Tag Archives: Lao Tzu

Another Autumn

55 springs and 55 summers gone now
Memories of past years held in faded photographs remind me how lucky I am.

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game.
~ Joni Mitchell

Last year I stepped off the painted pony for a sojourn in Europe. Despite some initial apprehension I soon relaxed in the new environment and basked in exhilaration as the journey progressed.  My fondest memories of this trip occurred when the beauty of mother nature exhilarated my senses allowing me to feel her power seep into my soul with the intensity of a defibrillator. It was then that I truly understood these words by Lao Tsu

Empty yourself of everything.  Let the mind rest at peace.
The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return.
They grow and flourish and then return to the Source.
Returning to the Source is stillness, which is the way of Nature.
The way of Nature is unchanging.
~Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching

As I prepare to return to Europe people ask what I hope to see or buy but all I am thinking about is what I hope to feel.

Europe Trip Day 12 (51)

Europe Trip Day 15 - Grindelwald mountain hiking - peters camera - 132 (59)

Grace

peace-it-does-not-mean-to-be-in-a-place-where-there-is-no-noise-trouble-or-hard-work

Some say that my teaching is nonsense.
Others call it lofty but impractical.
But to those who have looked inside themselves,
This nonsense makes perfect sense.
And to those who put it into practice,
This loftiness has roots that go deep.

I have just three things to teach:
Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and in thoughts,
You return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
You accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
You reconcile all beings in the world.

~ Lao Tzu – Tao Te Ching

Serenity

As last year drew to a close I became more pensive than usual, spending time silently reflecting on my landmark year of change, remembering how it unfolded.

Taking plenty of time to re-read all my blog posts (including the comments other bloggers had made) I re-traced my journey, seeing and understanding where I had tripped up and when changes within started emerging.

Several days later on the eve of the New Year I was drawn to a sacred place and sat down to absorb the beauty of nature while breathing in the ocean breeze.

Time stood still and I have no idea how long I sat. Everything around me ceased to exist while an overwhelming feeling of tranquility enveloped my soul.

There are no words to adequately describe what I was feeling.  All I can say is that the experience was peaceful and surreal.

When I stood up I silently thanked the guidance of Lao Tzu who has shown me the Way.

Be careful what you water your dreams with.
Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream.
Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success.
Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success.
Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.

― Laozi

I  now feel ready and energised to welcome 2014 and eagerly anticipate a new year of spiritual growth and personal development.

Ocean voyage

Many moons ago it was within my reach
I let it slip from my grasp
I’m older and wiser now
I see the truth

Sailing on the ocean
Gliding free leaving
the past in the wake
of sea mist

The horizon beckons
both sunlit and stormy
Paradise
awakens the senses

Independent minds flow freely
Guided from within,
humble and obscure
Rippling like a stream to the sea.

Long deep breaths
release waves of relief
the juggling balls fall
imploding all fear.

Disfavour ebbs and flows
everything has its time
clarity comes naturally forward
in whatever way it pleases

Nurture love
show gratitude and be kind
walk barefoot in the sand
and smile.

Living the mystery

Change will happen when the time is right.
Jenna Dee (1960 – )

I enjoy reading quotations written by people from all walks of life throughout the ages. These brief lines of text convey meaningful messages and have the potential to change the course of people’s lives if their mind is receptive to new ideas.

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
George Bernard Shaw (1814–1885)

No one is more surprised than I to finally understand and actually believe that change can and will happen to anyone prepared to open their mind to new ideas and possibilities.

 The past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited or erased; it can only be accepted.
 Wiz Kahlifa (1987- )

For too long my mind was unwilling to move on from past transgressions and hurts. I was burdened with unrealistic self-imposed responsibilities and fears that impeded my personal growth and freedom.

Fears are nothing more than a state of mind.
Napoleon Hill (1883-1970)

Futile fears invaded my mind for a good part of my life. It is only recently I’ve realised the extent of these unproductive thoughts. I’d hate to tally up the total time I’ve spent worrying about things beyond my control.

I once was lost but now am found
Was blind but now I see.
John Newton (1725-1807)

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
Dalai Lama (1935 – )

I thought I understood the concept of the power of the mind but reality is I never truly believed it could be possible,  especially not for me.

For years I was a non-believer (and I’m not talking about religion). I dismissed the validity of stories about people maintaining a positive attitude while facing appalling life circumstances. If it were me I imagined I’d feel angry, defeated or wonder why me.
Now I see.

I’ve learned to be kinder to myself by encouraging all of my efforts and by not beating myself up about mistakes.  Kindness matters, kindness to other people and kindness to ourselves.
Now I see.

Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.
Lao Tzu (570-490 BC)

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
Lao Tzu

Eastern philosophies intrigue me. The Asian winds of the east softly blow through my mind providing an infinite source of fascination and empowerment to think and feel differently.

People who follow my blog know I’ve previously mentioned Lao Tzu, Taoism and the Tao Te Ching (The Great Way). This ancient Chinese school of thought has encouraged the elimination of my negative energy and created the harvest of unlimited possibilities. It has literally changed my life.

Tao Te Ching applies timeless wisdoms. The 81 poems convey that life is a beautiful mystery that cannot be explained nor understood.   To be Tao is to be unlimited, undefined or unformed.

The Tao suggests we let the world unfold without attempting to figure it all out, and that letting go of trying to see the mystery allows us to see it. This is a major revelation to someone who has always sought black and white answers.

The variety of interpretation of the Tao is limitless, not only for different people but for the same person over time. It provides personal freedom to grow without rules or structure.

Being able to release my self-imposed boundaries has provided phenomenal relief. Slowly it dawned on me to give myself a break, relax, let go and allow.
I feel like I can breathe again.

Tao Te Ching is spirit not matter. It is inexhaustible energy that flows stronger the more it is drawn upon.

der jen2Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
Lao Tzu

Let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.
Lennon/McCartney (1940 –   )

Natural healing

IMG_3739Every year in August the small sakura tree in my front yard bursts into a radiant display of pink blossom.

No matter how many times I see it, I’m always in awe of its beauty and its ability to make me smile merely by its existence.

The crazy thing is that it flowers during winter when rain and icy winds prevail. I think it should blossom during springtime on warm sunny days, but nature has its own agenda.

It is during blossom time that I reflect on things that have taken place in my life since the last flowering. Have I made the best use of my time? Have I met my expectations? Have I helped my loved ones? Have I helped myself?

Each day during its bloom I go outside to check if the blossom is surviving the bad weather and to my surprise it always remains. However after about two weeks the blossom gracefully blows away and disappears for another year.

I love the fact that nothing changes the cycle of nature. It comforts me to know that the human elements that control so many aspects of our lives have no power over natural occurrences like the flowering of my blossom tree.

This year I am dedicating my sakura blossom to Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu and his words of wisdom.

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
– Lao Tzu

 

 

The way to do is to be

Blogging has opened a part of my mind that I’d managed to squash down for some time. It  challenges me to think about some things I’d rather not think about.

For me writing blog posts is therapeutic and helps me greatly at the time of writing by encouraging exploration and expression of my feelings. It is like cleansing my soul.

I’ve discovered that it is quite easy to write or say words but the really difficult part is making meaningful changes in my mind, feelings or attitudes. The actions are a lot harder than the words.

Fairly regularly I re-read my past blog posts and ask myself if have I brought about the changes I promised to modify since writing the post.

The truth is that the answer is usually no, not really, I’m still trying.

But today I gave myself a break by gaining inspiration from ancient philosopher Lao Tzu through his words that tell me to trust myself and just be me.

Always we hope

Always we hope
someone else has the answer
some other place will be better,
some other time it will all turn out.

This is it.
No one else has the answer
no other place will be better,
and it has already turned out.
at the center of your being

You have the answer,
you know who you are
and you know what you want.

There is no need
to run outside
for better seeing.

Nor to peer from a window.

Rather abide at the center of your being;
for the more you leave it, the less you learn.

Search your heart
and see
the way to do
is to be.
        — Lao Tzu

Rekindle kindness

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
Dalai Lama

act-of-kindnessEveryday I see and hear people being unkind to others; either in person, within religions, on TV shows, in politics, in the schoolyard or on social media sites.

In modern society it is commonplace for people to act aggressively toward others in shops, on the phone, while driving, in their family life, in the workplace or anywhere in public.

I am grateful that my experience using social media to date has been positive but I feel upset for others whose lives have been negatively affected by cyber-cruelty.

An old saying from my childhood seems appropriate today, “if you haven’t got anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all”. Just think of the millions of people who would be living a happier life today if they were spared the cruelty of unkind words.

Creating a blog has enriched my daily life by encouraging self-expression and creating communication with others.  I eagerly anticipate hearing the comments and opinions of fellow bloggers who show kindness and respect.

The cyber friendships I have made nurture my self-confidence and well-being and I will be forever grateful for this.

A kind comment takes only a few seconds but can make a lasting impact on another person.

Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.
Kindness in giving creates love.
― Lao Tzu

This is the word

The explosion of information on the Internet removes the necessity to create original writings. At our fingertips we have access to words written by others on any topic imaginable.

The words of others often seem more polished than our own and it’s tempting to copy a chunk of text rather than spending time considering and constructing our own sentences.

While I am eager to read and learn from words written by others, I continually strive to create original written pieces as they reflect time spent thinking and sorting through the corridors of my mind.

Writing empowers me to express myself about things I am passionate about. I spend many hours writing, re-writing and reading my words until I am satisfied with the final piece.

These written pieces are my friends. When I read my words I hear my voice and recall my thoughts from different eras of my life. They are my lifelong collection of words with the power to evoke memories.

Most of the things I write about are an indulgence in self-expression. They are extensions of thoughts residing in my brain that become clearer when written down. I write simply and from the heart.

However, there are always exceptions and if I come across words written by someone else that succinctly express emotions that I relate to then I have no hesitation to use their words. This is one such exception…….

If you want to awaken all of humanity then awaken yourself.

If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself.

Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.

Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu was a philosopher of ancient China, considered the founder of philosophical Taoism. According to traditions he lived in the 6th century. Throughout history, Laozi’s work has been embraced by various anti-authoritarian movements.