homage to Lao Tzu

April 16, 2013  •  35 Comments

"Homage to Lao Tzu", 12"x16", watersoluble oil on wood, 2013 Bring the mind home. Back to its primordial state. Where it once experienced life in its constant unfolding. Moment by moment. Openly, non-judgmentally. Life was mysterious in this place. There was no unwarranted fear, rather fearlessness… in the non-aggressive sense. Gentleness, stillness. To see the sun for the first time. Do you recall? How open the mind, the heart was at one time. How we existed in the spaciousness of the present at one time. Deeply rooted in true reality, free from suffering. Excited and joyful. Not yet attached to an intellect that would have us drift ever so far from here eventually. This place paradoxically, we come to spend our adult live trying to re-create outside of ourselves, only to find ourselves caught in a circle of exhaustingly fleeting happiness and suffering. We get lost in the exchanging of identities, building new ones when old ones are dissolved. Looking for happiness in titles, relationships, careers, objects, etc. And by the end, still having no idea who we really are. There are two positions to the mind, inner and outer. The bleak experience described is the outer position. It is looking for happiness outside of one's self. It is the root of all of our suffering, because isn't it from the mind that all happiness and suffering exists? The outer position gives birth to desire, and we live in a distortion of reality where we attach to the manifestation of these desires. But without an understanding of the inner position, one is headed for disaster. For to understand the inner position is to understand the true nature of mind. And to understand this is to understand one's relationship with all things outside of one's self. The universe. It is to understand the root of all our happiness, all our suffering. It is to understand the true nature of reality itself. Enlightenment. It is the knowledge behind the learned knowledge. For to understand the true nature, one experiences the world as it is, and lives fully in it. Harmoniously. Body, mind, nature, the universe… all in alignment with one another. One only need go to nature itself to see this interdependent relationship existing among all things as one. The weather, the trees, animals, insects, etc. One can see the constancy of things manifesting, others things withdrawing. And from here we can see our lives reflected in this nature. And yet somehow we live thru the conception that we are an acceptation to any of this. That we are separate. And we build our cocoons living outside of all things. Unhappy, confused in our hearts. Anything that goes against nature will be destroyed. If one is questioning the reality of any moment, controlling, manipulating, acting with aggression towards it. One is experiencing an opinion of it. To fundamentally experience anything, one need simply to empty one's self. Of concepts, ideas, desire, etc. Behind this lay the unaltered state of being, the state from which we all came into the world. Where life was experienced unconditionally, not categorizing the moment as good so as to be invited, or bad as to be avoided. We existed from the source of all things. From the source from which all things come from, and all things return to. The mysteries, and the manifestations. And it is unfortunate as adults how we grow to fear this space. Its unpredictable, spontaneous, empty, vast nature. Vast like space itself with its infinite black sky holding galaxies, planets, and stars. We close our minds, our hearts and live in forgetfulness. Not even aware of the vastness of the blue sky above our heads. We build walls and a roof to contain ourselves and call this home our reality. And we are threatened by anything that knocks on the door uninvited. But nature is constancy and in the nature of this impermanence will the roof of our mind be blown off, the walls destroyed time and time again. And in this reoccurring transition, does the opportunity present itself to leave home and go within. To return to the source. To our primordial nature where there is no confusion, only contentment. Our deepest treasure. To that state where we shined bright like the radiant sun casting our glow on the earth itself. Walked tall and erect like the mountains. Took flight and flew in the infinite sky like the lightest bird, lived in harmony with the universe like a tree growing from a seed with its roots planted deep in the rich soft soil of the earth. Nurtured by rays of light and drops of rain absorbed in our leaves, not afraid of the insects and animals that found a home in our nature. And even when strong winds blew swaying us unexpectedly and breaking our branches, we experienced the pain willingly yet not attached to it. We cried, but didn't hold onto the tears. We experienced life for all that it offered second by second. Life itself was the miracle, and the greatest give simply to live in it. And though the dark clouds of ignorance had taken form, one need only to look deeply to re-discover what once was there, has always been there, will always be there. Before we had existed, and even when we are no longer here. It is the eternal source of all things… some call it the Tao.


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