Sunday, March 8, 2015

The ancient masters of the Way
aimed at the indiscernible
and penetrated the dark 

you would never know them 
I describe them with reluctance 
they were careful as if crossing a river in winter 
cautious as if worried about neighbors 
reserved like guests 
ephemeral like melting ice 
simple like uncarved wood 
open like a valley 
and murky like puddles 
but a puddle becomes clear 
when it's still 
and stillness becomes alive when it's roused  

those who treasure this Way
don't try to be seen
by not trying to be seen
they can hide and stay hidden 

Ts'ao Tao-chung (Taoist nun, Sung Dynasty, 960-1278) commented, “Although the ancient masters lived in the world, no one thought they were special.”
Wang Chen (T'ang dynasty military general, 809) commented, “Those who treasure the Way fit in without making a show and stay forever hidden. Hence, they don't leave any tracks.”
~ These excerpts are from The Tao Te Ching, as translated by Red Pine
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