This morning I picked up a slender book I hadn't looked at for a while, "Practical Taoism" (translated by Thomas Cleary).
I liked how the translator's preface started out.
Taoism, the original wisdom tradition of ancient China, may be rendered in English as "Wayfaring." In this manner of usage, the Way is classically defined in these terms: "Humanity follows earth, earth follows heaven, heaven follows the Way, the Way follows Nature." In the final sense, therefore, Taoism, or Wayfaring, refers to the pursuit of natural laws.
These natural laws are reflected in the body (earth), the mind (heaven), and in the order of the universe (the Way of Nature). The practice of Taoism, therefore, takes place in the cultivation and refinement of the natural capacities of the human body-mind continuum and its relationship with the social milieu and the natural world.
Then I read:
When there is something to strive for, don't give rise to ideas of gain and loss. Whether there is something to do, or nothing to do, let the mind always be at rest.
...When there is no intention to concentrate and yet one is never unconcentrated, that is called stable concentration.
Control without obsession, relaxation without indulgence, no aversion in the midst of clamor, no vexation in the midst of events -- this is true concentration.
...Since ancient times, those who forgot the concrete have been many, while those who forgot the abstract have been few. To be insightful but not exploit it is forgetting the abstract.
...The Way of absolute nonresistance has power that may be shallow or deep. When it is deep, its effect includes the physical body; when shallow, it only extends to the mind. Those whose bodies are affected are spiritual people.
...Just go on responding to what is most immediately urgent, peacefully and calmly, without agitation or ignorance. This is what is called always being responsive while always being serene.
After reading those words I watched an amazing, inspiring, beautiful You Tube video called "The Incredible Power of Concentration -- Miyoko Shida." I came across it somehow or other: Facebook or Twitter's naturalistic grace.
Wow. This woman has true concentration. She is spiritual, because her Way is bodily. Also of the mind; I loved a scene near the end where she looks calmly and concentratedly directly into the camera.
Keep your scriptures. Keep your holy places. Keep your godly saints. I'll take whatever Miyoko Shida has. Here's the inpiring video.
Here I learned that her performance was on a Spanish television program called "Tú Sí Que Vales" ("You Can Do It").
For sure. She can do it.
Whatever "it" is. Seems like we all have it. It just shines more evidently in some people, places, and things than others. And within each of us, it waxes and wanes mysteriously.
The Taoism book I read this morning says:
But even though you cannot see it when you look, never are you not seeing it; even though you cannot hear it when you listen for it, never are you not hearing it.
It is like the wind shaking trees and raising waves -- you can hardly call it nonexistent, but when you look at it you cannot see it, and when you grasp for it you cannot apprehend it, so you can hardly call it existent.