Tao Te Ching chapter 2

Because I work on the weekends (usually doing homework in between patients) and go to school all week, my time and energy to read selections that I want to read is limited, as opposed to things that I am assigned to read, which seem to fill my schedule.  So I grabbed my copy of the Tao Te Ching, which has always been for me a rich and thought provoking source of perspective for living in harmony and balance.  

Anyway, its short chapters (or verses) are perfect for my busy life.  So I thought I would read a little of it yesterday and I settled on verse 2.  It is a good reminder that things are connected, that it isn’t so much about controlling our reality but moving in harmony with the cycles of our reality.  Yin gives birth to yang and yang to yin.  While the concept isn’t difficult, it is deep and mysterious.  And as verse one says:

“Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.”

our desires cause us to cling and limit what we experience.  

 

Advertisements

Meditation practice: must read book!

I have been practicing breathing meditation daily for about 2+ years.  I have read several books and sought to learn and understand as much as I could about cultivating mindfulness through my daily practice and through allowing it to infiltrate my life outside of my sitting.  

I just recently received a copy of Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, Peace is Every Step.  This book is wonderful and has impacted my practice more profoundly than anything else I have encountered.  It is practical and fresh, it simply explains the purpose, process and goal of mindfulness practice, providing examples of how to practice mindfulness in everyday activities such as driving, eating and answering the phone.  

I cannot encourage the reading of this book enough!  It has changed my life, my practice and my desire to cultivate real mindfulness and the happiness that is discovered when mindfulness is lived.  I expect that I will read this book so much that I will wear it out and have to purchase another one because I keep going back to it for its wisdom.  

Just started reading “Peace in Every Step”

I received a wonderful little book for Christmas by Thich Nhat Hahn, entitled Peace in Every Step.  I have only started to read it but already believe it to be a wonderful little jewel and tool for mindfulness.  I will continue to blog about it here over the next few days while I read.  I have been doing breathing meditation for two years now, but already in this little book, I have experienced  something deeper than the sum of the words, something wonderful and profound that is revitalizing my breathing and my efforts to cultivate mindfulness.  Don’t wait for my summary of this book, I recommend already, most heartedly!

The opening verses set the path

The Dhamapada opens with a couple of verses that are really quite profound. I have read them, I frequently re-read them and I find myself pondering the depth of the reality to which they point. In one book that I read, the author quoted these two verses as an example of what karma is all about, when you think about them this is true, but this understanding of karma is very different than the pop culture ideas which are misleading and unhelpful.

The translation below is of verses 1 & 2 of the Dhammapada, taken from the new translation by Gil Fronsdal.

All experience is preceded by mind,

Led by mind,

Made by mind.

Speak or act

with a corrupted mind,

and suffering follows,

as the wagon wheeel follows the hoof of the ox.

 

All experience is preceded by mind,

Led by mind,

Made by mind.

Speak or act with a peaceful mind, and happiness follows,

Like a never-departing shadow.

The big question is what things facilitate a peaceful mind?

How often this is the case…

This is one of my favorite clips. I like this movie and I love this clip.

How many times do we have plans, that are unrealistic, plans that are stem from our desire to make things the way we want them, but aren’t thought through, or aren’t related to the way things really are?

I don’t know about you, but I resonate with this.