dao awareness

Chinese characters for "awareness"

two women facing, birds and fishes surround

Outer eyes
Cannot see themselves.
the inner eye
Is its own reflection.

When we look, we can see many thing, but the eyes cannot see themselves without the help of a mirror. We are not used to introspection. Although the followers of Tao say to look within to gain self-awareness, we will be confused if we use the attitudes formed by looking with our eyes.

That is why it is important to make a clear distinction early on. Do not try to understand yourself with the attitudes of physical seeing. Look within using inner vision.

For centuries, people of many different cultures have referred to the “mind's eyes,” or the “inner eye,” or the “third eye.” These are all indications that there is a separate way of looking within. In meditation, it is important to discover and utilize this mode of introspection. We must go beyond thought, go beyond visualization, go beyond imagination and actually open a part of the mind that most people leave dormant. This inner eye has a location, buried deep in the brain. When it is opened, it sis our way of receiving more suable experiences than we receive in our physical states. Perhaps looking and seeing are misleading terms, after all. We don’t necessarily “see” images through this inner eye. We gain direct awareness that is beyond the image.

365 Tao
Daily Meditations
Deng Ming-Dao
ISBN 0-06-250223-9

T A O t e C H I N G

hand drawn calligraphy of the word dao

S E V E N T Y - F O U R

Chinese characters for "daodejing verse seventy-four"

If men are not afraid to die,
It is no avail to threaten them with death.

If men live in constant fear of dying,
And if breaking the law means that a man will be killed,
Who will dare to break the law?

There is always an official executioner.
If you try to take his place,
It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood.
If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter,
you will only hurt your hand.
— translation by GIA-FU FENG

If you realize that all things change,
there is nothing you will try to hold on to.
If you aren’t afraid of dying,
there is nothing you can’t achieve.

Trying to control the future
is like trying to take the master carpenter’s place.
When you handle the master carpenter’s tools,
chances are that you’ll cut your hand.
— translation by STEVEN MITCHELL

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