Teachings From The Tao Te Ching: Speaking Truly

Tiger

“Too much talking

Brings about ruin

Better to abide by

The Middle way”

Excessive talking is ruinous, because words cannot express The Way – thus, an inordinate attachment to them misdirects us from The Tao, which, when it speaks, speaks only silently. Speech is inherently deceptive. It enables us to create truths about ourselves that simply don’t exist. How often do you say things in a conversation that are absolutely meaningless to you, but which you say anyway to abide by the rigid preconceptions inherent in social intercourse? How often do your heart and your words completely co-exist? If many of us were asked to speak only when we had something truly meaningful to say, we would either find ourselves mostly silent, or be wrestling with an attempt to express an infinite fund of knowledge we know we can never put into words.

So, one along The Way should speak only when they have something purposeful to say, avoiding meaningless dialogue, words spoken only to pass the time, or fill up space. Words spoken without meaning are tremendous insults – it is throwing shit on the perfect body of silence. A wasteful expenditure of energy, no worse than eating when you’re not hungry, having sex out of habit instead of love, buying what you don’t need, or spending time actively pursuing things you know cause harm to everyone involved.

Abiding by The Middle Way, The Sage speaks when he needs to, does what he needs to, and then stops once he’s fulfilled his purpose. Then he rests, and conserves his energy through keeping his mind empty, so that he will be fully prepared for the next time The Way calls upon him to act or teach.

 

TAO TE CHING 31

Lu-Zhishen-Water-Margin-650

Even beautiful weapons

And elegant soldiers

Are tools of misfortune

Beings are likely to loathe them

Therefore, The Taoist

Does not dwell with them

The Sage ruler

Honours the left at home

Favours the right in war

Weapons and soldiers

Are tools of misfortune

When you cannot avoid using them

Detached tranquillity makes for the best policy

Though you may outdo your opponent

Do not delight in it

For those who delight in this

Delight in slaying others

And those who delight in slaying others

Will never be able to obtain

Their wishes in the world

Occurrences of fortune

Honour the left

Occurrences of sorrow

Favour the right

The second in command

Occupies the left

The supreme commander

Occupies the right

As in a funeral ceremony

Kill many men

And you will grieve, weep,

And suffer accordingly

Thus, a military victory

Is to be treated

As a funeral ceremony

POEM: The Ecstasy of Truth

white tara

Tara

When I chant you name

All beings in all realms

Are greatly pleased

The green energy of the earth

Rises up to engulf me

And the Isis of long ago

Becomes very present indeed

My womb opens up

As a heavenly lotus

Dispersing rainbow pollen

To all and sundry

I dance in the streets of India

My see-through sarong

Exposing my verdant limbs

My vagina is the flower

That all beings like to kiss

Thorns cannot be found here anymore

In the ecstatic dance of truth

Visions of Sisyphus

sisyphusjpg

After note: Also had an image of a man pushing a boulder up the side of a very pointed Himalayan mountain. However, once he reached the pinnacle, the boulder fell down the other side, and he flew up into space. This throws some interesting light on the legend of Sisyphus as a teaching about reincarnation. We incarnate into lives to learn, to become stronger, kinder, and increase our spiritual power and integrity. However, once we reach our climax, and we achieve much, we crumble and die, and are cast into another body, and thus, have to start the cycle all over again, right from the very bottom. It is enough to master the teachings of the Tao & and Dharma in one life time – but to have to return to it again and again, right from the bottom – what an endeavour!

This is the why the understanding of past lives is so useful in eastern countries. Because their reality is widely recognized, beings who are reincarnations or emanations of great teachers of holy men become recognized early on, and are able, with special training, to continue right from where they left off. One of these beings, reborn in the west, however, has to deal with a whole new set of obstacles – the pathologization of spirituality and mystical experiences in our culture – still pervasive literalist Christian dogma and superstition – and the quest to discover teachings which are foreign and opposed to our culture, and not very easy to come across.

However, a truly motivated spirit will always have the integrity to return to their original nature, regardless of the depravity of the society in which they find themselves, and The Great Spirit will orchestrate things so that all the right lessons, teachers, and experiences, fall into their path. Everything is well-taken care of. We just have to do our best, and not submit to ignorance and defeat.

Wrathful Deity Channeled – The Shaman’s Power

vajravetali

Sat down to meditate. Prayed and invoked a lot of different deities. I used Tara’s mantra, and visualized myself as one of her wrathful aspects, holding a lotus flower containing a spinning dharma wheel, seated on a moon disk in a lotus flower, Amitabha on my crown, and surrounded by a coronal wreath of fire.

As the feeling stabilized, I focused on her feminine attributes, channelling powerful energy through my imaginal vagina, and expanding my breasts to feed all the living, visualizing myself in consort with an appropriate male partner, and then switching it around, so that I was also the male, with a Vajravetali like figure.  Indestructible corpse – what a beautiful name! Channelling the whirling energy between us up through our crowns and out of the head into a womb of power above.

The channelled chanting starts quite early, barely ten minutes into the meditation – possibly the quickest arising yet. It is a short, repetitive mantra, most likely Tibetan, and, at first, starts out in just a muttered whisper, before gradually building in volume as the energetic sensations arise with it. It is easily the most demonstrably wrathful spirit I have ever channeled – my body swings, writhes and contorts rhythmically and pendulously with intensity and purpose, stretching and adapting my body in all sorts of unusual ways. No doubt, a fool would consider such an experience to be demonic possession, instead of a powerful, yet volatile, healing and awakening. It latter switches to a secondary mantra, which also sounds Tibetan. In general, the performance my body gives reminds me a lot of the dancing engaged in by the Tibetan oracles, who also rely mostly on wrathful deities for oracles, particularly Yamantaka.

The visions are of many wrathful spirits, definitely Yamantaka, and other blue, flaming, horned beings, possibly Sipe Gyalmo (who I invoked) and other Bon deities. At one point, I can feel these horns growing out of my head, and see a multiplicity of Yamantakas dancing upon the hazardous peaks of the Himalayas, raging with joy and power.

It feels like a definite Kundalini experience. There is a huge onrush of energy flowing through my lower three chakras, particularly my root and sexual chakras. I have not felt such a surge of sexual and Shakti prana for quite a long time – I don’t think any of them have ever been quite as intense, yet purely channeled, as this. It rises up into my imaginary womb, hopefully helping to burn away the karmic traces of sadness and grief that have become trapped there.

It strikes me that one of the reason the Vajrayana and Dzogchen traditions of Tibet are so powerful is because, though Buddhist, they are still essentially shamanistic in nature. Most of the Shamanistic traditions in the world have been utterly slaughtered, forgotten, or destroyed. Yet, the Bon and Buddhist traditions of Tibet are still being amazingly preserved and practiced to this day; and, with every passing day, more and more of its powerful, ancient secrets are being revealed and shared with the world at large. It is the greatest, greatest of gifts.

The reason it is so powerful is because of this dynamic coupling of the carefully codified wisdom and compassion of the Buddha Dharma, mingled with the natural, mystical, ritualized wildness of the Shamanistic Bon religion, tamed and wielded to perfection by Padmasambhava. Shamanism is always so powerful because it taps directly, and spontaneously, into the most powerful and ancestral of energies, without any remote requirement for intellectualism or even understanding. The shaman can do a lot of what he does simply because he does not understand, or even need to, in order to do it. Such a state of affairs is a puzzle to the ignorant, Western mind, which feels like it needs to grasp, explain, and intellectually reduce everything, before it can finally accept it and make use of it; rejecting everything that is misunderstood, even if it clearly and demonstrably works.

Of course, the shaman’s Way is not for everyone. It require complete grounding, courage, and fearlessness – the willingness to become repeatedly insane on a regular basis. Fortunately, for me, I have longed for insanity ever since I was a child, and so am perfectly suited to the role – especially as it is one that I have taken on in many, many lives. I am so grateful to have this part of myself reawakened, and look forward to sharing it with the rest of the world, to the benefit of all.

OM AH HUM!

 

POEM: Pumpkin Carriage

pumpkin carriage

It is the responsibility of the lover

To always love

To love gently

Fiercely

Ferociously

To love in sorrow

And to love in joy

To love in exultation

And in the very depths

Of hopeless despair

I found your silhouette

On the marble steps

I chased you home

In your pumpkin carriage

But as I ran

I discovered

I was the pumpkin,

The carriage,

The driver,

And the magic spell

That had made it so

Can I always

Enclose you in my heart?

And be the ivy

That wends around your ankles?

Dream Diary: Difficulty Reaching The Other Shore

lost in the city

Didn’t sleep much last night, so, naturally, the dreams were not as epic in proportion as usual. I was in a city, London, and with another companion (male) in tow, trying to get to a relative’s house, or somewhere else where we were intending to stay. It was quite late already, and I think both of us were beginning to get concerned, as neither of us really had any idea of where we were going. I think he was hoping to rely on me, and I was hoping to rely upon him, with disastrous results!

We stop at a large building, perhaps a small university, art gallery, or college campus for a brief spell, mostly plain brickwork, looking into dull glass cabinets, talking to other people.

It is even darker once we leave, and we are really starting to get worried now. He wants me to call my friend/relative for directions, but I feel reluctant to do so, and would rather he did it, or that we would simply try and get to our bivouac through our own intuition. We know the relative’s house is in a square – a closed community based on some film – perhaps, Stars Wars or Harry Potter. At one point, it seems the only way of moving forward is to get on a freighter ostensibly carrying people over the water to the other side. My companion rushes to climb aboard. But I perceive that the bottom of the boat is flooded with water, and do not get on, thinking this to be a dangerous passage. To my knowledge, we never reach our destination.

Interpretation: This seems to ratify what the I Ching said in my last divination – it is advisable not to go anywhere, and to be correct in all my ventures!

As yet another city dream, it seems likely I may be finding myself in one again soon, for some purpose or other. Also complexity – the confusion of being in large, complex, unknown circumstances – a melting pot of different thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Uncertain about the art gallery/college, though, learning, as always, is to be expected.

The darkness and cold suggests ignorance, and the urgency of wanting to find refuge within it, but being too ignorant and non-plussed to know how to do so! Conflict between methods – part of me wants to be exceedingly direct and is methodical in pursuit of this aim. The other is uncomfortable with this, not wanting to interact or inconvenience others. Slightly more patient, but still feeling worried, he wants to be slower, more intuitive, and let things play out naturally. The gated community is square – stable and balanced – a refuge in the dark complexity of the city – but not easy of access – such stability and security is not always easy to map out or find, especially in unfamiliar circumstances. Yearning for support and mutuality.

The get there, we have to cross a river – The Great River mentioned in the I Ching. There is a passage carrying lots of people across, but it is water-logged and dangerous – one is gradually being overwhelmed by emotion and potentially overcome by the immensity of life. For now, it is simply not worth the risk – it is not time to cross the river. In keeping with the oracle, progress is difficult, and it is best to wait in caution and rectitude, instead of violently forging on ahead – especially when one is not sure of where one is forging ahead too! To abide in patience and wait in darkness – that seems to be the obvious meaning to the dream.

 

 

 

Tao Te Ching Commentary: Bellows of Heaven

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“The space between

Heaven and Earth

Is like a bellows

Empty yet inexhaustible

Each motion pouring out

More and more”

Moving away from impartiality – (which could be called the ‘emptiness of wisdom’) – Lao Tzu returns to the inherent emptiness of all things. Like a bellows, it is this inherent emptiness that enables the universe to create continually, always producing more and more. Flutes or saxophones are only able to make music because they are hollow inside. We are only able to speak and breathe thanks to the hollows and cavities within our bodies which enable resonance. If we were nothing but solid matter, we would die in an instant, destroyed by the rigidity of our own density. Even our bones are largely hollow, filled with spaces, and comb-like cavities. If they were nothing but pure calcium, and devoid of space, they would break as easily as a brittle branch, incapable of sustaining any shock or impact.

So, space leaves room for creation, like the blankness of a canvas, or the hollowness of a womb. Space is the essential mystery behind all creation. To try and be rid of it would be to pour cement into all your orifices. Death is density – life is space.

TAO TE CHING 32

chin

The eternal Tao has no name

Though simple and subtle

No one below Heaven can subjugate it

If kings and rulers would abide by it

All beings would naturally yield to them

Heaven and earth united together

Would drip sweet dew accordingly

Men would naturally get along

Without laws to order them

At first regulations and institutions

Exist only in name

But keep on naming

And existence is exhausted!

Truly, in following things

We must perceive their limits

And know when to cease

Knowing when to cease

And danger is averted

In the same way

Tao’s presence in All Below Heaven

Is like rivulets and streams

Flowing into rivers and seas

POEM: Barren

barren

It is a sorrow beyond grief

That a womb can also be a tomb

To think I’ve carried you around

After all these years

A stillborn foetus

The graveyard in my belly

Though you’ve continued to

Live and live

What a foolish mother I’ve been

To never cease

Cradling this corpse

Just to take after Earth

And be another mother

Was my only ambition

But my womb was closed up

Obstructed by diamonds

My amniotic fluid had congealed

And my umbilical cord

A noose

It was never intended to be

I still feel

The pain in my kidneys

That frozen wellspring of tears

Just beginning to thaw

You felt desolate

As though the forces of the universe

Had let you down

I howled, I screamed, I wailed,

I sang the Shaman’s song

And frantically chanted

All the scripture I could remember

But you were inconsolable

And the pain seems never-ending

An ocean of agonized experience

I must filter through

This fragile being

Until I am finally able

To move on

I don’t know if you can comprehend

What it is that I’m going through

But this shipwreck

Will rise to the surface

Before the aeon is through