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Dao in a Nutshell

[singlepic id=209 w=400 h=800 float=right]Dao in a Nutshell

We are needed, the bodhisattvas (enlightened beings who relinquishes passing into the Pure Land until all sentient beings are freed from suffering) teach us. God/Dao/Fo is immediately with us, when judgment ceases. Zhuangzi says, in Ch. 4, “renjian shi” 人间事, “心斋坐忘“. “Fast in the heart” (ie, no selfish desires), and “sit in forgetfulness (no judgments at all), and then you will be “One with Dao” 与道合一。

The book of Genesis in the bible states almost the same thing. Adam and Eve could not stay in the Garden of Happiness, talking straight to God, when they “ate the fruit of judging good and evil.” So the moment we stop judging good and evil, we are back in Eden-paradise, the Daoists say. And when we start forgiving others, we are back in paradise too.

Patience (quiet inner awareness) attains everything, Teresa de Avila said. The book “Zen is For Everyone” (tranquil-awareness meditation) or”taza shikan” 打坐止观 teaches how to meditate in this manner. Dzogchen in Tibet, Shikan in Japan, and Daoist “Centering,” focusing in the “Lower Cinnabar field,” (the body’s center of gravity, just below the belly button, 3 inches in), teach this method.

One of my favorite stories from Chuang-tzu (Zhuangzi) is in Ch 7. “Baby Yin and baby Yang used to love to play inside Hundun, 混沌 (primordial awareness of God/Dao presence).  They felt sorry for her (i.e., Hundun female dao), ie, she had no eyes, ears, nostrils, or mouth. So each day, for seven days, they drilled a hole in Hundun (Dao/God inner presence). On the 7th day, Hundun died.” I.e., our 7 apertures, 2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 nostrils, and mouth, when used to judge or seek outer things, lead us away from God/Dao presence. So focus on Dao presence, in the belly, and stop all judging, all selfish desiring, even the desire for spiritual perfection, or heaven. Dao will be there of “herself,” waiting.

[singlepic id=2 w=370 h=370 float=right]If you look at the wood block print of the Daoist body, you will see that Spinning girl is in the belly, eternally spinning out “QI” Dao/God awareness/vital energy. Cowherd boy is in the heart, holding the Pole Star in his hands (ie, focused on the Dao as center of the heaven, and center of my life).   If her wisdom energy reaches him in the heart, then the heart of the male is filled with compassion, and the wisdom of the female Dao in the belly reaches him too.

Daosm is profound, far more than we ever expected. We must read and put into practice the Lao-tzu Dao De Jing, 老子道德经, as well as the Zhuangzi 莊子.

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3 thoughts on “Dao in a Nutshell

  1. nice article… that pieces up god/dao/fo together…
    i think you’ve got the term the wrong way round here: ”taza shikan” 打坐止观… this is supposed to be the teaching
    of dogen (1200 – 1253), a japanese zen patriarch… he wrote “shikantaza”, in kanji, this should read “只管打坐”

    1. thank you so much, for this excellent information, actually the term taza shikan or shikan taza is used by Tendai Buddhism with reference to Zhi Yi’s 560-580 work entitled “Shoshikan” (Chn. xiao zhi guan, Jpn Shoshikan, 小止觀,The Lesser samatha-Vipassyana manual) which I paraphrased under the title “Zen is for Everyone;” I think that Dogen learned it while he was a Tendai monk, before he left Hieizan, then went to China, and came back to found Soto Zen in Japan. Eiheiji still teaches a very strict form of the meditation, but the Daoist monks and nuns of Mt Wudangshan in Hubei province also teach it, an even stricter form, which suggests that focusing on the belly or “lower cinnabar field” 下丹田 which is also taught orally by Tendai and Soto, came originally from Daoist mutual influence in China, (at Mt Tiantai, Tendai)not from India, but of course much more research and thinking as well as practice are needed. I am grateful for you comments!

  2. dr. saso, thank you for pointing that out… this is interesting and worth a note… especially the change of the approach of practice from shoshikan to shikantaza… which is a leap from samskrita to asamskrita… and we need to abandon both in the end… grateful for the note…

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