Taoism > Masters


Master Lu's Sayings

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Very often the disciples used to ask questions in order to understand clearly the Master's thinking. The questions and answers (provided by Master) where the basis of a dialogue that covered some basic Taoist issues such as what is Tao, what is wu, wu-wei, and so forth.

Below we published several short dialogues collected by Jhian. More will be published soon.

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Mistaken the False Disciple
For the True One

There are two kinds of people: those who follow the Tao without thinking about this, one may say, unconsciously. And those who try to follow the Tao through a constant effort, say, consciously. The reason is they wish to step on what is sure, leads to attainment and avoids failure.

For the first category the benefit is only a certain feeling of rightness, or something close. One may say it is like going with the stream. Their benefit is their own and nobody can understand what is about.

Therefore when one says: "Look this is a Taoist disciple (because he looks and behaves like a Taoist), I am pretty sure he mistaken the rather false disciple for the true one!

Nobody can recognize a true disciple. He doesn't look like a Taoist.

Lao-tzu talked about the ancient disciples and pointed to their muddy or troubled figure. He couldn't recognize them either!


Two Kinds of Wisdom

There are two kinds of wisdom: the practical and the static one. The practical is the wisdom which helps one doing things. It is a rather a short living wisdom because it ceases when time comes. The static one doesn't help one in doing things and looks like a store of unsold goods. People cherish the practical wisdom and leave or ignore the static one.


Modern Living?

I just found the following verses published in a Taoist group:

    The past is gone.
    The future is unpredictable.
    All we have is now.
    Make great use of it.

Are they really Taoist? No, they are not. The past is gone, of course, but did you learn something useful from it? The future is unpredictable? I don't think so - what about the I-ching divination? I-ching is part of the Taoist urge to know the way out of the confusion of the time.

All we have is now? This is what we call a natural philosophy of living or the concept of seizing the day. We live for today only and look for what can excite our feelings further. The entire western modern culture of TV, News and Entertainment is based on this idea. It is not Taoist at all! It is the way of living without having the whole image! By Jhian


Tao is the Same

A new start is always a vivid source of intense feelings. Still one should consider what is really knew or if there's something that he/she could call new. Taoist thinks that there's nothing new under the sun. Only the ever lasting mixture of yin and yang. In Tao-te ching we are told that at the very beginning there was a kind of shape without shape. Lao-tzu called this "shape" the Tao. It is just what I wished to say above. Tao is everywhere the same. If you wish to penetrate its "movements" just close your eyes and contemplate its essence.


Lost in Tao

Me (Jhian): Someone told me that he felt like lost in Tao. It was about the starting point, he said: "When you start your Tao experience and how you know that you actually have a Tao experience". What you think about this?

Mater Lu: There's no way to feel like you are lost in the Tao. Tao is not a country or land or something alike to feel like you're lost. Tao is like a Father showing you the way. How could one feel lost in this? I really can't figure.


Tao is not God

Question: I remember I had an argument with my wife and been very affected. I was practicing the Tao but it didn't help me. Why?

Answer: Tao is not a God. One shouldn't ask Tao to behave like God and do things to help one. Stop thinking of Tao in terms of a mighty God, who can change things and do anything. If you have problems with your mate or family just keep that state of nondoing and see what happens. This is the way.

Question: Well, I was keeping that state and still there was so much suffering.

Answer: This is because Tao is not God. It doesn't help you with your suffering. Actually it brings the suffering!


No Tao at All

Mater Lu said : Sometimes we know the Tao as the Tao - sometimes it seems it vanishes so one can say: "There's no Tao at all". This is the way of the beginner: knowing that the Tao is but not having the perpetual perception of his presence.


Tao Machine...

I once asked Master Lu if going with the Tao doesn't make one feel like he/she is a machine... No personal will, no desire...

He answered: We are all machines, indeed - as we perform various tasks machinelike. Very few are wise enough to retain what is worth and escape the passing-by.


The Worst Thing

Question: What is the worst thing one can do in following the Path?

Answer: Not being with Tao but only thinking of it. By Jhian.


Tao, Good and Bad

- What is the Tao good for? asked Wu from the Northern Sea. Is it good for food, for ride or perhaps for fighting enemies?

- No, replied the Master of No Concern, it is not good for any food, ride or fighting your enemies. It is just the Lord of everything, so one shouldn't ask about good and bad.


About the Tao-te ching Formula

- 1 gave birth to 2, and 2 to 3, and so fort. What is this for?

- I am no sure, Mater Lu responds, perhaps a math formula?

- It is from the Tao-te ching. I suspected some philosophical formula rather than a math's one.

- Well philosophy it like math - difficult. Taoists are not this way difficult. They are pragmatical persons.

- Still this (formula) is a concern of Lao-tzu in his Tao-te ching. He talks about the Beginnings, the Tao, the Great Pervader and tries to explain them in plain words...

- 1 that leads to 2, and 2 to 3 are natural sequence of things, continued Master Lu. Therefore may be an illustration of the way one should conceive the Tao. A pragmatic view rather than an occult, exciting, approach. He would have said: "Tao is that simple like 1, 2, 3…"


The True Understanding

- Is this all that can be said about the Tao? asked someone after reading Tao-te ching.

- Yes, replied Master Lu. This is all.

- Still I don't understand much and wonder if this is because I am a beginner.

- If you think you are a beginner, yes, this is the reason. But if you don't think at all, you may touch the True Understanding, replied Master Lu.


If Nothing Matters...

- If nothing matters in this world, why not grab everything we can, why not enjoy endlessly what it gives us? We can do anything...

- Not exactly, said Master Lu. Just think of the payback - you may lose your freedom. And even if this wouldn't be your case, when you cling to worldly things, you feel astray from your inner essence and lose gold for the sake of iron.


About the Meaning of Life

- I wonder what is the meaning of life here if nothing lasts or matters, there's nothing worth dying for and no guarantee of eternal life promised by religion.

Master Lu reply:  A newborn child is not self-conscious and lives simply relying on instinct. Later on he learns a thing or two, grows up and enters life with all his heart, that is, unconsciously. But there are people who become aware of themselves and ask questions. Why this... why that...? For these people life has meaning because it allowed them to develop lucidity, be aware of what they do, of their meaning or meaningless. They discovered the charm of life. The meaning of being born is to develop and nurture this awareness which may save you at last.

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