A Daily Dose of Tao

man-bloggingI have, for decades, taken regular journeys through the chapters of the Tao Te Ching, writing a daily personal journal of my travels. I have occasionally published some of these reflections (Day by Day With the Tao Te Ching, and 30 Days of Tao). Each time I do this I reinforce some some old understandings and discover many new ones.

During our recent months of transitions I neglected this practice, to my detriment. I have resumed my daily journal and feel as if it is yet another way in which I have returned “home.” It has also been my practice to share part of this continuing journey with those who might be interested in how I perceive the Tao working out in my daily life.

So, I have prepared an on-line version of my daily reflections. I call it, A Daily Dose of Tao. Each day contains a chapter from the Tao Te Ching in one of my own renditions, followed by a few paragraphs that reflect how I see that chapter at this particular point in my life.

If you are interested in sharing this walk, just sign up at the link below and I will send you a link to the page which contains these reflections. I will try to post a new one each day. Like everyone I will have days in which all intentions fall prey to my conditioned mind and I may miss a day now and then.

I do not charge for this daily sharing/study/reflection, but I do depend on my writing providing an income resource for our daily living expenses. Please donate whatever you feel is appropriate by using the donate link and filling in the amount when you are taken to PayPal – using your PayPal account or your credit/debit card. If you wish to send a check, send it to me at 5404 N. Old Stage Road, Mt. Shasta, CA 96067. Let your own financial circumstances and your generosity be your guide.

Sign up whenever you wish and jump into the stream with me. I invite you to email me with any comments or questions you may have regarding my ramblings. If you lose the link to the page, just let me know and I will send it again. I would enjoy having your company on my journey.

Blessings,

Bill

 

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This Earth’s Indeed My Home

(Some doggerel verses written one morning – to the tune of the gospel folk song, “This World is Not My Home.”)

 

earth

 

This Earth’s indeed my home, I’m not just passing through.

My treasures aren’t all stored somewhere beyond the blue.

They’re all around me here, they’re everywhere I roam.

And I’m thankful every day for this wonderful home.

 

Though its sure one day I’ll leave, and visit lands unknown,

I want to leave behind a clean and lovely home

for all who follow me and walk this precious land

and give to them a hope and an unseen helping hand.

 

When days seem dark and filled with ignorance and greed

We’re going to be together, planting different seed

that some day will sprout and grow into a world that’s green

and the Earth will be a home for our loveliest dreams.

 

We dream a home for all, every species, every kind,

and everywhere one looks, one will surely  find

a land that’s filled with peace and free from every strife,

where simple joys await for every form of life.

 

This Earth’s indeed my home, I’m not just passing through.

My treasures aren’t all stored somewhere beyond the blue.

They’re all around me here, they’re everywhere I roam.

And I’m thankful every day for this wonderful home.

 

 

Inch by Inch

seedshope

As I walk and hike along the forest and mountain trails, I spend some time singing aloud the song that has become my anthem – The Garden Song, written by Dave Mallett and performed by various artists over the past forty years. I learned it from Pete Seeger, who performs it in the above link. I sang it over and over this morning as I took a relaxed hour of walking on one of my favorite trails and reflected on the meaning it has taken on for me.

Inch by inch, row by row, going to make my garden grow. Going to mulch it deep and low, make a piece of fertile ground. Inch by inch, row by row, Someone bless these seeds I sow. Someone warm them from below ’till the rain comes tumblin’ down.

The primary garden I am planting and nurturing is my inner garden. The deep mulching is going on within the neural pathways of my brain, preparing that long dormant network for the cultivation of a new way of living. In a good Taoist way, I look to, “Someone,” for help rather than naming the Divine, thus limiting Its work.

Pulling weeds and picking stones, we are made of dreams and bones. Feel the need to grow my own ’cause the time is close at hand. Grain for grain, sun and rain, find your way in nature’s chain, tune my body and my brain to the music from the land.

Weeds and stones abound – fears, habits, outworn beliefs, doubts, assumptions, and cultural edifices all have inhibited natural growth to the point of near barrenness. But the “time is close at hand” – personally and globally there is very little time left to plant and grow a new vision for a new Earth. I ask that the natural flow of the Tao will re-tune me, body and soul, to the “music from the land.”

Plant your rows, straight and long. Temper them with prayer and song. Mother Earth will keep you strong, if you give her love and care. Old crow watching hungrily, from his perch in yonder tree, in my garden I’m as free as that feathered thief up there.

I seek and trust a new relationship with the Earth – actually not so much a relationship, for that implies a degree of separation – but a new sense of being a part of the Whole Earth, playing my role as a human being in an appropriate manner. This is where my strength truly resides. The old crow might be my conditioned mind, waiting to steal new seeds that threaten “the way I’ve always done it.” But that feathered thief is not going to rob me of my freedom and joy.

Inch by inch, row by row, going to make my garden grow. Going to mulch it deep and low, make a piece of fertile fertile ground. Inch by inch, row by row, Someone bless these seeds I sow. Someone warm them from below ’till the rain comes tumblin’ down.

Inch by inch.

New seeds.

Can’t grow a new garden with the old seeds.

Inch by inch.