«Introduction To Tao SECTIONS PAGES I. WHAT IS TAO 2 II. TAO AND ME 4 III. WHAT IT IS IN TAO 6 IV. WHAT DO I GET IN RECEIVING TAO 8 V. WHAT DO WE NEED ...»
Introduction To Tao
I. WHAT IS TAO 2
II. TAO AND ME 4
III. WHAT IT IS IN TAO 6
IV. WHAT DO I GET IN RECEIVING TAO 8
V. WHAT DO WE NEED TO RECEIVE TAO 11
VI. WHAT IMPACT DOES RECEIVING TAO HAVE ON ME 13
VII. WHAT CAN ATTEST THE VALIDITY OF TAO 15What is Tao?
Observing the cosmos and all the living beings consciously, among all the earthly activities and phenomena, we will find the existence of the laws of nature. There is a supernatural origin which guides all the operations happening across the galaxy, the earth, and the human beings. We call this source "Tao".
Tao existed before primordial time, and even before the universe was merged. It is the origin of the world and it thereafter nurtures all the creatures and beings. Since it is unchangeable and does not evolve with time, it is the ultimate truth. It is what all saints and sages throughout human history have been searching for.
The essence of Tao is the foundation of nature. The law or the power that existed before the universe was formed is beyond description because there was no civilizations nor creatures, let alone languages. Since it cannot be applied any name, we simply call it "Tao" After the world was merge, along with the mutations of the universe, we see the harmonious actions as exhibited in seasonal changes, rhythms of time and tide, and the balance of the ecosystem. We also find some conformity of human nature across various cultures. There prove the laws of nature. This is the extension of that original "Tao" when it is substantiated and materialized. It merged into everything that is with and within us.
Now that we know Tao is present universally and yet difficult to be recognized, there have been prophets and preachers trying to make us know and understand the origin and the truth of life through various teachings and literature since the beginning of civilization. They were scattered around the world throughout history. As a result, great commandments were taught to disciples and goodness and badness were differentiated. These teachings varies, based on differences in culture, background, timing and the level of each individual's comprehension. However, they all tried to express and transmit to their descendants, this creator and chief of the universe. It is "God" or what we call "Tao".
As we get to know it more and more, we will realize that the essence of Tao and its effect covers every existence without and exceptions.
Tao is actually the headwaters of all religions. It embrace the essence of all the preaching and teachings. And yet, it is superior to the system of belief. It is the nature, the universe itself. "Tao" or "God" represents the highest authority and power of nature. It is also the headstream and superior to all. It is the unchangeable principle.
Understanding "Tao" allows us not only to discover the center of all religions belief, but also to communicate with the origin and the highest power of nature. We will then be able to relate ourselves to the truth of the universe.
To probe further:
Tao existed before the formation of all, yet it was not anterior, which means the creation was embedded in it. Tao merges into the creation, yet it is not posterior, which means that it is not thereafter limited. Among those created, however large, they can be measured; however small, they can be detected. It is only Tao that cannot be measured of its immensity nor detected of its existence. Therefore, it is larger than the largest and leaves nothing excluded, and yet it can be smaller than the smallest and leaves nothing not penetrated. It is ubiquitous. It merges into and governs all. It is in charge of the space, the earth, human beings, all the creatures, and all existence. It penetrates and regulates the entire universe. It is the source of all the scriptures, sutras, as well as dharmas. It encompasses all the religions, and it is what makes one a Buddha or a saint. It is the single chief of all. And, above all, it is in charge of each individual too. It is the divine self. This is the true meaning of Tao. We should get to know it this way and rediscover our own invaluable treasure. So, to practice Tao is to revive one's own conscience as well as everyone else's and to act upon it accordingly.
Then, all people can be of one spirit, all nations can be in peace like a family, and the Great Harmony will come true. How precious Tao is !
Tao and Me The significance of Tao is in its immensity and ubiquity. Its mightiness guides the universe to carry on with changing seasons and natural phenomena seem so capricious and yet really in order and in cycles. This almighty being also resides in each of us. It is the divine self, the natural quality of a person. It enables us to see, to feel, to taste, to hear, and to move without learning.
While we research the ultimate truth in the universe, we should turn in upon and see into ourselves to discover that divine self. We will find the rules that govern the universe also comply with the way we are. Tao is not something too far to reach, nor too mysterious to comprehend. It is nothing particular, but has to do with our daily lives. We cannot do without it. Every movement we make, in order to see, to touch, to feel and to think, is associated with Tao. Consider how many wonders are hidden in our body, how delicately our physical functions are carried out. For example, when we shake hands, the components involved would include the coordination of joints and muscles, the chemical reactions of energy, the transmission of information through nerve systems, and the actions occurring in our brain such as issuing orders, making judgements and analyzing situations. Even with the most advanced technology and the highest level of knowledge we have developed today, we cannot completely reconstruct such a function. Yet the ability to perform such a simple movement is there for all individuals, regardless of the level of a person's knowledge and his/her being a grown-up or a baby, a scholar or an illiterate. These are the kind of abilities we come equipped with naturally, without learning and being taught. It sits within us and is in charge of all. It is "Tao", never diminishes nor inflates.
Worldly knowledge acquired through learning can be forgotten. A gymnast can abandon his/her techniques and a musician can lose his/her skills without practicing.
The essence of Tao and its extension are always in charge of the macro-universe -- the nature, and the micro-universe -- the human being's self. We are associated with it unconsciously since the first day. Because it encompasses the whole nature within us, we also call it "native self". Tao is within and surrounding us. It needs not be worshiped nor debated over. Because its extension is unconditional, regardless of race, color, nationality, religion or status. It is impartial and stays constant.
In receiving Tao, we not only find the origin of the universe, but also the divine self. We get to know the highest power in the universe as well as the genuine nature in charge of self. We discover the ultimate truth of the cosmos as well as the integrity of ourselves. Recognizing that the laws which govern the universe also govern us makes us be able to return to our true nature.
To probe further:
The most essential concept in Tao is that we all possess it intrinsically. It is the wisdom and ability we were born with without learning or practicing. It is one's conscience, which is like the spirit of God -- the divine and immortal nature. It is invisible and intangible. For this reason, we call it "genuine emptiness", which means that to be really empty, it goes beyond emptiness and can therefore have marvelous existence in it. "Marvelous existence" is the foundation for the sky, the earth, humane beings, all the creatures, and all existences. With omnipotence, Tao is called "Great Lord of All Beings". This almighty being is not only in charge of the entire universe, but also in charge of oneself. So the proverb is," Tao is within self which is the drive of all one's abilities; A physical body without Tao is useless." This is the treasure that we should all realize and fully explore.
What it is in Tao When we look around the world, we admire the miracles and wonders of nature.
Countless things changes and move simultaneously every second, and yet in order and in harmony. So do our bodies. Countless biochemical reactions and physical functions occur concurrently within our bodies. Without learning and thinking that come subjectively, the thousands of activities that happen within us are the extension and action of Tao. And all together, it is one single self. It functions naturally and automatically without the need for our intents to be involved. This is the effect of Tao within us.
Tao is not only in control of the universe and nature, but also in charge of every human being in his/her own actions. In other words, it is the same source that governs us as well as everything else. Tao is invisible and intangible, but it has been working out its magic before day one. Thereafter, languages, cultures, religious scriptures, literature and civilization were developed. They all originate from Tao functioning within us.
People don’t realize it is “Tao” that has been residing and working within us and have used “soul” to represent the confusing and yet irrefutable being. Because it is eternal and intangible, we also call it “true self”. This true self is the most abundant brilliant, and imperishable being.
Let’s take a look at our tangible body and see if it can be the true self. We know the pictures taken throughout one’s life show different faces and expressions. We recognize people by face, but our looks change and are not permanent. The handicapped, with impaired arms or legs, can also lead a complete life. One with a transplanted animal heart is still a human being. Even our brain cells keep decreasing and changing every second from the moment we were born. Therefore, the physical body is only the interim residence of the true self. Though it seems so real, solid and alive, it turns into dirt eventually. We call it “false self” because of its tentative and transient nature.
By recognizing the difference between the true self and the false self, we understand the reason and importance for us to receive Tao. Luckily, we are given the opportunity of receiving Tao and learning the “Three Treasures”. The Three Treasures are straight forward yet profound. The meaning and details of them will be illustrated
through the rite of receiving Tao. Here, we only discuss two issues:
First, by receiving Tao, the true self gets pointed out. It leads to our conscience.
Upon the time when material pursuance surpasses spiritual seeking, giving up the true self only makes us a walking corpse. In order to fulfill and satisfy the sensational desires of the false self, we may commit wrong-doings and harm others, eventually creating troubles for ourselves. Our inner conscience is identified and enlightened by receiving Tao. Thus, the body gets to work with the spirit in a mutually beneficial and harmonious way, making our lives joyful and meaningful.
Second, by receiving Tao, the front door or Main Gate of our bodies gets opened.
It leads us to conscience, mercy and wisdom. When we leave a house, we leave through the front door. If the front door is locked, we may have to leave through the back door, or even by breaking the window or jumping off the balcony. We may fall and get hurt by doing so. Our body is like a house, and our soul is the master who lives in the house. One day, when the body is aged and depleted and the soul has to leave, we can imagine its horror if it can not leave through the correct exit. This is the pain and discomfort human beings experience at the coming of death and after death.
As we know, for most people, when they are dying, their body shows stiffness, and signs of helplessness and confusion. After we receive Tao, the door of life and death will be opened.
Being able to receive Tao and the Three Treasures while having the door to heaven opened, we have the opportunity to recognize the true self and the Tao that dwells within us. We are going to treat people and the world with conscience and make our lives more meaningful. We can transcend life and death. Within a hundred years, we will be able to return to where we came from. Therefore, the heavenly Tao is also the way to return back to heaven.
To probe further:
The enlightenment of Tao is superior to studying thousands of sutras. This is the value of Tao. The enlightenment of Tao opens the Main Gate, the front door, which is the entrance to heaven. It gives us the guarantee to be exempted from rebirth cycles and to reach eternity. The superiority of this enlightenment lies in that it surpasses Buddhas and saints, it exceeds the scope of sutras and dharmas, and it transcends the universe. Tao is therefore Source of All Sutras, King of All Dharmas, Mother of All Buddhas, and Creator of the Universe. Transcendence of rebirth cycles leads to eternity. Being imperishable, Tao never deteriorates, and we have never lost it at all.
Hence Tao is the direct way back to heaven
WHAT DO I GET IN RECEIVING TAO.
As mentioned earlier, by receiving Tao, we act upon our conscience, gain more wisdom, and find the door to heaven. In addition to these basics, we also benefit from the following for our lifetime.
A. Being away from sufferings and closer to happiness.
The troubles and worries we face in our daily lives mostly result from our disregard of the true self. Receiving Tao helps us to recognize the Tao that has been dwelling in us and to restore the beauty of the true self, so that our behavior and mind is free from being controlled by the earthly pleasures and being swayed by the losses and gains of the material world. Since our minds are cultivated spiritually, devils would not approach and close to us. Thus, our fortune can be altered from bad to blight, and we can obtain real joy.
B. Being away from disasters and calamities.