To know Tao

by Loy Ching-Yuen

English version by Thomas Cleary
Original Language Chinese

To know Tao
and still the mind.
Knowledge comes with perseverance.

The Way is neither full nor empty;
a modest and quiet nature understands this.
The empty vessel, the uncarved block;
nothing is more mysterious.

When enlightenment arrives
don't talk too much about it;
just live it in your own way.
With humility and depth, rewards come naturally.

The fragrance of blossoms soon passes;
the ripeness of fruit is gone in a twinkling.
Our time in this world is so short,
better to avoid regret:
Miss no opportunity to savor the ineffable.

Like a golden beacon signaling on a moonless night,
Tao guides our passage through this transitory realm.
In moments of darkness and pain
remember all is cyclical.
Sit quietly behind your wooden door:
Spring will come again.

-- from The Essential Mystics: Selections from the World's Great Wisdom Traditions, Edited by Andrew Harvey

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Recommended Books: Loy Ching-Yuen

The Essential Mystics: Selections from the World's Great Wisdom Traditions The Book of the Heart: Embracing the Tao The Supreme Way: Inner Teachings of the Southern Mountain Tao

To know Tao