dawei

[DDJ Meaning] Chapter 1

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4 hours ago, dawei said:

 

Trodden does work as 'Way' means path... ergo, to walk the path [of the Great Way].    So in the opening lines, it is juxtaposed with the idea that as a name (whether spoken or trodden), it is not the eternal Way/Dao.

 

I like the logical unfolding of Spoken because 'Ke Dao' means spoken and then the second line reminds us that 'names' are not eternal.

 

Later, we get manifest (world of names) and mystery/primordial (without names).

 

But I'm not trying to dissuade embracing Trodden but hope to help deepen one's choice on some level.

 

Any thought that the Tao that can be trodden is a reference to doing. Where the Tao is a being.

 

The Tao that can be named is a thing, where emptiness is no-thing.

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Posted (edited)
On 22/01/2017 at 12:12 AM, dawei said:

 

DC. Lau

 


The way that can be spoken of 
Is not the constant way; 
The name that can be named 
Is not the constant name.

The nameless was the beginning of heaven and earth; 
The named was the mother of the myriad creatures.

Hence always rid yourself of desires in order to observe its secrets; 
But always allow yourself to have desires in order to observe its manifestations.

These two are the same 
But diverge in name as they issue forth. 
Being the same they are called mysteries, 
Mystery upon mystery - 
The gateway of the manifold secrets. 

 

Gawd, quoting on a phone is so annoying haha.

 

I'm going to restart this study, for my own good. I don't know if anyone will join in, but I will post my thoughts anyway :)

 

So it is common knowledge that it is saying that Dao is indescribable in words. The moment that it becomes something, it is already not Dao.

 

But the beginning of all things comes from this. The world as we know it is what we understand, and can only understand.

 

Rid yourself of desires aka meditative practice. Only then do we become connected with it.

 

Then, back to the "real world" - live it! Enjoy what had been laid out for us.

 

Both are one, together working as yin and yang. It's important to understand the importance of both and how they compliment each other.

Edited by Rara

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On 4/16/2020 at 5:32 AM, Rara said:

Rid yourself of desires aka meditative practice. Only then do we become connected with it.

 

Then, back to the "real world" - live it! Enjoy what had been laid out for us.

 

Both are one, together working as yin and yang. It's important to understand the importance of both and how they compliment each other.

 

I'm not that fond of most translations of this section and can understand why some don't even translate 'desire' at all, like Chan but better is Ta-Kao (1904):



The Tao that can be expressed is not the eternal Tao; The name that can be defined is not the unchanging name.
Non-existence is called the antecedent of heaven and earth; Existence is the mother of all things.
From eternal non-existence, therefore, we serenely observe the mysterious beginning of the Universe; From eternal existence we clearly see the apparent distinctions.
These two are the same in source and become different when manifested.
This sameness is called profundity. Infinite profundity is the gate whence comes the beginning of all parts of the Universe.

 

There is a classic juxtaposition of opposites that ultimately have little distinction other than in name. The next chapter was aptly placed after this to continue that idea.

 

But the first line already sets the stage with 'ke' vs 'fei'; Can vs [Can]not.    The coin turns over with 'expression'.

 

Ta-Kao keeps the 'Wu' vs 'You' consistent in the next lines where most do not.  But it leads to an understanding of 'these two'.

 

If one translates with the inclusion of the word desire, I think it has to take a back seat to understand the point of the chapter that depending on the state one's heart is in, one can observe the mystery or the manifest. 

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2 hours ago, dawei said:

 

I'm not that fond of most translations of this section and can understand why some don't even translate 'desire' at all, like Chan but better is Ta-Kao (1904):

 

 

There is a classic juxtaposition of opposites that ultimately have little distinction other than in name. The next chapter was aptly placed after this to continue that idea.

 

But the first line already sets the stage with 'ke' vs 'fei'; Can vs [Can]not.    The coin turns over with 'expression'.

 

Ta-Kao keeps the 'Wu' vs 'You' consistent in the next lines where most do not.  But it leads to an understanding of 'these two'.

 

If one translates with the inclusion of the word desire, I think it has to take a back seat to understand the point of the chapter that depending on the state one's heart is in, one can observe the mystery or the manifest. 

 

Well this reads completely differently, doesn't it?

 

So do you think the chapter is more just about creation?

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5 hours ago, Rara said:

 

Well this reads completely differently, doesn't it?

 

So do you think the chapter is more just about creation?

 

I don't see it so much as trying to push creation relative to some of the other chapters that seem to allude more to that.  Its like a primer on cosmic duality of Manifest and Mystery.  But I tend to translate mystery more as primordial. 

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Posted (edited)

I like Dawei's previously expressed insight that Laozi's message is all here in seed form in verse one.

 

Here’s an account by a Daoist forest hermit who lived on Mount Heng (Hengshan) Hunan Province in the 1930’s, as told by John Blofeld in his book, My Journey in Mystic China. I was thinking of adding it to my recent topic on Self-realisation because of basic similarities to Jung’s message. (Furthermore, it echoes ancient teachings found amongst all the major mystical traditions of the world.)   But as it references lines from the first chapter of the Daodejing, I think it’s very relevant to this discussion. And it gives an excellent overview of actual Daoist practice from this particular lineage......

 

 

I often noticed that among the Taoist adepts one encountered in the big cities of China, there were very few who actually cultivated their practice to a high degree of refinement. Some were just charlatans in robes who made a living cheating gullible men and women. But the Taoists one met in the mountain forests were mostly pure and diligent practitioners of the Way. That their hair tied up in topknots, their long beards, their ancient style robes, and their extremely courteous manners

were matters of external appearance all goes without saying. But as genuine adepts who cultivated the deepest practices, their bright eyes sparkling with laughter, their spirit of self-presence and immutable sense of calm, their healthy and supple bodies, and their exemplary behavior, all provided ample proof of the efficacy of their "internal arts."

 

The goals of cultivating the internal arts were to prolong life, promote health, preserve youth, nurture vitality, and enhance awareness. Attaining all of these goals is not easy, but diligent practitioners are able to achieve most of them. Cultivating the internal arts has nothing to do with superstition, but rather involves yoga [qigong, neigong and neidan], meditation, and inner focus. Whenever I visited the famous mountains, I didn't like to stay at the well-known monasteries, but preferred instead to lodge at the most remotely isolated places. That's because Taoist adepts and Buddhist monks who are truly devoted to self-cultivation always avoid places frequented by crowds of visitors.

 

The day I climbed up to the Southern Peak of the mountain, I found a small hermitage located far from the mountain trail to spend the night. Among the three or four hermits living there, only one came out to greet me. The others were secluded in retreat for a few days, sitting in silent meditation from morning till night. The one who greeted me was a friendly middle-aged adept, and the two of us stayed up talking till dawn for two nights in a row. I asked him to explain the basic foundation of Taoist teachings, and he wrote down for me a few lines from the Tao Teh Ching [Daodejing]: “‘Nonexistence' is the origin of Heaven and Earth, `Existence' is the mother of all phenomena. These two have the same source but different names." After writing this down, he explained the meaning with great clarity. To this day I still recall the joyful expresses expression on his face as he spoke, and the gaze of deep compassion in his eyes.

 

As I recall it, this is the basic meaning of what he said: `Nonexistence’ refers to the intrinsically formless essence of the nature of Tao. `Existence’ refers to the form of the myriad phenomena in the manifest universe. Heaven and Earth arise from the formless essence of Tao nature, which has no beginning and no end. Although all forms are impermanent, the basic essence is nevertheless indestructible. Superficially, these two aspects seem to be opposites, but fundamentally there is not the slightest difference between them. Therefore, all forms are essentially inseparable from

the formless nature of Tao, human beings are inseparable from Tao, and Tao is inseparable from human beings. The great Tao is infinite, and nothing obstructs or limits it. All living things share the essential nature of Tao, so how could they have any limitations?

 

Adepts who have realized the Tao understand this truth and have no fear when death approaches.

Taoist adepts clearly know that the essential nature of Self is identical with the essential nature of Tao, that they are one and the same, and that the real Self is thus immortal. The only thing that dies is the physical form of this body. In reality, the physical body is just like a little ripple rising on the surface of a lake, appearing for a brief moment then disappeared again. Why should anyone wish to cling to such an ephemeral phenomenon?

 

While we are still alive in this world, we should spend our time and energy cultivating Self-Presence. As death approaches, we should maintain our Self-Presence, and remain fully conscious of the fact that the physical body is not worth clinging to and that we should therefore let it go. Our Self nature is inseparable from Tao nature and can therefore never be destroyed. All men and women who have attained this realization may be regarded as enlightened sages. Whenever they encounter pleasurable things, although they clearly understand that they are only ephemeral illusions, they may still enjoy them fully in the moment, then let them pass. Similarly, when they encounter calamities, they recognise them as no different from dreams, and therefore face them without concern. The ability to maintain stable peace of mind on the basis of this viewpoint may be regarded as the attainment of the first stage of Taoist self-cultivation.

 

Many years ago, when I was together with elder brother Yuan-ruo, I heard him explain the Buddhist teaching that “all sentient beings are of a single Mind" (or "one basic nature"), and the meaning of this idea is exactly the same as the Taoist precept.

 

 

Edited by Yueya
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On 18/04/2020 at 4:50 AM, Yueya said:

I like Dawei's previously expressed insight that Laozi's message is all here in seed form in verse one.

 

Here’s an account by a Daoist forest hermit who lived on Mount Heng (Hengshan) Hunan Province in the 1930’s, as told by John Blofeld in his book, My Journey in Mystic China. I was thinking of adding it to my recent topic on Self-realisation because of basic similarities to Jung’s message. (Furthermore, it echoes ancient teachings found amongst all the major mystical traditions of the world.)   But as it references lines from the first chapter of the Daodejing, I think it’s very relevant to this discussion. And it gives an excellent overview of actual Daoist practice from this particular lineage......

 

 

I often noticed that among the Taoist adepts one encountered in the big cities of China, there were very few who actually cultivated their practice to a high degree of refinement. Some were just charlatans in robes who made a living cheating gullible men and women. But the Taoists one met in the mountain forests were mostly pure and diligent practitioners of the Way. That their hair tied up in topknots, their long beards, their ancient style robes, and their extremely courteous manners

were matters of external appearance all goes without saying. But as genuine adepts who cultivated the deepest practices, their bright eyes sparkling with laughter, their spirit of self-presence and immutable sense of calm, their healthy and supple bodies, and their exemplary behavior, all provided ample proof of the efficacy of their "internal arts."

 

The goals of cultivating the internal arts were to prolong life, promote health, preserve youth, nurture vitality, and enhance awareness. Attaining all of these goals is not easy, but diligent practitioners are able to achieve most of them. Cultivating the internal arts has nothing to do with superstition, but rather involves yoga [qigong, neigong and neidan], meditation, and inner focus. Whenever I visited the famous mountains, I didn't like to stay at the well-known monasteries, but preferred instead to lodge at the most remotely isolated places. That's because Taoist adepts and Buddhist monks who are truly devoted to self-cultivation always avoid places frequented by crowds of visitors.

 

The day I climbed up to the Southern Peak of the mountain, I found a small hermitage located far from the mountain trail to spend the night. Among the three or four hermits living there, only one came out to greet me. The others were secluded in retreat for a few days, sitting in silent meditation from morning till night. The one who greeted me was a friendly middle-aged adept, and the two of us stayed up talking till dawn for two nights in a row. I asked him to explain the basic foundation of Taoist teachings, and he wrote down for me a few lines from the Tao Teh Ching [Daodejing]: “‘Nonexistence' is the origin of Heaven and Earth, `Existence' is the mother of all phenomena. These two have the same source but different names." After writing this down, he explained the meaning with great clarity. To this day I still recall the joyful expresses expression on his face as he spoke, and the gaze of deep compassion in his eyes.

 

As I recall it, this is the basic meaning of what he said: `Nonexistence’ refers to the intrinsically formless essence of the nature of Tao. `Existence’ refers to the form of the myriad phenomena in the manifest universe. Heaven and Earth arise from the formless essence of Tao nature, which has no beginning and no end. Although all forms are impermanent, the basic essence is nevertheless indestructible. Superficially, these two aspects seem to be opposites, but fundamentally there is not the slightest difference between them. Therefore, all forms are essentially inseparable from

the formless nature of Tao, human beings are inseparable from Tao, and Tao is inseparable from human beings. The great Tao is infinite, and nothing obstructs or limits it. All living things share the essential nature of Tao, so how could they have any limitations?

 

Adepts who have realized the Tao understand this truth and have no fear when death approaches.

Taoist adepts clearly know that the essential nature of Self is identical with the essential nature of Tao, that they are one and the same, and that the real Self is thus immortal. The only thing that dies is the physical form of this body. In reality, the physical body is just like a little ripple rising on the surface of a lake, appearing for a brief moment then disappeared again. Why should anyone wish to cling to such an ephemeral phenomenon?

 

While we are still alive in this world, we should spend our time and energy cultivating Self-Presence. As death approaches, we should maintain our Self-Presence, and remain fully conscious of the fact that the physical body is not worth clinging to and that we should therefore let it go. Our Self nature is inseparable from Tao nature and can therefore never be destroyed. All men and women who have attained this realization may be regarded as enlightened sages. Whenever they encounter pleasurable things, although they clearly understand that they are only ephemeral illusions, they may still enjoy them fully in the moment, then let them pass. Similarly, when they encounter calamities, they recognise them as no different from dreams, and therefore face them without concern. The ability to maintain stable peace of mind on the basis of this viewpoint may be regarded as the attainment of the first stage of Taoist self-cultivation.

 

Many years ago, when I was together with elder brother Yuan-ruo, I heard him explain the Buddhist teaching that “all sentient beings are of a single Mind" (or "one basic nature"), and the meaning of this idea is exactly the same as the Taoist precept.

 

 

 

That made really good reading. Thanks!

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Posted (edited)

That someone is not following the Dao is a incorrect idea. That at a certain point in your life you 'suddenly' turned away from Dao and followed not-Dao. It comes from believing the appearances we see in life and take them to be real.

 

Since there is only the Dao nobody can follow the not-Dao.

 

The not-Dao is just another name for Dao, it is an appearance. So nothing to worry about. Everything is already pure perfection right now.

Edited by johndoe2012

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On 1/28/2017 at 7:40 PM, Mig said:

Could you give an idea the way you cultivate it?

 

Seeing into your nature directly is one way of gaining certainty.

 

Resting in Being (Heart) is another way. There is feeling-access to it behind the heart chakra and back, dive in and stay. There is feeling of Existence independent of everything else.


For your actions just do whatever you feel like doing, not feeling like a slave, but what you really want.

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On 4/18/2020 at 5:50 AM, Yueya said:

Our Self nature is inseparable from Tao nature and can therefore never be destroyed. 

 

This is seeing your own nature, you can recognize it from Harding's Headless experiments or from Dzogchen pointing-out instructions (just examples).

 

Seeing this may satisfy you and rid yourself of all earthly desires in a full swoop if that is your destiny.

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