Ancient Teachers

Tao Te Ching – Chapter 65


The great teachers of this path taught with humble simplicity.
No cathedrals, no books, no ado at all.
Just one person talking to another about ordinary life.

Today the experts babble about everything under the sun,
seeking to gather crowds and control circumstances by their clever words.
Everyone is cheated.

We are truly blessed only by one
who teaches from the heart.
This one reveals the secrets of the universe:
how all forms and all beings express the power of the Tao
by the fullness of their life, and then return to their source.

The heart of our teaching
is to live in fullness
and return in joy.



At this point in my life I am being taught by the most amazing teachers. There is a massive Pine at the corner of the field. After the death of my mother, my father used to sit under it and rest, think, and perhaps pray. That was forty years ago and the Pine was a tall mature tree then. I call it “Grandfather” and turn to it each morning as I step out into the cold air. This morning the sky was filled with stars, the Milky Way stretched across the vault, and Grandfather stood above all the other trees and seemed part of both Earth and Heaven.

Just a mile to the east, Black Butte, an ancient volcanic pyramid, looms over the landscape and speaks to me of patience and courage, offering to heal me of life-long fears. Hidden from immediate view behind Black Butte is Mount Shasta herself, a teacher of lessons so ancient and powerful that I can often only stand in awe.

Such were the teachers of my ancient ancestors, imparting deep wisdom of how to live on this planet and within this mysterious Cosmos. I’m afraid we have turned to the folly of a much more shallow understanding of ourselves and our place in the Tao. But the Old Ones remain willing to speak whenever we decide to take the time to listen. I’m going to pay special attention today.

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