December 6, 2010

This week’s verse from the Tao Te Ching, #41, is at once self-explanatory and opaque, a perfect embodying perhaps, of Tao wisdom. Rather than dwelling on the verse, this week’s Dharma Talk focuses on working with chanting as a mindfulness practice. While listening to the the talk, if you interchange the Yogic term “Self” with the Taoist term, “Tao,” you’ll connect the dots between these two traditions.  Here’s the verse, followed by the talk which runs about 23 minutes.

41.

When a superior mam hears of the Tao,
he immediately begins to embody it.
When an average man hears of the Tao,
he half believes, half doubts it.
When a foolish man hears of the Tao,
he laughs our loud.
If he didn’t laugh,
it would be the Tao.

Thus it is said:
The path into the light seems dark,
the path forward seems to go back,
the direct path seems long,
true power seems weak,
true purity seems tarnished,
true steadfastness seems changeable,
true clarity seems obscure,
the greatest art seems unsophisticated,
the greatest love seems indifferent,
the greatest wisdom seems childish.

The Tao is nowhere to be found.
Yet it nourishes and completes all things.


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