dao homecoming

Chinese word for "homecoming"
fishes and leaves, safe from rescue

Where was Tao when I was gone?
Wasn’t I following it where I went?
Do you think that there are two?

After traveling awhile, we come home to a familiar place, only we often look at it in a new light. Were things different while we weren’t here? We experienced so many new and different things while we were gone—wasn’t that Tao too? How can there be so many differences?

You might argue that a mountain is a mountain, but our attitudes toward it are changeable. If we mistake our subjective viewpoints as something that is solid, permanent, and never relative to circumstances, then we will have no end to our problems. However, if we always remember that everything is comparative, then we can move through life in a much more dynamic way.

There are not two ways. There is only one, It is so vast that we can experience widely diverging aspects of it and imagine that we are in different realities. This is a misconception. We cannot outrun Tao, cannot be outside of it. It is only our viewpoints that change to the degree that we think we are in differing dimensions. In the river of Tao, we are like minnows that can never plumb the length and breadth of the water.

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

today’s art is by Surya Kala Shah

T A O t e C H I N G

hand drawn calligraphy of the word dao

S E V E N T Y - O N E

Chinese characters for "daodejing verse seventy-one"

Knowing ignorance is strength.
Ignoring knowledge is sickness.

If one is sick of sickness, then one is not sick.
The sage is not sick because he is sick of sickness.
Therefore he is not sick.
— translation by GIA-FU FENG

Not-knowing is true knowledge.
Presuming to know is a disease.
First realize that you are sick;
then you can move toward health.

The Master is her own physician.
She has healed herself of all knowing.
Thus she is truly whole.
— translation by STEVEN MITCHELL

To acknowledge one’s ignorance
shows strength of personality,
but to ignore wisdom is a sign of weakness.

To be sick of sickness is a sign of good health,
therefore the wise man grows sick of sickness,
and sick of being sick of sickness,
’til he is sick no more.
— translated by STAN ROSENTHAL

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