Discernment comes not from the mind, not from reading a book or following a set of rules or rituals, but through the spirit. Learning to Surf the Tao means acquiring the skill to bypass thought, and listen instead to the Voice within. Our sages, the true masters, attempted to teach this; though their words might be different, the essence is the same. “Be still, and know that I am God”(Psalms 46:10); “Look within. Be still. Free from fear and attachment, Know the sweet joy of the Way.” (Buddha); “When the five senses and the mind are still, and reason itself rests in silence, then begins the Path supreme.” (Katha Upanishad); “Empty your mind of all thoughts. Let your heart be at peace.” (Lao Tzu); “If your have not liked yourself to true emptiness, you will never understand The Art of Peace.” (Ueshiba).
‘Tao’ means ‘Way’, and it was originally meant to set forth a Way of Life, not as a ‘religion’ or sect. Buddha’s original teachings mirror this philosophy. Indeed the words of Jesus also point this Way, but in all of these cases their words were added to, and shaped around differing sects and worldly institutions of power and control. Instead, the Way is far simpler. Live in love, and follow its divine essence in every aspect of life. If you do, you can begin to Know for yourself, who the ‘good guys’ are. They teach this simple truth, despite the paradox of trying to put the Unknowable into words, for as Lao Tzu wrote, “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.”
The ancient masters were subtle, mysterious, profound, responsive.
The depth of their knowledge is unfathomable.
Because it is unfathomable,
All we can do is describe their appearance.
Watchful, like men crossing a winter stream.
Alert, like men aware of danger.
Courteous, like visiting guests.
Yielding, like ice about to melt.
Simple, like uncarved blocks of wood.
Hollow, like caves.
Opaque, like muddy pools.
Who can wait quietly while the mud settles?
Who can remain still until the moment of action?
Observers of the Tao do not seek fulfillment.
Not seeking fulfillment, they are not swayed by desire for change.
(Tao Te Ching, verse 15, trans. Fia-fu Feng and Jane English, Vintage Books Edition, 1972.) For more on my website, check out http://www.surfingthetao.com/The_Good_Guys.htm