Quotes from the Tao Te Ching, Verse 15

Cover of "Taoist Meditation"

Cover of Taoist Meditation

The following quote is an excerpt from Verse 15 of the Tao Te Ching.  It describes an essential consideration for those who wish to successfully engage in Taoist Meditation:

Can you find the patience to wait until your dust settles and the water becomes clear?

Alternatively, there is another translation:

Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?**

Patience is the key.  Meditation practice over weeks, months and years, conditions your physical, mental and spiritual presence.  It is not like taking a tranquilizer pill, where you can expect almost immediate results.  The results of regular practice condition your mind to maintain a state where disturbing energy, coming from within or outside, does not ruffle you or stir up your dust.  In Taoist philosophy, the disturbing energy can emerge within or outside of you is called “Red Dust.”

The red dust consists of memories and attachments – opinions, desires, beliefs and fears.

Perhaps you are familiar with the phrase, “as within, so without.” *  Taoist meditation directly engages the body, nerves, intellect and psyche to address the red dust, or the confused qi, within one’s being.  It is an inner alchemy.  Allowing the dust or mud to settle is complemented by dissolving meditation practice, which  tames the central nervous system.  Once the CNS is calmed, stillness can take foothold in consciousness, making it possible to experience Awareness, or Cosmic Consciousness.

Thus, with practice, this Consciousness can become a living companion within that can be carried into the world, making you an instrument of peace, compassion and tranquility.


*which was derived from the ancient saying of Hermes Trismegitus – “as above, so below.”

**The second quote from the Tao Te Ching is from the Stephen Mitchell translation.

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Practitioner of Qigong and T'ai Chi in the water tradition of Lao Tse since 1995. See my blog entry on asthma to understand my healing journey.
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