Sages teach that arriving at the inner place of freedom is not something that you should wait to discover some time in the future, but is most enjoyable to start exploring right here and now. When you pick up a spiritual book it is a desire to know that about you that is the source of inner peace and freedom the desire for which is why you picked up the book in the first place. Elaborate philosophical systems have been devised by hard working deep thinking people to rationalize and deal with the suffering of human beings. Sages teach something completely different. Living the Way of the Tao is called going through the mysterious pass because it is a gateway to explore that in us that is indefinable, inexpressible, and limitless. If you have no sense of that about you than it is high time you started living and being a sage yourself. If you already have an affinity for or a deep experience of this way of being then learning to live by it fully in taoism is called "The Return" because it is a return to the essential nature of Self; our true being.
.Living the Way is not any sort of religious system but is Life Science 101, it is in learning how to cut through mental confusion, right here and now, to the place of the heart. To get to know that in us in a practical way that opens your mind to the limitlessness of your own true self and to the direct experience of inner peace that is our true nature. Our true nature is not something out of our reach or rare and mystical, though it is the most priceless and valuable unquantifiably quintessential treasure. It is common and practical. it is experienced by everyone every day but is clouded over by so much negative mental conditioning that it is not usually seen for what it is. Being open to changing your life totally and completely to allow for the realization of the Tao to fill your life while at the same time living a normal life as you most enjoy living it is the essence of living the Way.
If you want to realize the truth about yourself it is essential that you should practice from where you want to end up:. Do you want to end up free and at ease and happy and at peace within yourself? Than you have to look to what it is in you that is the source of that experience right here and now. When you are feeling happy. What is that? Why does it go away? What brings it on? What is that in you that is called happiness or peace and what is itís source? Rather than take it for granted as something that comes and goes, instead try to discover that in you that is the foundation of happiness and build your spiritual life on that. Sages teach that your own self is the Tao; It is that which is the real source of inner peace and happiness. Discovering it and learning to live by it is living and realizing the Tao.
The reason you have to clear your current beliefs about it to see this is because it is other than what you think (Although as you do go deeper into it you discover that it is inclusive of all that you think but never limited by it) . If you approach it as a thinking being you are bound to get lost in what you think about it rather than what it is. It is in this realization of the limited nature of intellectual thought that real knowledge begins to shine through the clutter of intellectual and conceptual confusion that is the ego. Western thought wants to make the ego a monster that must be tamed and kept under control so that it doesnít cause undue trouble and your bad tendencies donít overrule your good tendencies. This psychological balancing act is like putting a band aid on a gaping wound that requires stitches.. If you let a mental wound fester, it will continue to bother you and become more painful. Conceptual surgery is the Way of the Tao. The Way of the Tao is to cut right through self limiting conceptual thoughts to that in us which is the source of all ideas about it. If you take this to be an intellectual endeavor you will find yourself validating or negating, vacillating asserting or denying your ideas or trying to replace them with other ideas ad infinitum. With no end in sight. Libraries are full of religious and philosophical systems like this.
The highest non-dual teachings of the Sages teaches that the hall of mirrors called the ego is just that, a hall of mirrors. There is a Vedic story about a Dog that wonders into a hall of mirrors. The dog not being able to discriminate between what is true and what is perceived as true,in the hall of mirrors, sees a dog and starts barking at it, which confronts the dog with countless reflections of itself; countless snarling, barking dogs growling and angry. and the more the dog barks the more the other dogs bark back until the poor dog drops dead of fright Most people spend their lives responding to the confusion and fears in their own mind, like this, in ways that do not serve them well and then wonder why life is so difficult and they are so unhappy. Or they find a way to bandage their emotional wounds temporarily never finding any kind of real solution to the problem of their own suffering, unhappiness and confusion.
As the saying goes, if you keep doing what you have always done you will keep getting what you have always got. Living the Tao is common sense like this. But learning how not to do that is not intellectual it is in going beyond what you think to what is innately free of thought and things at all times. To be truly free you donít have to learn to think any certain way. You cannot think yourself out of the mental chatter box of your mind, to go beyond it, instead you have to get that you have to go beyond all ideas including the idea you have about there being or not being a box you are in or that you have to think outside of. You have to go beyond the dualistic notions of the mind. Plain and simple, to see this.
You have to see that nothing defines, limits or can bind or confine you, ever in any way. No thought can do that. Our true being is limitless and free regardless of what appears in your mind or in the world. It is in discovering experientially what is in you that is always free and unchanged by what you think and experience in life. That is living and realizing the Tao, our true nature.
Whatever you might thinking about this right now, go beyond it to what is ever present and indefinable by the mind and you are that. Looking into that which is constant and unaffected by what you think, do and go through in daily life, in Taoism, is called knowing or being the constant. Meditate on that which is the ever present silence and peace that abides in the heart, that is always there if you look for it discerningly and deeply, that is timeless and eternal in you and that is the very source of happiness and learn to live by it. Discover that within you and nothing else is needed
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"The Tao is basically utterly open. Utter openeness has no substance. It ends in endlessness, begins in beginninglessnes".
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