Taoist thought: Swimmer

The Way begets them
Virtue keeps them
matter shapes them
usage completes them
thus do all things honor the Way
and glorify Virtue
the honor of the Way
the glory of Virtue
are not conferred
but always so
the Way begets and keeps them
cultivates and trains them
steadies and adjusts them
nurtures and protects them
but begets without possessing
acts without presuming
and cultivates without controlling
this is called Dark Virtue

daodejing #51
translated by Red Pine

Though life is a dream,
Act as if it isn't.
Act with no weight.

You may understand that life is but a dream, but that doesn't free you from the responsibility to act. This dream may not be of your own making, but you must still engage it and operate within the parameters of the fantasy. You must become the producer, director, and actor of a phantasmic stage play. Otherwise, you are aimlessly adrift.

Meditating is to wake up. Few of us have acquired the skill to be in constant meditation. Therefore, we awake and dream, awake and dream. The moments of enlightenment are like the times when swimmers come up for air. They gain a breath of life,but they must submerge once again. We are all swimmers on the sea of sorrow, bobbing up and down until our final liberation.

The initial difficulty of spirituality is a schizophrenia between true understanding and the sorrow of everyday life. Our enlightenment clashes with the outer impurities. that is why some novitiates withdraw into isolation. They can live in this world and yet not be stained by it. They are the strongest and most serene swimmers of all. They act, and yet they barely disturb the water. their actions are outwardly no different from ordinary actions, but they leave no wake.

Deng Ming-Dao
365 Tao Daily Meditations
ISBN 0-06--250223-9
"Our House Chicken"
(whose name is "seven")
© 2006 lisbethwest

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