Tao Te Ching – Chapter 71


If we pretend to be aware
but do not recognize
our own suffering,
we remain ignorant.

The fundamental joy of this path is the awareness
of the suffering caused by our own mind.
Knowing its origin,
we know its ending.
It’s all here in my mind this morning – joy and suffering mixed. First a thought of peace and contentment; then a contrary thought of what’s “wrong” and needs fixing. Does it have to be this way? Does every thought of joy have to be negated by a counter-voice of how it’s wrong, or can go wrong? I don’t believe so. I believe that the Natural Mind, or Tao Mind, of contentment and joy exists below and beyond this dualistic dance. The practice of the day; actually the practice of the moment, is to keep my attention on this deeper Awareness.

Things in the outer world still need my notice and care, but they don’t have to be the bedrock of my attention. Awareness of the depth of existence can come to be a continuous flow in my life and the details can float on top of this flow, handled with ease and without strain. The question today is: What will be the focus of my attention? Can I keep it resting in Awareness and let the rest dance about without causing me anxiety or discontent?

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