The Hub of Being (28) Eastern Essences

Eastern Essences

The mists of time obscure beginnings. It cannot be known when the first of our kind attained unity consciousness, or even how they tried to convey it to those not enlightened. What is known is that epigrams about enlightenment have passed down from ages which now seem mythical. 2 emanate from the most ancient civilizations: China and India.

The Tao

Evolved individuals hold to the Tao and regard the world as their pattern. ~ Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu (6th or 5th century BCE) was a legendary Chinese guru. The name itself is an honorific title meaning venerable master. Next to nothing is known about Lao Tzu as a person. Some think he lived before Confucius (551–479 bce). Some think he lived later. Some think he was Confucius.

The great Tao extends everywhere. It does not have a name. ~ Lao Tzu

Lao is credited with writing Tao Te Ching (The Virtue of the Way), a compilation of 81 brief recitals.

Tao acts through natural law. All things depend upon it for growth, and it does not deny them. ~ Lao Tzu

The meaning of the Tao has been subject to endless speculation by the unenlightened. It has even been used as a fortune-telling device; an ironic employment of timeless wisdom.

It is a famous puzzle which everyone would like to feel he had solved. ~ American East Asian scholar Henry Holmes

The Chinese diagram symbolic of the Tao geometrically represents the interplay of 2 opposite principles: yin and yang. Yang is masculine, active. Yin is feminine, receptive. Together, yin and yang represent the eternal generation of diversity. They are enclosed in a circle, which symbolizes the unity that is the ineffable Tao.

The Tao never acts, and yet is never inactive.

So formless, so intangible.

When Tao is expressed, it seems without substance or flavor.

We observe and there is nothing to see.

We listen and there is nothing to hear.

We use it and it is without end. ~ Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu’s Tao poetically alludes to noumenal Ĉonsciousness as the springboard to phenomena; it’s that simple.

Yoga

Freedom is won in realizing the true nature of self. Matter is transcended. The nature of being and the force of absolute knowledge are then revealed. ~ Patañjali in Yoga Sutra

Yoga arose in India around the 5th century BCE. Though yogic practices have been various, including physical postures, the aim has always been quieting the mind.

The classical work on the rudiments of yoga is the Yoga Sutra, attributed to legendary Indian guru Patañjali (~250 BCE). Sutra means thread, etymologically related to the English term suture.

The basic text of Yoga Sutra is only 191 short sentences, enveloped in a prodigious mass of commentary tacked on in the centuries that followed the original fabric of threads.

Yoga Sutra begins with “instruction in Union.”

Union is restraining the thought-streams natural to the mind. Then the seer dwells in his own nature. ~ Patañjali

Yoga Sutra goes on to describe the afflictions of ignorance, the spiritual discipline required to achieve realization, and the results.

When the mind maintains awareness, yet does not mingle with the senses, nor the senses with sense impressions, then self-awareness blossoms. ~ Patañjali

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Meditation modifies the mind, which has for its substratum nothingness. ~ Patañjali

Meditation as a means to achieve enlightenment is universal in the teachings that come from ancient times. That this prescription transcends cultures for all time indicates its inestimable value.