Blog | Madhu Bazaz Wangu
1257
blog,paged,paged-33,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-theme-ver-2.1,vertical_menu_enabled, vertical_menu_width_290,side_menu_slide_from_right,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.9.0,vc_responsive
 
Writings and Readings Blog

Madhu Bazaz Wangu

Happy 2009!

Dear Readers and Writers, Happy New Year! A good place to start the year 2009 is with the sixty-third chapter of Tao-te Ching. (See under "Readings") In this verse the sage Lao Tzu asks us to pay attention to the present moment, to the task at hand, and not worry about the next moment or the trillions of future moments that would follow it. It is only by doing little things that we can accomplish something great. I have planned a wonderful year of "Readings" and "Writings" to share with you. In May this year, we will finish reading Tao-te Ching and start Dhammapada, a collection of vivid verses based on the teachings of the Buddha that were preserved by his students. The topics in this collection of harmonious poetry are...

Read More

Sixty-Third Chapter

Sixty-Third Chapter Tao-te Ching Practice nonaction. Work without doing. Taste the tasteless. Magnify the small; increase the few. Reward bitterness with care. See simplicity in the complicated. Achieve greatness in little things. Take on difficulty while it is still easy; do great things while they are still small. The sage does not attempt anything very big, and thereby achieves greatness. If you make rash promises, you will be little trusted; Because the sage always confronts difficulties right away, he never encounters them. # As I Understand It: Trillions of moments make up our lifetime. All we ever have to do is to live in the present moment to make life effortless. Instead of worrying about a future that has not even arrived do tiny things and achieve big tasks. Sage says confront difficulties the moment you face them--bitter moments with objectivity, lovable with...

Read More

Sixty-Second Chapter

Sixty-Second Chapter Tao-te Ching Tao is the storehouse of all things. It is the good man's treasure and bad man's refuge. Fine words can gain honor And fine deeds can gain respect from others. Even when a man is bad, has Tao ever rejected him? On the occasion of crowning an emperor or installing the three ministers, Rather than present large pieces of jade preceded by teams of four horses, It is better to kneel and offer this Tao. Why did the ancients highly value this Tao? Did they not say, "Those who seek shall have it and those who sin shall be freed? For this reason it is valued by the world. # As I Understand It: There is a treasure house deep within us-the wondrous wellspring of the Tao. When we are in tune with this space we know the source of...

Read More

Sixty-First Chapter

Sixty-First Chapter Tao-te Ching A big country may be compared to the lower part of a river. It is the converging part of the world. It is the female of the world. The female always overcomes the male by tranquility, And by tranquility she is underneath. A big state can take over a small state if it places itself below the small state. And a small state can take over a big state if it places itself below the big state. Thus some, by placing themselves below, take over (others), And some, by being (naturally) low, take over (other states). After all what a big state wants is but to annex and herd others. And what a small state wants is merely to join and serve others. Since both big and small states get what they want, The big state should place itself low. # As...

Read More

Sixtieth Chapter

Sixtieth Chapter Tao-te Ching Governing a big country is like cooking a small fish, You spoil it with too much poking. Approach the world with the power of Tao And evil will have no power. Although evil is powerful, with Tao in our hearts, it cannot harm us. It cannot harm and sage too is protected. If the ruler and his people refrain from harming each other, The virtue and its benefits will be accumulated in the country. # As I Understand It: Don't interfere without, cultivate a sacred space within. We view the world with fear. If we cultivate an inner awareness, we gain courage. The Tao awareness shields us with an invisible areole. The evil cannot penetrate it. When we stop having fearful and negative thoughts the wicked powers become impotent. Fear begets more fear and...

Read More

Fifty-Ninth Chapter

Fifty-Ninth Chapter Tao-te Ching To rule people and to serve Nature there is nothing better than frugality. Only by being frugal can one learn to restrain. To restrain oneself means to accumulate virtue heavily. By the heavy accumulation of virtue one can overcome everything. If one can overcome everything, then there are no limits. When a man knows no limits, he is fit to lead. This is the way to be deeply rooted and firmly planted in the Tao-- The secret of long life and everlasting vision. # As I Understand It: When we cultivate virtues such as frugality, restraint and moderation there's nothing impossible for us to do. The one who lives according to the Tao has a chockfull of such virtues. She exemplifies virtuous life and encourages others to make choices based on such high standards. An individual...

Read More

Ancient Female Deities

Ancient Female Deities, Now Retired More than four thousand years ago inhabitants of the fertile region of Ganga-Jamuna delta sang hymns of praise. They sung in honor of the powers of nature, of sky, of atmosphere, of earth. They sung the hymns of awe and terror to the powers of dawn, sun, ether, night, earth-its fertility and fecundity, water, vegetation and fire. Slowly the powers were personified. They were given thousand eyes and ears, multiple heads and hands. Most of these were male but many female: mothers, and spouses of the male deities. Consorts, spouses and mother deities were efficacious but lacked profile and power. They were easily interchangeable with one another. Their names were simply the feminine suffices of the names of the male gods. For example Agneyi was...

Read More

Fifty-Eighth Chapter

Fifty-Eighth Chapter Tao-te Ching When the ruler knows his heart, the people are simple and contented. When he meddles with their lives, they become restless and contentious. Calamity is what happiness leans on. Happiness is what calamity hides in. Who knows the end of this process? Yet what is good soon becomes bad. And the bad again becomes good. People have been confused (by this) for a long time. The sage becomes an exemplar and does not impose his will. He is pointed but does not cut. He straightens but does not disrupt. He illuminates but does not dazzle. # As I Understand It: If our heart is pure the apparent reality is plain and simple. If we play games with others the reality becomes restless and flammable. This is because apparent reality--the 10,000 things--is in constant motion, neither permanent nor predictable. Only the Tao...

Read More

Fifty-Seventh Chapter

Fifty-Seventh Chapter Tao-te Ching Govern the state with the Tao. Operate with surprise tactics. Let go of fixed plans and concepts. And the world will govern by itself. How do I know that this should be so? Because in this world, The greater the restrictions and prohibitions, the more impoverished the people become. The sharper the weapons of the state, the more troubled the nation will become. The more cunning and crafty the plan, the stranger the outcome. The more laws and orders are posted, the more thieves appear. Therefore the sage says: I take no action and people are reformed. I enjoy tranquility and people become honest. I do nothing and people prosper. If I keep from imposing on people they become themselves. # As I Understand It: Lao Tzu often suggests similarities between governing people and parenting children. He encourages non-interference with touch of common-sensical supervising. The highest form of...

Read More

Fifty-Sixth Chapter

Fifty-Sixth Chapter Tao-te Ching He who knows does not talk. He who talks does not know. Shut the doors of your body. Close your mouth. Blunt your sharpness. Untie your tangles. Soften your glare. Settle your dust. This is called the secret embrace. He who knows this secret is unmoved by attachment or aversion, not swayed by profit or loss, or touched by honor or disgrace. He is far beyond the cares of men. For this reason he is honored by the world. # As I Understand It: The first two lines of this chapter have now become a cliché but its message is still meaningful. Yet, this common knowledge is rarely practiced. The highest state of knowing is not command of one's language or confidence in one's point of view. It is in silent knowing; the deep silent knowing within that can be felt but not communicated. Some...

Read More