Thursday, January 4, 2007

Reflection (Deng Ming-Dao)

Moon above water.
Sit in solitude.
If waters are placid, the moon will be mirrored perfectly. If we still ourselves, we can mirror the divine perfectly. But if we engage solely in the frenetic activities of our daily involvements, if we seek to impose our own schemes on the natural order, and if we allow ourselves to become absorbed in self-centered views, the surface of our waters becomes turbulent. Then we cannot be receptive to Tao.

There is no effort that we can make to still ourselves. True stillness comes naturally from moments of solitude where we allow our minds to settle. Just as water seeks its own level, the mind will gravitate toward the holy. Muddy water will become clear if allowed to stand undisturbed, and so too will the mind become clear if it is allowed to be still.

Neither the water nor the moon make any effort to achieve a reflection. In the same way, meditation will be natural and immediate.
Source: 365 Tao: Daily Meditations by Deng Ming-Dao;
January 4 entry.


  1. Mindful Sir: It happens that in my daily reading of Latin I came across the lovely passage at the end of Book I. After a banquet held by Dido in honor of Aeneas, the minstrel plays his lyre, singing, asking why winter suns so rapidly fall into the sea, or "what delay stays the slowly passing nights." Scientists have ready answers, but poets find better ones.

    I'm a student of Carmelite spirituality and appreciate its proximity of spirit to your meditative being. Most enjoyable to have tripped over the threshold of your ashram.

  2. Kind Sir:

    Yours is a most beautiful offering to have, myself, tripped upon via my humble blogging activities.

    I shall retire on this windy winter's eve with my English translation, I'm afraid, of the Aeneid so as to read the passage of which you write from Book I, and perhaps carry it through with a complete read in the days to come.

    I am most pleased to have your Carmelite spirit find a suitable resting place here for those times when you are away from your own.

    May it be of some benefit, or comfort, to you, Sir. Regardless, you shall always be welcome.

    In peace,