July 12, 2010

Class returned to PCYH this week.  A joyous homecoming.  PCYH holds so many great memories. We held the first Devi Yoga unTraining here. And before that, so many incredible workshops and retreats. The incomparable Devi Raves happened here. Along with Bliss Cafe and outdoor fire ceremonies. It is very good to be back.

Here’s this week’s reading:

Express yourself completely,
then keep quiet.
Be like the forces of nature:
when it blows, there is only wind;
when it rains, there is only rain;
when the clouds pass, the sun shines through.

If you open yourself to the Tao,
you are at one with the Tao
and you can embody it completely.
If you open yourself to insight,
you are at one with insight,
and you can use it completely.
If you open yourself to loss,
you are at one with loss
and you can accept it completely.

Open yourself to the Tao,
then trust your natural responses;
and everything will fall into place.

The Tao Te Ching is truly a sublime text. It expresses the most profound with utter simplicity and ease.  What it doesn’t do though is offer step-by-step instructions for how one actually opens to the Tao.  It’s like an impressionistic painting. We can sense the truth pulsing through the lines. We can feel uplifted as we read. And in all of that, there is opening into the vast open space called Tao.   However, if we want a hands-on guide, I suspect Patanjali-Yoga-Sutra is the text to go to. It’s offers more of a paint-by-numbers approach. And I don’t mean that in a flip way. It’s one of the most concise and essential collections of practical and experiential psychology I’ve ever encountered.  Whereas Tao Te Ching inspires us to open into our Tao nature, Patanjali explains exactly how to do this.  Here are few sutras from the first chapter. I read these at class to complement the main reading. At this point, I’m more interested in showing parallels between what Tao Te Ching calls Tao and Yoga calls Self.  We’ll be diving into this text when we complete our journey through the Tao Te Ching.

Yoga is experienced in that mind which has ceased to identify itself with its vacillating waves of perception
[aka thoughts].

When this happens, then the Seer is revealed, resting in its own essential nature, and one realizes the True Self.

1, 48
Therein dwells a luminous wisdom that upholds the essence of truth.

When the mind becomes free from obstruction, all vacillations cease, and the mind becomes absorbed into spirit…. Thus a new mind is born of this wisdom….

I couldn’t leave off these readings without quoting a few lines from Shankaracharya’s  Six Stanzas on Salvation.  The Tao Te Ching suggests, Patanjali-Yoga-Sutra advises, and Shankaracharya is simply there:

Shankaracharya Six Stanzas on Salvation

I am neither the conscious nor the unconscious mind, neither intelligence nor ego, neither the ears nor the tongue not the senses of smell and sight, neither either nor air nor fire nor water nor earth, I am consciousness and bliss. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

I am without thought, without form. I am all-pervasive, I am everywhere, yet I am beyond all senses. I am neither detachment nor salvation nor anything that could be measured. I am consciousness and bliss. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

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