Dao De Jing 23 – Welcoming wind and rain
If one would make few speech and stay natural, wind will not blown for whole morning, and rain will not last for whole day.
What is like this? The sky and earth.
If even the sky and earth could not last (stay in a state) forever, what would be the case for man?
-> Even sky and earth cannot escape from changes, how can we as man fixate on the transient?
Therefore for those who pursue the Dao,
Stay in the Dao when the Dao approaches; Stay in virtue when virtue appears; Stay in lost when lost occurs.
-> Laozi is describing a way to face the world here. When Dao as the unchanging context is realized, stay in it. When virtue manifested, stay in it. Even when lost occurs (to the self), stay in it.
Those who stay in the Dao, can welcome the Dao; Those who stay in virtue, can welcome virtue; Those who stay in lost, can welcome lost.
-> How to stay? By welcoming it, and let go resisting it. Phenomenon comes and goes, like wind and rain. One rides in wind and rain:,centered and unmoved, aware and transcended. Like in meditation: despite of sensations, emotions, thoughts, and phenomena comes and goes, one welcome all, centered and unmoved, aware and transcended. Soon the wind and rain will go, content changes and context remains, such is the meaning of abiding in center.
Few believe in this, most do not.
-> We are so used to attachments, to body, to thoughts, to objects, to sensations, to perceptions. Most believe life is secured through gain, resist and control. Who would believe, that everlasting peace could be found through welcoming and staying in the center?
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Chapter 23 Discussion:
In this Chapter, Laozi describes both the end point and the pathway to Dao.
We are full of attachments. We welcome people and situations we like, and resist otherwise. This personal bias of what i like and what i don’t like creates conditions for discomfort and suffering. Therefore, by facing and surrendering of our personal bias (which includes our attachments and aversions), we become more and more free in facing the world and closer to peace.
Welcoming, is the first step of surrendering. We have to welcome something before it can come to our awareness for process (or else we would be resisting or in denial). When applied in meditation and in daily life, notice, when you encounter winds and rains, welcome it, let it run, and let it go. Yes, it will be some discomfort, but if you do it properly and persistently, next time it occurs you will be less vulnerable, less affected, and you will recover faster. Welcoming, therefore, is an useful attitude on the way.
Bilingual text of Chapter 23: https://www.lisiming.net/philosophy/chinese-philosophy/daoist/daoist-philosophy/dao-de-jing-core-33-chapters/ddj11-3/