Self-Observation Taoist

Clearing the Mind — A Taoist Exercise from the Hua Hu Ching

In the Hua Hu Ching, a compilation of ancient Taoist teachings attributed to Lao Tzu, the following exercise is given for clearing the mind…

The ying yang, a Taoist sacred symbol, represents balance and harmony within the universe, within nature, and even within ourselves. Photo by Wingsancora93 (CC BY SA-4.0), via Wikimedia Commons

In the Hua Hu Ching, a compilation of ancient Taoist teachings attributed to Lao Tzu, an exercise is given for clearing the mind:

“Does one scent appeal more than another? Do you prefer this flavor, or that feeling? Is your practice sacred and your work profane? Then your mind is separated: from itself, from oneness, from the Tao. Keep your mind free of divisions and distinctions. When your mind is detached, simple, quiet, then all things can exist in harmony, and you can begin to perceive the subtle truth.”

~Hua Hu Ching, Chapter 11. Translated by Brian Walker

3 Comments

  • I got a lot out of reflecting on this passage while exploring it over the summer. I didn’t find that my mind cleared, so perhaps it’s not the best practical aspect to take away from this passage for me. Yet, I found meditating on the passage gave me a lot of insight I needed into the inner workings of the mind, and it helped me to understand various areas in my life that highlighted the question: “Is your practice sacred and your work profane?”

  • A great passage to reflect on and see how easily the mind gets filled with thoughts and distraction instead of being clear so the consciousness is properly activated and aware.

  • The Hua Hu Ching has become one of my favorite book – there is so much in it that compels for inner reflection, that makes me yearn for being one with divinity and also makes me question the way I “see” reality.

    This passage is perfect in giving me the push to understand how to move beyond this ‘cataloguing’ that my mind does daily with each new situation I find myself in.

    Thanks for that!

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