awareness, tranquility

“Tree Dreams in Winter” by Ren Adams

http://www.etsy.com/shop/plasticpumpkin

I’ve been reading Alan Watts’s book Tao: The Watercourse Way and came across his wonderful description of a way of practicing awareness, of practicing being present in this moment—a very Taoist way of being:

Later in the book, Watts quotes Chuang-tzu, a quote that Watts describes as the closest that Chuang-tzu came to outlining a method of attaining the Tao.  In this passage, Chuang-tzu writes in the voice of Nu Chu, a sage who is teaching another sage, Pu Liang I, about the Tao:

“To teach the Tao of a sage to a man who has the genius, seems to be an easy matter.  But no, I kept on telling him; after three days, he began to be able to disregard all worldly matters [i.e., anxieties about status or gain and loss].  After his having disregarded all worldly matters, I kept on telling him; after seven days, he began to be able to disregard all external things [as being separate entities].  After his having disregarded all external things, I kept on telling him; after nine days, he began to be able to disregard his own existence [as an ego].  Having disregarded his own existence, he was enlightened.  Having become enlightened, he then was able to gain the vision of the One.  Having the vision of the One, he was then able to transcend the distinction of past and present.  Having transcended the distinction of past and present, he was then able to enter the realm where life and death are no more.  Then, to him, the [end] of life did not mean death, nor the prolongation of life an addition to the duration of his existence.”

I love this quote.  It reminds me of the John Blofeld quote toward the end of my earlier post, Liberation from the fear of death.

©2009-2011 Aspiring Taoist.  All Rights Reserved

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2 Responses to “awareness, tranquility”

  1. mrs. neutron's garage Says:

    I enjoyed your writing. It took me back to my days of meditation, Alan Watts, Zen and all that that implies. It served me well. Then…. I let it all go and embraced the absurdity of a primate on an insignificant lump of dust, adrift in an incomprehensible universe. All supernaturalism melted away.
    I traded in all my Zen koans for whoopee cushions, chinese handcuffs and respectable gardening equipment. All is well.

    I wish you happiness, but never seriousness. Be well.

  2. Aspiring Taoist Says:

    To Mrs. Neutron’s garage,
    Thanks for sharing your comment, your experiences, and your well wishes.

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