November 28, 2022

The Tao Is Close

How elegant is the morning sun
Shining on the rafters and eaves.

How cool are the terrace and pond after the rain.

I burn incense to break the deep silence,


Drink the spring water and relax in joy.

When the mind is at ease, and spirit is at peace,

Understanding is gained.

There is nothing left to comprehend.

Who can say that the realm of Tao is far from us?

How tranquil it is

Like the beginning of Heaven and Earth.

- Ni Tsan (1301-1374)

Consumerism teaches us that everything we are searching for can be found in the marketplace. For the right price. 

That couldn't be more wrong. It is the exact opposite.

Most traditions teach us that we already possess everything we need to find the answers we are looking for.

They teach that everything we are searching for can be found within ourselves. 

It is already there, and nothing needs to be bought. Nothing.

Simplicity is one of the first lessons that must be learned on our spiritual journey. 

Living simply reduces distractions. It makes space for the silence and stillness required to explore that scary place, our inner space.

A consumer society is so threatened by consumers turning into contemplatives that it makes up special slags for the pursuit of exploring our minds and becoming aware.

Vested interests tell us it is "navel gazing", or "sitting around singing Kumbaya", even though both of these would be better than the sanctioned activity of filling ones house (and mind) with clutter.

Or they tell us to get back to "the real world", which would be laughable if it weren't so tragically fake. 

The message is clear: 

"That's dumb. Get thee back into thy marketplace... 

and make us rich."

The Way is not something that can be bought or sold. No one owns it.

It's not somewhere else, and we don't need to get on a jet plane immediately to go find it. 

The answers will not be found through acquiring more stuff. 

We must look somewhere else. How about the place teachers and sages have been recommending for thousands of years? 

Our questions will be answered in that space right between our ears.

But only if we can find the simple, minimal, still, and quiet space to calm our distracted consumer-trained minds.

Become totally empty

Quiet the restlessness of the mind

Only then will you witness everything

unfolding from emptiness …

Be still

Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity     
                             - Lao Tzu



  1. Anonymous11/30/2022

    weird question, how come none of your replies/comments are dated? They only say stuff like "11:35 AM"

    1. Anonymous11/30/2022

      Fixed that for you.

      - Gregg


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