The line art of this chapter doesn’t translate very well to an HTML page. So I deleted it for the online version. Zen doesn’t care about rules. It’s about experiencing flow.
What flows in one medium may not flow in another medium. Change for each step, flow in a way that is graceful and not forced in life. The very flow of Zen demands I change this chapter to fit this moment rather than copy a past moment that is not relevant for now.
We often try to force into our heart flows that will hurt us.
Adapt, Change and Evolve and let your heart be true to your creative nature.
To freely grow from the ember inside…
Unfolding from inner wellsprings of the soul. Always remember the heart is the center of a Taoist Zen Garden.
- I like to ask Questions
- But not for answers
- I like to ask Questions that:
- Cause a person to Pause
- I like to ask Questions that:
- But not for answers
It’s never about the answer.
Riddles and Koans, well they suck.
- Simply because people mistake an answer to be the goal.
While I love Koans for the enjoyable opportunity of refusing to provide a proper answer: which is always the proper answer. It’s just the way I view the world.
And the point?
Well, the secret (not that it’s a secret, it’s more a matter that many people refuse to accept a proper answer of having no answer) is that:
The Tao is Within the pause
Zen is a path within the moment
of perfectly sliding into that pause
In this I ask questions. Always asking questions to others, always posing contradictory views and twisting the words. It’s fun to see if I can assist or watch a person hit the point of: Pause.
I never am trying to be right or to get to an answer when I ask these questions of others or even to myself.
- Strange I even do this to myself.
- I never even answer my own questions.
- As I hit that place of pause and then find… everything.
Let’s have a Zen moment for a moment…
How Does a Zen Moment Teach Taoism?
Then the applied human teachings get more complicated such as action/inaction or working with potential.
People being people are complicated, so people create wonderfully complicated practices to match our reflection of the world. As a result, Taoism does have many practices that take a lifetime to master if you so desire it. Understand that these practices don’t make you a Taoist. Rather: it’s how you explore any practice that makes you a Taoist.
So let’s spin around back to core principles. In a judgment, a Taoist should be open-minded in perspective. We live in a fantastic world with many teachings. A Taoist always learns from everything, our own mistakes, our own steps ahead, from others, from nature, other teachings, and even a Zen moment. We use it all and match it to our essence to assist how we move ahead with our essence. This, in part, is what we refer to when we say follow the heart. If you look at Taoist writings, you will find references from many angles of human experience.
So back to this quote: “When you reach the top, keep climbing.”
It does apply directly to us. A Taoist climbs the mountain and never stops exploring even upon reaching the top. Oh, sure, we will rest and enjoy a zen moment on the top of any peak we climb. However, being human and alive, we will also continue to live and explore. Even to climb spiritually and from other angles once reaching the top.
Let’s examine various practices in the world to see how they look at this Zen moment from their perspective.
A Christian: will climb the mountain.. to get closer to god. So they keep climbing beyond the physical mountain towards the spiritual side of finding God.
A Buddhist: will climb that mountain to release the human desires of defining themselves to a destination or accomplishment. They keep climbing since there still are some attachments to release (just the idea of it being the top is an attachment).
A Taoist: will climb the mountain because they find it in their nature to climb. A Taoist climbs because it is in their essence to do so. That in itself is enough of a reason. The point isn’t “the climbing of the mountain” at all; the point was to experience life itself *** in the climbing ***. Once there, since it was in that Taoist’s nature to climb, it means a Taoist will continue to explore their essence and climb to the places beyond.
So the point is this: To learn Taoism: is to be open to all the lessons around you, that help you live more gracefully to your essence.
Right now, in the modern lifestyle, we are bombarded with constant information, quotes, pictures, wisdom snippets all flying about so fast, it’s easy to turn it all off.
In a strange, amazing way, we live in a Twitter blizzard factory of zen moments and insightful ideas, which can be quite eye-opening. If you take the time to ponder.. what does this mean.. relative to one’s lifestyle?
In most other practices, you go to the school/monastery to find the teachings.
In Taoism, the teachings come to us.
It is more a question: Are you open to hearing the lesson and embracing each Zen moment as a gift?
*** If so ***
Then are you at a point in life to implement what you just learned?
** If so ***
Then do so.
All too many people rush on and miss the moments that make up a life. So take some advice and pause into every Zen Moment that comes your way; it will expand your life in many ways. To do so is the Taoist way, and in that, you will also discover Tao.
The lines of a Zen Garden
Follow the growth of your life.
Yet also remember to yield.
one must bend
in the floating world
snow on the bamboo
Go to the pine if you want to learn about the pine,
or to the bamboo if you want to learn about the bamboo.
In doing so, you must leave your subjective preoccupation with yourself.
Otherwise you impose yourself on the object and do not learn.
For the individual trained in the practice of Zen meditation,
this state of mind is what he works at constantly,
not only in sitting meditation, but in his daily activities.
Zen has roots within Chan Buddhism which in turn was influenced by Taoism. So as a Taoist I find Zen practice to be refreshing in its nature. Within Zen, the concept of the Zen Garden leaves me most at peace. As a Taoist I consider every moment of my life is within a vast Zen Garden. Watching the world moving within lines of motion and forms of empty space. For myself, every moment is spent in meditation and awareness as I see mother earth as a complete Zen Garden.
The West atomizes everything into distinct realms and subjects for purpose of the ego to control. Taoism instead drops the ego and teaches methods on how to integrate all aspects of life into a complete experience.
If one truly desires to learn Taoism,
then practice embracing the world itself as a Zen Garden.