Read an Excerpt
Treasure the Tao
would like to share some very useful advice for your personal cultivation.
Taoist self-cultivation is a mental discipline in which every single thought must respond only to Tao, the oneness of the universe. Do ordinary people's thoughts respond to Tao? No, because ordinary people only think about the trivialities of daily life, and then wonder why they are troubled and unhappy.
Will they ever find happiness this way? No, for there is no end to troubles in the human sphere. Even in meditation, if you review all your activities and troubles you will just keep making them recur. What is the method to achieve lasting peace and harmony in life? You must work persistently to reach the spiritual level, even if you have no experience of its existence.
Tao is the potency of the universe. It includes all Gods, all deities, all divine beings, all spirits, and all souls. This means that all things have Tao as their deep root. Anyone who embraces Tao also embraces the potency of the
Universe. To embrace Tao is to become Tao, and nothing can be beyond you,
nothing can occupy you.
In the sphere of life, individuals may die and transform into other things, but
Tao does not change, because it is the change. That which does not change into something else can only be the absolute Tao. Tao is the root of everything, but everything is not Tao. To be formed, limited, manifested, and definable is to be something; to be not limited, defined or formed is Tao.
To use your good mind to respond to trouble is a waste. It is true that the achieved ones know that nothing is beyond Tao, including the trivialities of daily life. However, they never regret anything and they also never really become attached to anything either.
So do not lose yourself in the details of life. There will always be some things in your life you do or do not like, but they are only a small aspect of your life. Life is whole; it is only by attaching yourself to the pieces that you become narrow, shallow, and partial. Do not let your life be cut into pieces by worldly attractions. Do not live for such things and you will stop segmenting yourselves.
person of Tao is a person of wholeness. He or she embraces the wholeness of
Tao, not an image of God, not one single doctrine of any spiritual path, not life, not death, not anything that occupies the mind. By harmonizing with the
Tao, you will be aligned with the universal potency.
Be a man or woman of potency, not a person who undermines their life by destructive thinking, attitudes, and behavior. Be a person who does not become a "self-robber." Tao cannot be taught to ordinary people because they keep thieves in their minds. They fasten to their ignorance and the limitations of their own self-indulgence. A person of Tao treasures only Tao and focuses only on Tao.
We presume to title ourselves as a man or woman of Tao, or a friend of Tao.
However, we are all the children of Tao. If we say we are the offspring of a certain person or family, we cut ourselves off from the great root which is
Tao. Although we came through others, they were only beings, not the source of life. In other words, unless people clearly recognize the source of their lives, they will blindly devitalize themselves by becoming
One can ask, "Is God the source?" If so, then God must have some shape.
If he is formed, then he is no different than we are; he is only one of the offspring. Tao is the final source, the unformed origin of all things. Things created can only be changed or re-formed. There is no one creator of the universe, there was no particular design or laws which existed beforehand,
there was only the primal energy. Things manifest through spontaneity.
Spontaneity is the way of living things. Rigidity is the way of death.
Man's real disaster came about when he lost his naturalness. How? He started to build an artificial conceptual world. People may ask, "If man is to be natural,
why should he even bother to wear clothes?" Actually, clothes are a natural extension of our skin. It is not the clothes that are unnatural or bad,
but excessive materialism which is unnatural. Anything is right if it is a correct expression of spontaneity. Unfortunately, people today have lost their natural spontaneity as a result of living amid the contention and rivalry of modern society.
Tao is really simple; it is people who make it complicated. They must awaken from the complications they have created for themselves and dare to live a plain and truthful natural life.