Reading Tao-te Ching
We are one quarter of the way through our first book, Tao-te Ching. Lao Tzu’s ideas, in this spiritual text, meaningfully resonate in contemporary times. Posting one chapter each week of the text has begun to have a peaceful effect on me and has brought clarity in my thinking. Has it affected you in anyway?
Writing about Tao-te Ching has enabled me to connect with you who, like me, thirst for such ideas. We have thus become a community of readers and thinkers who want to be “a little more than” what we already are. Where would I be without a bridge from my quiet study to your individual thoughtful islands?
This is a good time to explain the reason why I started to write “As I Understand It.” I have been a student of the sacred books of the East for the last twenty years. I frequently recite Tao-te Ching, Dhammapada, Lotus Sutra and Bhagavad-Gita. They make me feel free and give me a sense of growing transcendence that nothing else does. They have made me realize that I need not feel trapped into the mundane life; that I must rise above it.
I feel an inner urge to understand and communicate what these teachings proffer about the depth of human instincts and intuitions, of individuality, of harmony and peace. They speak of the same Truth – of interconnectedness of life, divinity within, compassion, wisdom and detachment; in short, living a heart and mind based life, a life of Buddhachitta.
In conclusion, here is a story about the Taoist sage Chuang Tzu who lived two hundred years after Lao Tzu. In this story imagination, creativity and spirituality seem to coalesce.
“Once upon a time, I, Chuang Tzu, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of following my fancies as a butterfly, and was unconscious of my individuality as a man. Suddenly, I awoke, and there I lay, myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.”
I do hope that you email me your thoughts and ideas. If you do not want your emails posted on the web, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Madhu B. Wangu