Moss-covered Monk

Moss-covered Monk

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Delayed Daily Musing - April 2nd, 2013 - Caring - 照顧 - Zhàogù

Caring - 照顧 - Zhàogù

Do not seek good deeds to do,
but always be aware of your surroundings.
If a chance at good crosses your path,
do not refuse the opportunity.
If you meet another suffering soul,
remember your duty
and help.

~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao


 
What good is self-cultivation and wisdom if you keep it all to yourself? Knowledge is meant to be used, not stored for one's own purposes. Use knowledge to help others, and stop asking yourself why you should.

There once lived a man who prayed to a single god amongst many in a great temple. Eventually, in the midst of deep prayer, he noticed that the incense he lit spread throughout the spacious hall. He was overcome initially with anger at the other gods, for stealing offerings he had not intended to give. He tried to remedy this problem by constructing an elaborate hood to funnel the smoke towards his desired deity, but this only exacerbated the problem and soon his god was covered in soot.

What did the man in the temple fail to realize? That one cannot restrict goodness without losing some intrinsic property, rendering a restricted goodness as benign (or even malign). Those who follow Tao must believe and practice sixteen attributes on behalf of others:

Gentleness, patience, nonattachment, control, skill, joy, spiritual love, humility, reflection, restfulness, seriousness, effort, controlled emotion, magnanimity, and concentration.

When you need to help another being, draw upon these qualities.

Notice that self-sacrifice is not on the list. It is not required to destroy yourself to aid another. Your overall obligation remains to complete your own journey along your own personal current of Tao. As long as you offer solace to others suffering along the same path as yourself, you have done all you can. Worry no more; move forward and always continue to care.