universe as a great furnace and creation as a master foundryman, why should anywhere I go not be all right?'
Paraphrased: When Chuang Tzu was about to die, his disciples began planning a splendid funeral. However some disciples expressed concern that given a particular arrangement, birds and kites would eat his remains. Chuang Tzu replied, "Well, above ground I shall be eaten by crows and kites, below it by ants and worms. What do you have against birds?
Lao Tzu's first paragraph in the book "Tao Te Ching" is that the Tao that can be told is not the absolute Tao. Lao Tzu has his own logic, the logic of paradoxes, the logic of life. To understand Tao, you will have to create eyes. Lao Tzu believes in the unity of opposites, because that is how life is. The Tao can be communicated, but it can only be communicated from heart to heart, from being to being, from love to love, from silence to silence. Truth is always realized in silence. In silence, the truth is realized. You reach to truth through silence. All spiritual books tries to say something that can not be said in the hope that a thirst, a longing, is created in your heart to know the truth. Tao is totality. Life exists through the tension of the opposites, the meeting of the opposites. Lao Tzu says that the opposite poles of life are not really opposites, but complementaries. Thinking is always of opposites. Lao Tzu says: drop the split attitude. Be simple. And when you are simple, you do not choose. Lao Tzu says: be choiceless, let life flow. Enjoy both poles in life, and then your life becomes a symphony of opposites. How to drop the mind: do not choose. If you do not choose, the mind drops. Live life as it comes - float. Float with life. Enjoy the moment in its totality, It is to live as part of the whole, to live as part of existence. If you become silent and empty, everything will come on it's own accord. When you live without any desire for power, position, fame or success, the whole existence pours down into your emptiness.
Swami Dhyan Giten
Tzu Chang asked Confucius about jen. Confucius said, "If you can practice these five things with all the people, you can be called jen." Tzu Chang asked what they were. Confucius said, "Courtesy, generosity, honesty, persistence, and kindness. If you are courteous, you will not be disrespected; if you are generous, you will gain everything. If you are honest, people will rely on you. If you are persistent you will get results. If you are kind, you can employ people.
I don't know! Nobody has ever known. Why would Jesus have remained unmarried if he had known the secret? He knew the secret of the kingdom of God, but he did not know the secret of remaining happy in marriage. He remained unmarried. Mahavira, Lao Tzu Chuang Tzu, they all remained unmarried for the simple reason that there is no secret; otherwise these people would have discovered it. They could discover the ultimate - marriage is not such a big thing, it is very shallow - they even fathomed God, but they could not fathom marriage.
Apprentices Needed, Not Disciples For many, the knowledge of a Jesus, a Lao-tzu, a Buddha, or a Gandhi is complete and unassailable. But we do them and their vision a disservice when we follow them rather than using what they have taught to build upon as we strive toward our goal of a better society.
Not only are we going to shift in our own lives - away from always trying to identify ourselves on the basis of what we have, what we do, and who we are better than, and so on - but shift into more reaching out, more service, more kindness, more living the virtues that Lao Tzu spoke about twenty-five hundred years ago.
It was not right, thought Han Fei-tzu, for his wife to die before him: her ancestor-of-the-heart had outlived her husband. Besides, wives should live longer than husbands. Women were more complete inside themselves. They were also better at living in their children. They were never as solitary as a man alone.
Orson Scott Card
As to the roaming of sages, They move in utter emptiness, Let their minds meander in the great nothingness; They run beyond convention And go through where there is no gateway. They listen to the soundless And look at the formless, They are not constrained by society And not bound to its customs. - Lao-tzu
Chaung Tzu was one of the most natural men the world has seen. He has not given any discipline, he has not given any doctrine, he has not given any catechism. He has simply explained one thing: that if you can be natural and ordinary, just like the birds and trees, you will blossom, you will have your wings open in the vast sky.
Lao Tzu says: "Accept yourself. Non-acceptance is the root of all the trouble." None of us accept ourselves. The more a person doesn't accept himself, the greater a mahatma he looks to others to be. We are our greatest enemy. If we had our way, we would cut ourselves to pieces in order to remove what was unacceptable.
The disciples were absorbed in a discussion of Lao-Tzu's dictum: "Those who know, do not say; Those who say, do not know." When the master entered, they asked him what the words meant. Said the master, "Which of you knows the fragrance of a rose?" All of them indicated that they knew. Then he said, "Put it into words." All of them were silent.
Anthony de Mello
Above, in discussing the perceptive notions of Jesus, remarkable concepts of Plato or the highly introspective lessons of Gautama and Lao Tzu, it took considerable discussion to explore the meaning and relate it to How Life Works. Islam presents no such deep pool of thought to pierce.
Thomas Daniel Nehrer
But Lao Tzu's teaching suffers from the major problem endemic to such visionaries. In the intervening two and a half millennia, his words have been misinterpreted and distorted by generations of adherents until his message is riddled with meaningless ritual and dogma. Taoism contracted the conceptual plague: it became a religion.
Thomas Daniel Nehrer
Some of the first human beings in whom the new consciousness emerged fully became the great teachers of humanity, such as Buddha, Lao Tzu, or Jesus, although their teachings were greatly misunderstood, especially when they turned into organized religion. They were the first manifestations of the flowering of human consciousness.
For the Christian tradition, the heart's true home is a life rooted in the love of God. Like Lao-tzu and Dorothy both, Christian wisdom about stability points us toward the true peace that is possible when our spirits are stilled and our feet are planted in a place we know to be holy ground.
If you want a peaceful place to dwell Cold Mountain is guaranteed forever A light wind blows softly in the pines The sound is good when you are close One old man sits beneath the trees Reading Lao Tzu and Huang Ti, mumbling I could not find the world if I searched ten years I've forgotten the road by which I came
The Sun Tzu School (which wrote the Art of War) surely never imagined that their antiwar, pro-empire treatise would become known and accepted after the fall of the first empire as a text on military tactics. Likewise, they would have been surprised to see the Ping-fa military metaphor-an inspired teaching device-come to be seen as the message and not the medium.
David G. Jones
But the transformation of consciousness undertaken in Taoism and Zen is more like the correction of faulty perception or the curing of a disease. It is not an acquisitive process of learning more and more facts or greater and greater skills, but rather an unlearning of wrong habits and opinions. As Lao-tzu said, "The scholar gains every day, but the Taoist loses every day.
Great master Lao Tzu says that 'The Master has no possessions. The more he does for others, the happier he is. The more he gives to others, the wealthier he is.' Giving is indeed a very good source of happiness! One of the best treasures a man can give to someone is a good and sound idea; because birds can ascend into the sky only with wings, and men, only with good and sound ideas!
Mehmet Murat Ildan
Fear comes from uncertainty; we can eliminate the fear within us when we know ourselves better. As the great Sun Tzu said: "When you know yourself and your opponent, you will win every time. When you know yourself but not your opponent, you will win one and lose one. However, when you do not know yourself or your opponent, you will be imperiled every time.
The Chinese philosopher Chuang-Tzu stated that true empathy requires listening with the whole being: The hearing that is only in the ears is one thing. The hearing of the understanding is another. But the hearing of the spirit is not limited to any one faculty, to the ear, or to the mind. Hence it demands the emptiness of all the faculties. And when the faculties are empty, then the whole being listens. There is then a direct grasp of what is right there before you that can never be heard with the ear or understood with the mind.
Marshall B. Rosenberg
Poem for Liu Ya-tzu I cannot forget how in Canton we drank tea and in Chungking went over our poems when leaves were yellowing. Thirty-one years ago and now we come back at last to the ancient capital Peking. In this season of falling flowers I read your beautiful poems. Be careful not to be torn inside. Open your vision to the world. Don't say that waters of Kumming Lake are too shallow. We can watch fish better here than in the Fuchun River in the south.
Change your thoughts, change your life. ""LAO TZU When I was fighting depression, I remember hearing this expression and not understanding it at first. When I decided to implement it in my life, a whole new world opened up for me. Change the negative, self-loathing thoughts to positive, self-affirming ones. When you're positive about yourself and everything around you, you begin to see the world in a different light. Your life today is what you make of it. Goal: Be mindful of the tone of your thoughts.
All war is based in deception (cfr. Sun Tzu, 'The Art of War'). Definition of deception: 'The practice of deliberately making somebody believe things that are not true. An act, a trick or device entended to deceive somebody'. Thus, all war is based in metaphor. All war necessarily perfects itself in poetry. Poetry (since indefinable) is the sense of seduction. Therefore, all war is the storytelling of seduction, and seduction is the nature of war.
When I did a therapist education in USA 1984, one of the course leaders - who had given personal and spiritual guidance to thousands of seekers of truth from all over the world, and who I consider to be one of the best spiritual therapists in the world - said that I was going to get enlightened, that I would 'disappear into the silence'. I did not really understand what he meant then, and it was totally absurd for me when other course participants congratulated me afterwards. The thought that I was going to be enlightened was totally absurd for me. For me enlightenment was something that happened to special and chosen persons like Osho, Buddha, Jesus, Lao-Tzu and Krishnamurti. I did not feel either special or chosen. I did not feel worthy of being enlightened.
Swami Dhyan Giten
When two things occur successively we call them cause and effect if we believe one event made the other one happen. If we think one event is the response to the other, we call it a reaction. If we feel that the two incidents are not related, we call it a mere coincidence. If we think someone deserved what happened, we call it retribution or reward, depending on whether the event was negative or positive for the recipient. If we cannot find a reason for the two events' occurring simultaneously or in close proximity, we call it an accident. Therefore, how we explain coincidences depends on how we see the world. Is everything connected, so that events create resonances like ripples across a net? Or do things merely co-occur and we give meaning to these co-occurrences based on our belief system? Lieh-tzu's answer: It's all in how you think.
Libraries are sanctuaries from the world and command centers onto it: here in the quiet rooms are the lives of Crazy Horse and Aung San Suu Kyi, the Hundred Years' War and the Opium Wars and the Dirty War, the ideas of Simone Weil and Lao-Tzu, information on building your sailboat or dissolving your marriage, fictional worlds and books to equip the reader to reenter the real world. They are, ideally, places where nothing happens and where everything that has happened is stored up to be remembered and relived, the place where the world is folded up into boxes of paper. Every book is a door that opens onto another world, which might be the magic that all those children's books were alluding to, and a library is a Milky Way of worlds.
NOT THE MASTER IN YOUR OWN HOME TOWN Matthew 13 AND WHEN HE WAS COME INTO HIS OWN COUNTRY, HE TAUGHT THEM IN THEIR SYNAGOGUE, INSOMUCH THAT THEY WERE ASTONISHED AND SAID, WHENCE HATH THIS MAN THIS WISDOM AND THESE MIGHTY WORKS? IS NOT THIS THE CARPENTER'S SON? IS NOT HIS MOTHER CALLED MARY? AND HIS BRETHREN, AND HIS SISTERS, ARE THEY NOT ALL WITH US? WHENCE THEN HATH THIS MAN ALL THESE THINGS? AND THEY WERE OFFENDED IN HIM. People were not so offended with Buddha or Lao Tzu as people were offended with Jesus. With Buddha, he is so far away that you either do not understand him, or people could understand that he was the essence of the Upanishads. With Jesus, people were offended, because he was just like them. They could not understand him. The said: "We know him! Isn't he the carpenter's son!". Buddha was also the son of a king, while Jesus was a carpenter's son. People could not understand. From where comes his wisdom? They were offended, their ego was offended. BUT JESUS SAID TO THEM, A PROPHET IS NOT WITHOUT HONOUR, SAVE IN HIS OWN COUNTRY, AND IN HIS OWN HOUSE. It has happened so many times that the people who are closest will always misunderstand. We could expect the contrary, that the people of Jesus village would understand him first. The people of Jesu's house, his family, his relatives, would understand him first. But that does not happen. A deep insight into the human ego is needed to understand it. With those that are closest to you, it is very difficult to believe that they had gone beyond and above you. If somebody else, who is not close to you, goes beyond you, the competetive ego does not arise. But if your brother goes, and you are left behind, your ego is hurt. You feel defeated, a failure. Then the easiest way is to deny that he has gone beyond. Jesus offended his own village, family and relatives. They knew Jesus' birth date, they knew his father, his mother, his brothers and sisters. So Jesus can not be forgive. Jesus is a quality of love, but to be able to see this quality, you have to drop your ego. The presence, the quality of Jesus offends, because you will feel that you have failed. His very being, his presence, offends you. With Jesus there are two qualities: either you follow him or you deny him, you become an enemy. When Jesus was crucified, many felt a great relief. Very rare people could follow Jesus, because they were ready to drop their egos. And even those that followed Jesus, hesitated and had doubts, before they could say yes, before they can trust. Jesus is a total yes to life, a total trust in life.
Swami Dhyan Giten
These are the three stages of enlightenment, the three glimpses of satori. 1. The first stage enlightenment: A Glimpse of the Whole The first stage of enlightenment is short glimpse from faraway of the whole. It is a short glimpse of being. The first stage of enlightenment is when, for the first time, for a single moment the mind is not functioning. The ordinary ego is still present at the first stage of enlightenment, but you experience for a short while that there is something beyond the ego. There is a gap, a silence and emptiness, where there is not thought between you and existence. You and existence meet and merge for a moment. And for the first time the seed, the thirst and longing, for enlightenment, the meeting between you and existence, will grow in your heart. 2. The second stage of enlightenment: Silence, Relaxation, Togetherness, Inner Being The second stage of enlightenment is a new order, a harmony, from within, which comes from the inner being. It is the quality of freedom. The inner chaos has disappeared and a new silence, relaxation and togetherness has arisen. Your own wisdom from within has arisen. A subtle ego is still present in the second stage of enlightenment. The Hindus has three names for the ego: 1. Ahamkar, which is the ordinary ego. 2. Asmita, which is the quality of Am-ness, of no ego. It is a very silent ego, not aggreessive, but it is still a subtle ego. 3. Atma, the third word is Atma, when the Am-ness is also lost. This is what Buddha callas no-self, pure being. In the second stage of enlightenment you become capable of being in the inner being, in the gap, in the meditative quality within, in the silence and emptiness. For hours, for days, you can remain in the gap, in utter aloneness, in God. Still you need effort to remain in the gap, and if you drop the effort, the gap will disappear. Love, meditation and prayer becomes the way to increase the effort in the search for God. Then the second stage becomes a more conscious effort. Now you know the way, you now the direction. 3. The third stage of enlightenment: Ocean, Wholeness, No-self, Pure being At the third stage of enlightenment, at the third step of Satori, our individual river flowing silently, suddenly reaches to the Ocean and becomes one with the Ocean. At the third Satori, the ego is lost, and there is Atma, pure being. You are, but without any boundaries. The river has become the Ocean, the Whole. It has become a vast emptiness, just like the pure sky. The third stage of enlightenment happens when you have become capable of finding the inner being, the meditative quality within, the gap, the inner silence and emptiness, so that it becomes a natural quality. You can find the gap whenever you want. This is what tantra callas Mahamudra, the great orgasm, what Buddha calls Nirvana, what Lao Tzu calls Tao and what Jesus calls the kingdom of God. You have found the door to God. You have come home.
Swami Dhyan Giten