Returning to the root

This Monday’s meditation is Ursula Le Guin’s translation of Chapter 16 from the Tao Te Ching.   Her interpretation of the Tao Te Ching’s ancient wisdom is the one I return to again and again.  This chapter fits the moodiness of November as the northern earth sinks homeward in anticipation of winter.  I like the notion that peace comes from taking the long view and in taking the long view, we can open our hearts.

Be completely empty.
Be perfectly serene.
The ten thousand things arise together;
in their arising is their return.
Now they flower,
and flowering
sink homeward,
returning to the root.

The return to the root
is peace.
Peace: to accept what must be,
to know what endures.
In that knowledge is wisdom.
Without it, ruin, disorder.

To know what endures
is to be openhearted,
magnanimous,
regal,
blessed,
following the Tao,
the way that endures forever.
The body comes to its ending,
but there is nothing to fear.

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