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Bright Wisdom of Tao. Tim Chiu English Tao Class Kuang Ming Saint Tao Temple April 6 th , 2013. SYNOPSIS.

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bright wisdom of tao

Bright Wisdom of Tao

Tim Chiu

English Tao Class

Kuang Ming Saint Tao Temple

April 6th, 2013


"Bright Wisdom is a series of books which contain the words of wisdom of Saints and Sages that help us rediscover, manifest, and apply the inherent wisdom that we all possess but have often forgotten While simple and succinct, the words are profound and yet applicable to the challenges that we encounter in our daily lives. In this talk, we will share a few excerpts from the books so that we may be introduced to this hidden treasure which can help us live an even happier and peaceful life."

origins of bright wisdom
Origins of Bright Wisdom
  • Bright Wisdom – the book series
    • Published by the Guan Hui Corporation in conjunction with the Taipei Tao society
    • Organized collection of the words of wisdom from the Saints and Sages
      • What is Tao, Cultivation of the Heart, Four Topics of Cultivations, Learning and Practicing Tao
      • Overcoming Obstacles, Understanding Our Purpose, Propagating Tao, and Mood Management
    • Succinct to read in one sitting, practical to apply to our daily life, and profound to study for a life time
    • Great book for new and senior Tao members
    • Available in English and Chinese
bright wisdom of tao1
Bright Wisdom of Tao
  • Read and follow the wise words of Tao teachings contained in the books literally
    • Need to take into consideration the context in which it was said and the translator’s interpretation and understanding
  • Read to remind us of the inherent kindness and wisdom that we all possess
    • Saving a drowning child
  • Read the books as a means to rediscover and reconnect with our True Nature and the bright wisdom that we possess so that we may follow it at all times
    • True Nature, or True Self, is the manifestation of Tao in all human beings;
    • Find our centered, the highest virtue in Doctrine of Mean, and be in peace and harmony
what is bright wisdom
What is Bright Wisdom
  • We all have the same Tao inside of us, manifested as our True Self, but it is usually hidden by our desires
    • Story of the six pack
  • We all have the same innate wisdom which is part of our True Nature, but some of us are more clouded by our desires and attachments
      • Desire for eating ice cream, french fries
what is tao indescribable
What is Tao – Indescribable
  • “What is spoken and written is not Tao. Your actions and behavior is the real Tao”
    • “The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao” - Tao De Jing
      • The infinite Tao can not be fully described by our limited language and understanding
      • Like dark matter, we can infer its existence from its effects on visible matter, but can not detect or see it with telescopes since it neither emits or absorbs light
    • “What does a fish know about the water in which it swims all its life?” – Albert Einstein
      • No concept of water, even though it flows through its blood and exists in its food, body, and environment
      • Tao to us is like water to the fish – pervasive and essential to life
    • Love can not be seen or fully described
      • From the bottom of my “heart”, but it’s not in the heart
      • How do we express our intangible love? Actions!
    • Tao is like Love, we can’t see it, but our actions manifest it
      • Experience it through our actions, similar to how the warmth of the water in a cup can only be known to the drinker
what is tao origin
What is Tao - Origin
  • “Tao is the head, the source, the origin. Important like our ‘head’, we must follow it or else we will never reach the source.”
    • Discovering where we came from, our origin
      • Reveals who we are and our relationship to each other
      • Truest form of Self discovery, and not just our temporal preferences and possessions (my + X != me)
      • Our source, our True Self, can help guide us
    • Tao is the path, or way, to finding our True Self
      • Chinese character (道)
    • “To rid our desires, we need to first find the source” – Great Learning
      • Hot dogs and ramen noodles
        • Find the origin and we know why we shouldn’t eat it
what is tao pervasive
What is Tao - Pervasive
  • “Constantly observe the existence of Tao and you shall find that Tao exists not only at the temple. Tao can be applied in all aspects of Life everywhere you go.”
    • Tao temple is a great place to learn, but the actual application and cultivation happens outside of temple
      • Everyone is on their best behavior, so no tests to experience
    • The real world is where we are truly tested and the lessons are put into practice
      • I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand
what is tao natural
What is Tao - Natural
  • “Sleep when we should sleep is Tao. Sleeping when we shouldn’t sleep is not Tao.”
    • Tao is very natural
      • Eat when hungry, rest when tired
      • Eating and going to the restroom is Tao
        • What goes in, must come out; go with the flow
      • As technology advances, there are more distractions and temptations (E-mail, YouTube, Facebook, SMS, etc)
    • Worldly Person vs. Cultivating Monk
      • Eats: he is not eating as he is enslaved by his desires for better food and fortune.
      • Sleeps: he is thinking about having a better house, better clothes, or better person to accompany him.
      • Though the actions are the same, but the heart of a worldy person and a cultivator is very different
cultivation of the heart why
Cultivation of the Heart – Why?
  • “If our heart is not righteous, then even the perfect words and righteous actions are not in accordance with the true Tao.”
    • Why is it the heart and not our words or actions?
      • Act of helping someone but with a motive = helping ourselves
        • Sincerity
      • Watch heart -> thoughts -> words -> actions -> habits -> character -> destiny
    • Conduct worldly affair with a holy heart -> Holy
      • Caring for family and friends w/o any expectations
    • Conduct holy affair with a worldly heart -> Worldly
      • Caring for Tao members with an ulterior motive
    • Holy = Selfless, altruistic
    • Worldly = Selfish, reciprocation
    • Our actions do not determine the righteousness of our heart. It is our heart that determines the righteousness of our actions
cultivation of the heart ourselves
Cultivation of the Heart - Ourselves
  • “The biggest obstacle in cultivation is always asking others instead of ourselves. See clearly and ask ourselves before asking others.”
    • Cultivation is internal reflection and not external criticism; to manifest and behave according to our True Nature
      • See other people’s mistakes clearly but are not able to see our own faults
      • Let others be a mirror and reminder of what we should and shouldn’t do
        • Man in the mirror – Michael Jackson
    • Lead by example, then encourage others to follow
      • Story of Ghandi and eating candy
        • Exercising and eating right
cultivation of the heart internal
Cultivation of the Heart - Internal
  • “Learning meditation and seeking special powers are not needed to be a Buddha. With a natural, merciful, and sincere heart, one will become a Buddha.”
    • After receiving Tao, we no longer need to seek outward and pray to a Buddha
      • We ourselves are a Buddha, but have simply forgotten
      • Hindu story of the gods and human
    • Story of the Zen Master and Meditating Monk
      • Grinding a brick to make a mirror is like meditating to be a Buddha
      • Buddhahood is not reached by sitting in a particular position as it has not specific form nor is its heart attached to Buddhahood
    • By using our most sincere heart while fulfilling our roles, we will become a Buddha naturally
cultivation of the heart grateful
Cultivation of the Heart - Grateful
  • “In our daily lives, remember to use a grateful heart to face everything. No matter how difficult the problem is or how much you dislike it, always maintain a grateful heart.”
    • Why be grateful when things don’t happen the we want it?
      • Grateful for being sick
    • Sine wave of emotions
      • 8AM meeting -> Breakfast -> traffic -> meeting canceled -> coworkers with many questions-> lunch -> food coma -> work -> traffic
      • Grateful for the opportunity to cultivate and learn new skills while being paid!
    • Grateful heart helps us see things in a different perspective
      • A civic is not luxurious, but it’s cheap on gas, DMV, insurance, and fees
    • Everything happens for the best
      • Story of the King and his Advisor
cultivation of the heart inner peace
Cultivation of the Heart – Inner Peace
  • “If your heart is unbalanced and not at peace, then you will be angered easily.”
    • Getting cut-off while driving
      • Unbalanced/Ego:
        • Angry and upset at the crazy driver for almost getting ME into an accident! Tell HIM/HER to open his/her eyes.
      • Balanced/Peace:
        • Grateful it didn’t cause an accident and nobody was hurt
        • Remind ourselves that we’ve made the same mistake unintentionally before, and the importance of avoiding these actions in the future now that we know how it feels
    • The same events may or may not anger us depending on the state of our heart
      • See things in a different perspective and reflect on own cultivation -> balance and peaceful heart
      • See things in your own narrow perspective and dwell onto others’ lack of cultivation -> unbalanced and angry heart
    • Be masters of our emotions instead of mastered by our emotions by cultivating our heart
      • Not about not having any emotions, but to be aware of them and utilize them instead of controlled by them and our external stimuli
        • Exhibit the emotion of “Anger” to teach children discipline
four cultivation topics temperament
Four Cultivation Topics – Temperament
  • “When people yell and criticize you, you do not become angry, you are unmoved. That is good temperament.”
    • Anger usually happens due to differences in opinion
      • Heart is filled with ego and attachment to one’s own view and preconceived ideas. Mine is the only “right” view and the others are “wrong” views.
    • Good temperament is not about holding in the anger and now showing it, but to rid its existence by understanding its cause by changing our perspective
      • Holding it in, or “忍”, is like a knife stabbing your heart, which will ultimately explode someday
      • Need to use our wisdom to prevent the rise of anger by ridding the source of our anger – our ego and attachment to own narrow views
    • “Anger is punishing ourselves for other people’s mistakes” – E. Roosevelt
      • High blood pressure, resentment, poisons -> bad for our health
      • Apologize for words said which we didn’t mean
      • Can’t change the past or prevent it in the future
  • Tao is the origin and the truth which is indescribable and pervasive
  • Our True Self, or True Nature is the manifestation of Tao in us
  • Following the natural path of Tao, or cultivation, is simply behaving according to our True Self at all times
  • Maintain a grateful heart and be open to different perspectives and you heart will be balanced and at peace
  • By recognizing our ego and our attachments, we can easily use our wisdom to prevent the rise of anger