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Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Root of All Things - Chuang Tzu


The non-action of the wise man is not inaction.
It is not studied.  It is not shaken by anything.
The sage is quiet because he is not moved,
Not because he wills to be quiet.
Still water is like glass.
You can look in it and see the bristles on your chin.
It is a perfect level;
A carpenter could use it.
If water is so clear, so level,
How much more the spirit of man?
The heart of the wise man is tranquil.
It is the mirror of heaven and earth.
The glass [mirror] of everything.
Emptiness, stillness, tranquility, tastelessness,
Silence, non-action: this is the level of heaven and earth.
This is the perfect Tao.  Wise men find here
Their resting place.
Resting, they are empty.

From emptiness comes the unconditioned.
From this, the conditioned, the individual things.
So from the sage's emptiness, stillness arises:
From stillness, action.  From action, attainment.
From their stillness comes their non-action,
which is also action, which is, therefore, their attainment.
For stillness is joy.  Joy is free from care.
Joy does all things without concern:
For emptiness, stillness, tranquility, tastelessness,
Silence, and non-action
Are the root of all things.


translation by Thomas Merton

with thanks to The Beauty We Love!


4 comments:

  1. How beautiful to read this on a rainy morning. Thanks so much for sharing. I hope your weekend is peaceful.

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  2. Thanks - and hope you are sleeping better :)

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  3. Still dealing with my thoughts keeping me awake in the middle of the night. But as a retiree I get to nap or sleep late sometimes. Thanks for your good wishes.

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    Replies
    1. Me too:) My mind hasn't become that still pond yet :)

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