Where the pot’s not

Daoism, with its emphasis on following the Way, fully aware of the complexity of trying to live in harmony with natural forces, is my favourite of the ancient religious traditions.  The Tao Te Ching, in particular the version developed by Ursula Le Guin, my favourite author, is dear to my heart.  The wisdom of this religion is a source of great spiritual nourishment for me.

I am off to the Canadian Unitarian Council‘s Spiritual Leadership Symposium in Ottawa, so today I only have time to post a piece from the Tao Te Ching that speaks to the value of being empty.  This is the chapter that inspired me to consider the empty chalice;  emptiness is so often considered a negative, yet it is that empty space – the openness waiting to be filled – that is so essential to living.

Chapter 11    The uses of not

Thirty spokes
meet in the hub.
Where the wheel isn’t
is where it’s useful.

Hollowed out,
clay makes a pot.
Where the pot is not
is where it’s useful.

Cut doors and windows
to make a room.
Where the room isn’t
there’s room for you.

So the profit in what is
is in the use of what isn’t.


One thought on “Where the pot’s not

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