"When Kingdom of Heaven sends down calamities it is still possible to escape from them; when we occasion the calamities ourselves, it is not possible any longer to live." - Confucius
We wish, we hope and we pray for all human beings in the world to live happily, in peace, and in love. That they may all have enough to eat, have a place called home, and all have the strength to face their challenges in their lives -- to live without sickness, without conflict, without harm, without fights, war or killings. We wish to see all people in this planet, irrespective of race, religion, or nationality, to live in peace and to love one another, to help eachother to make our lives on this planet that we are living, a bit more comfortable with less suffering. May our wishes, hopes and prayers come true.
The Path to Enlightenment
Simply speaking, Tao is the Universal Truth that governs all things in the universe. It is also the origin of every creation in the world. Within us it is also our Conscience, or the inborn True Self of all sentient beings. Our Conscience is also the path that will direct us back to our homeland (Heaven). Although Tao is intangible, it exists everywhere throughout the entire universe. All sentient beings are potential Buddhas because they have this inborn Self.
The word "Tao" comes from the Chinese character shown at the right, which literally means the "Way" or path that is taken by all things in nature. Tao is also the "Mother of the Universe" because it is the cosmic power that creates and dominates everything in the universe. Tao is invisible and inexhaustible by both time and space.
Tao is present everywhere: when dwelled in Heaven, it is known as the Heavenly Truth. It creates, controls, and harmonizes the universe. When dwelled on Earth, it is known as wisdom, and it controls the growth and evolution of all things. When dwelled in Man, it is known as our Conscience, the Eternal Spirit within us that controls our six senses.
In the Doctrine of the Mean, there is a verse which says, "Nothing can be separated from the Tao. For if anything is separated from Tao, it cannot be sustained for long."
Tao is Truth. It is the only road in which each and every person should tread. Those who follow this path will be like a train traveling on rails; a ship on the water, a plane soaring in the air. If a train does not travel on rails, a ship does not move on water, and a plane does not travel in the air, then there will be disasters. Similarly, man must not have selfish aims but must act according to his Conscience (Tao) by following the natural behaviors such as being filial to our parents, trustworthy with our friends, and respectful to our elders.
Although Tao is the source of man's Conscience and our Original Nature can be characterized by child-like innocence, sincerity and truthfulness, our existence and experiences in this materialistic world are slowly making us lose the connection to our Conscience. With the philosophy that "only the fittest can survive," we become obsessed with materialistic gain and compete relentlessly with one another to achieve greater fame, wealth and power. In the midst of such competitions, undesirable traits such as selfishness, dishonesty, greediness and well as feelings of jealousy, hatred, anger, distrust, etc. begin to emerge. Some may be driven to commit crimes such as theft or even murder due to the inability to resist the lures of materialism. It is indeed very sad to find more people doing things against their Conscience and not being aware that by committing such sinful deeds, they are actually creating their own disasters.
Once the Truth of Tao is learned, man can die peacefully without regret. This demonstrates the tremendous value of Truth.
Confucius said, "if we do not yet know about life, how can we know about death?"
From "An Introduction to the Fundamental Philosophy of the Heavenly Way 1". ISBN: 957-687-072-0
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The Tao Te Ching (audio book below) describes the creation myth, a state of existence before space and time. The Tao that can be described is not the eternal Tao. Tao is the mother of all creation, the mysterious feminine, from which sprang heaven and earth. Tao originates from No-thing, from which all creation originates. The all providing Tao is empty yet inexhaustible. How do we know the way of all things at the beginning? See it within you as Tao is within us all.
Tao is the great infinite force in the universe that shows the continual return of all beings back home and to Oneness. This great power is called THE TAO. Remember and understand that we all come from greatness. Therefore we attract greatness. Be still and know that I Am Greatness. We are immortal spiritual being having a temporary human experience. We are piece of the Whole and we shall act in accordance with The Wholeness of Tao.
Humanity’s pain and suffering arises from EGO. Tao can help us shed the ego and remember the Oneness of All Life. We will learn to see ourselves as everything and love ourselves as everyone. There is no separation, no “us and them”. We learn humility. Suspend our belief in opposites, by seeing ourselves in all. It is through selfless action that we will experience our own fulfillment. Trust the perfect goodness of the Tao to guide and direct us in life.
Understanding Tao will help raise our consciousness from separation to Oneness. We learn that Yin and Yang must be balance. Know muscularity while maintain femininity. By following the Tao we learn to become subtle and simple and uncomplicated. We learn to release attachment to all objects, status, people and institutions. We learn to let go of our need for more and live in a state of pure gratitude, and achieve inner peace.
Three Treasures: Opening the Heavenly Eye, Holy Hand Signal, and the five Holy Words. You will be guided toward harmony in life and nature when living in TAO and realize your divine power here on earth. This Divine Initiation opens up your Heavenly eye allowing you to see the vast illusion around you for what it is. It will allow you to communicate with Heaven, and open your awareness to the Tao. The holy hand signal allows the inner Chi to circulate and bring you into your Oneness. It invokes a sense of love for one's self and those around us, and is the pure essence of universal love. It is the physical reminder to return to our essence, to remember our inner child, and to rid ourselves of negative emotions. The five sacred words are the key to the gate of Heaven and must be inscribed upon your heart. This is the Heavenly Password. the heavenly gate to return the light and peace to your inner divine self, and help you transcend the cycle of reincarnation.
“Why formalize the bowing ritual?” as told by Ji-Gong Buddha
I (Ji-Gong Buddha) can understand that you are hindered by your karma debt that sometimes you don’t feel like to make your daily bowings, which also makes you having difficulties to comprehend the meaning of bowing/worship. However, you ought to bow daily with sincerity and devotion.
Why do we need to formalize the bowing ritual? Do you think that all Buddhas and bodhisattvas are craving for your bowings? (No) This is not what my original intent to formalize the ritual, the purpose of daily bowing is to rediscover the True Nature (or Buddha nature) of yourself and take the opportunity to repent. Don’t look down on the function of daily bowing, if you are seeking for help from heaven above, the bowings you make will work the best. Thereby, you should bow daily more often as possible. This also can clear up your karma debts gradually. Bowing is like knocking on the heavenly door, when you have no worldly desire and the mind status is so close to that of Lao-Mu/God/Buddha. The time you devoted to making the bows is giving yourself the opportunity to purify and calm your mind, and introspect and think over what you have said and done.
The daily bowing action for all Tao community members, serves the following ten purposes:
1. We all cultivate ourselves through daily life experience as a layperson (distinguished from monks/nuns or ascetic hermits). Then ideology of Tao and daily life will emerge as one. This is the first step to improve ourselves as a Tao member, as to become diligent, sincere and devoted on this path to enlightenment.
2. Develop a set-schedule to bow to Buddhas and bodhisattvas every morning and evening, so to be a punctual and trustworthy person, and develop wholesome life style.
3. When make the bows, one can exercise the entire body to harmonize the breathing pattern and mind as well. This is a great way to allow the body, mind and spirit to be as one.
4. Making the bows during the morning and evening can improve and cultivate one’s mind and habits, to a point that allows one to let go the ego and arrogance, pacify the tumultuous sea of thoughts, and unbeknown to the person, to humble his/her mind over time.
5. Bowing allows one's mind to reflect what the Buddha mind is, whether it be Buddha-mind or self-conscious- mind, Buddha-light or spirit-light, they always glow and radiate with one another. Thus the connection of one’s mind to Buddha’s is always there every day.
6. Daily bowing to Buddhas and bodhisattvas, and consistently uphold the Three Treasures to perceive the prana (ultimate wisdom) of Buddha nature; this is the way to emulate the actions from all Buddhas and bodhisattvas.
7. Review and practice the essence of this dharma/enlightening-teaching regularly, so to perceive the spiritual energy and wisdom from Buddhas and bodhisattvas, and to perfect the mind.
8. Frequently read and recite sutras can help with one’s speech capability and become eloquent, then his words/statements will be encouraging and inspirational, so to achieve peerless articulation.
9. Recite the “Great Vows and Repenting Statement” during the daily bowing ritual, one can harness his/her body and mind in good check, repent in front of the Maitreya Buddha, and correct one’s faults so to ascend to the Heaven.
10. When the whole family making the bows every morning and evening, it can improve the harmony status among the family members, so that the whole family will be benefited from the Tao, and becoming the so called Maitreya heavenly family.
When making the bows, you also make one bow to your ancestors each time, this is called to transmit the virtue and merits to the ancestors. This is also the supreme benefit of having a home temple at one’s house. The power of everyone’s Buddha nature is immense and infinite.
Excerpts from Tao Te Ching
1. I know that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way
2. The all providing Tao is empty yet Inexhaustible
3. I will work at eliminating all of my judgments of others
4. I pay attention to my Inner callings and apply my own uniqueness to everything I undertake
5. It is through selfless action I will experience my own fulfillment
6. I suspend my belief in opposites, by seeing myself in all
7. I see myself as everything. I love myself as everyone
8. The place of my origination is stillness from which all creation originates
9. I fully trust that others do know what is best for themselves
10. I act virtuously. I do not need rules to be kind and just.
11. How do I know the way of all things at the beginning? …. I see it within myself
12. Boasting or showing off are superfluous excesses. This practice must be uprooted, thrown out and left behind forever
13. I come from greatness. I attract greatness. I Am Greatness
14. I have the ability to stay poised and focused regardless of what goes before me
15. What is a good man, but a bad man’s teacher. What is a bad man, but a good man’s job
16. As I preserve my original qualities, I can do or govern anything. I live with radical humility
17. I allow my highest nature to come forward and bring love to the places where I used to live in hatred
18. I trust in the perfect goodness of the Tao to guide and direct me wherever it will. I allow my thoughts and ideas to be carried by the great wave of The Tao
19. By not claiming greatness I will achieve greatness
20. When you look for it there is nothing to see. When you listen for it there is nothing to hear. When you use it, it cannot be exhausted. This is The Great Tao
21. The Tao does nothing but leaves nothing undone
22. I trust my essential nature. I let go of all polarities… And I live In The Indivisible Oneness of Tao… Goodness and Godness are one and I trust who I am. A Child of Tao
23. I am a piece of the Whole and I act in accordance with The Wholeness of Tao
24. I bow to the All Creating power from which I came and to which I am returning
25. By following The Tao I will not become complicated, extraordinary or prominent. Rather I will become subtle and simple and uncomplicated
26. I release attachment to all objects, status, people and institutions. I Gain by Losing, I Lose by Gaining
27. I let go of my need for more and live in a state of pure gratitude. Giving is replacing my demands for more
28. The experience of inner peace is my true gauge of all my accomplishments
29. There is no greater loss than losing my connection to Tao. I find bliss of eternity in my contentment
30. I am an immortal spiritual being having a temporary human experience
31. The great Tao has no great expectations of me. No demands, no battles or wars to fight and no history to live up to
32. I am a divine creation of Tao as are all others. I cast out no one, rather I cast out wickedness by elevating others with my deeds
33. I want to think like God thinks. To act as God acts. To live a God realized life
34. I realize that all things change and therefore there is nothing for me to hold onto. By not fearing death there is nothing that I cannot achieve
35. I choose to be strong by being soft and pliable rather than inflexible, brittle and hard
36. I choose to live in a state of radical appreciation and give humble thanks for all that I have. Paradise is wherever I am
37. I choose to live by accumulating less, giving more, arguing less and releasing my attachment to everything in the world of the 10,000 things