LAO TZU and BUDDHA
TAO has always been considered the Way. But the Way to what? TAO has no destination, because it is eternal and infinite. TAO is the Way neither to avoid or to get out of something, nor to get or accomplish something. TAO is the Way through anything and everything in life. TAO is inexplicable and inexpressible in words. TAO is the profound human wisdom that has to be self-intuited through experiencing anything and everything in life.
The following teachings of Buddha may shed some light on TAO wisdom:
The Noble Truths and the Noble Paths of Buddha
The Noble Truths
The Four Noble Truths are the backbone of the Buddha’s teachings that may help you understand TAO better.
The First Noble Truth is about human suffering.
The Second Noble Truth is about ignorance-not knowing why there is suffering.
The Third Noble Truth is about the healing process of human suffering, which involves giving up the desire that causes the suffering in the first place.
The Fourth Noble Truth is about understanding the reality of suffering in your everyday life.
The Noble Paths
Right view: keep your perceptions from becoming cloudy.
Right thinking: develop a roadmap for right view.
Right speech: be aware of suffering caused by unmindful speech, saying things you are not supposed to say
Right action: do everything in mindfulness: actions cause reactions from others.
Right livelihood: be concerned about how you earn your way through the world.
Right diligence: use consciousness to foster wholesomeness in your mind.
Right mindfulness: be fully present to the moment
Right concentration: cultivate over time full awareness of being present to self, world, and others.
Meditation is the way to understanding all of the above. It is not about striving to achieve ecstasy, spiritual bliss, or even tranquility of mind. It is not even about making you become a better person. Meditation is about creating a temporary state of mind, in which you clearly see your own self-deceptions, your hidden hopes and fears. Meditation makes you completely break away from how your mind ‘normally’ operates through a brief state of mind that frees you of all cares and concerns. Meditation gives you brief moments of acute awareness and deep discernment of what is real and what is pseudo-real.
Meditation quiets your mind; in your everyday life, consciousness is seldom, if ever, quiet. Therefore, it puts you on a journey of self-discovery and discovery of the true nature of existence. Through this discovery, you are able to communicate with the external or universal concept of God. This is how meditation can bring about psychological and spiritual healing.
Meditation allows you to observe yourself without judgment; it is observation without struggling with being right or wrong.
Meditation can be achieved through laborious training with perseverance, patience, and practice-just like training a puppy to sit.
Acceptance of suffering: To deny suffering is ignorance. Refusal to acknowledge and face pain only keeps you trapped in your own pain.
Courage to confront the truth of human suffering: It is easier to avoid suffering by denial than to face it. But feeling the pain is necessary for healing. Learn how to be fearless instead of fearful.
Enlightenment: The opposite of truth is illusion. Enlightenment is awakening to the need to be fearless to embrace the truth in order to dispel the self-illusions that perpetuate the suffering.
Compassion: Compassion and life are interrelated through suffering. Meditation can heal the mind, but not the heart, unless there is compassion. Only with compassion can one become a complete human being, who becomes connected with others.
Attachments: Desires and the reluctance to relinquish the desires are obstacles to enlightenment. They not only cause human sufferings but also perpetuate them.
Letting go: Understanding the impermanence of all things enables the letting go of attachments, and hence the attainment of enlightenment.
Are the above teachings of Buddha similar to the philosophy of Lao Tzu?
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau