dao discord

Chinese for "discord"

beautiful Guanyin, shown in delicate style (goddess of mercy or compassion

Chinese characters for "goddess of mercy "

When birds fly too high,
They sing out of tune.

There are times when we feel out of harmony with our surroundings, matters do not go our way, and we feel confused and disoriented. Sometimes these moments will last a day, sometimes they may last for weeks. When we feel like this, we are not integrated with the Tao, or as it is sometimes metaphorically said, Tao has flowed elsewhere.

Being constantly in touch with tao is an ideal. There will be times of misfortune and discord from external sources. We can also fall out of synchronization with Tao through our own follies, as when we act without complete consideration. Whenever this happens, we are like the birds singing out of tune: We are mired in discord.

If we keep our patience, we can usually ride out these times. We should take action and break the stagnation if an opportunity presents itself. Whether it is waiting or acting, we should always try to bring a situation back into balance so that we can rejoin Tao.

Whenever we find ourselves linked again, we will feel relieved. We are back on track, back on target. But we should learn from each time that we lose Tao. Sometimes this is enough to prevent recurrences, and sometimes it is enough to buoy our hopes through future lean times. Once we know the Tao, we will recognize it again and again. We will not lose faith, even in times of discord.

365 Tao
daily meditations
Deng Ming-Dao (author)
ISBN 0-06-250223-9

Chinese characters for "goddess of mercy"

Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy
Excavated at the Ten Thousand Buddha Pagoda in Hunhua county,
Zhejiang Province, in 1958
Five Dynasties, 907 — 960 CE
Gilt bronze
total height 77.7 cm

Buddhism arrived in China in the first century CE from India, transmitted along the trade routes by Buddhist traders.

When pagodas were erected, Buddhist relics were usually buried in their foundations, and many treasures have been discovered during the restoration or demolition of pagodas. This Buddhist gilt bronze sculpture was found in a pagoda. It depicts the bodhisattva Guanyin, the goddess of mercy, seated on a rock in the pose called "royal ease," a beautifully wrought halo framing her elegant figure.

National Museum of Chinese History, Beijing

T A O t e C H I N G

hand drawn calligraphy of the word dao
s i x
daodejing verse 6

Experience is a riverbed,
Its source hidden, forever flowing:
Its entrance, the root of the world,
The Way moves within it:
Draw upon it; it will not run dry.

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