dao nonanticipation

Chinese characters for "not anticipating"

beautiful Shiva

Put forth your effort
with no thought of gain.

One should not pray or mieditate with any thought of gain. Hold no expectations. Then the rewards will come. If one strives for power and gifts, no true results willl come, and one will become lost in lust. Praying for results brings no results—the true spirit appears only when there are no expectations to hamper it.

Books and teachings talk of the results of meditation because they prepare the aspirant for the experiences that will occur. It is important not to look on these writings as adivertisements. They are merely descriptions of what you will encounter.

Sit down with no thought of results and you will go naturally and spontaneously with Tao. It is admittedly a paradox. We are to know what to expect, and yet we should allow them to appear as they will. It seems irrational and inefficient. Yet if you would know Tao, there is no faster way to enter the midstream.

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

India (Tamil Nadu) ca. 1300
Bronze 21 9/16 in (54.9 cm)

With his tall crown of matted hair adorned by the crescent moon, Shiva is seated here in ease and comfort, with his right leg pendant on a rectangular base or seat. Because the posture is known as sukhasana, or posture of contentment, the image type is called sukhasanamurti. It is likely that his consort, Uma, or Parvati, once sat on a similar seat on his left. Shiva’s lower right arm, as usual, displays the gesture of reassurance. The upper right holds the battleaxe, a weapon of destruction, while in the corresponding left hand is the antelope. Apart from representing animal—kind (pasu) — hence his title Pasupati or Lord of Creatures — the antelope also symbolizes illusion (maya), which is destroyed by the battleaxe. The lower left hand forms the kataka or simhakarna (lion’s ear) gesture.

Both the size and the dignified bearing make this a bronze of commanding presence. Not only is the figure handsomely proportioned but the modeling still echoes the simplicity and elegance of the classic Chola—period aesthetic. The body is not enmeshed in ornaments and allows the viewer to admire the fluent contours of the form. However, it should be remembered that such a figure would rarely be seen in a temple in its naked glory. It would be clothed most of the time, either while resting in a shrine or being carried during occasional processions and the devotee would catch only a glimpse of his face.

all text and images © The Trustees of the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore

Chinese characters for huahujing

attributed to Laotsu

Those who wish to embody the Tao should embrace all things.

To embrace all things means first that one holds no anger or resistance toward any idea or thing, living or dead, formed or formless.

Acceptance is the very essence of the Tao. To embrace all things means also that one rids oneself of any concept of separation; male and female, self and other, life and death.

Division is contrary to the nature of the Tao. Foregoing antagonism and separation, one enters in the harmonious oneness of all things.

— Edited by Brian Walker

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