Drawing of a Haw River beaver by Mikhail Bazankov 1997
for Russian edition of Beaver Soul.
GIFTS XX. November 9, 2014
Yes, this could be a Taoist 101 reader.
She uses, over and over, the basic Taoist ideas and teachings:
humans are one with all .....the separation from this unity with nature is main problem ......mind as not being able to see nature ( reality ) as it is .....false ego self as non real and not nature ways...water as example of the best way...nature as teacher and guide.....health-balance and long life as required to gain awareness... the goal of human life is .." return to the child.... return to the source ( nature ways ) "
she does this very well with the beaver in the water. beaver ( nature ) is teacher and water is the example the beaver ( us ) should live in well and work WITH not against.
she also speaks of the way nature needs no " proof " that a thing is right or works. She even talks of my " wood element” saying " of the 5 sayings of the hall of the small inn:
" where ever you go there you are "
she speaks of the tree in self rooted ( rooting is another basic requirement of most qi gong ) the tree with in Holy ( true ) self home is where the tree is well rooted.
... This book is a teaching dream just repeated over and over, best way.
Wonderful book...now to live it.. the book is not the teaching.. the map is not the land and the words are not the wisdom.
Another gift, a seeing into the roots of my Muse.
I wanted to be wise. How elusive that wisdom is,
but doesn’t every new difficulty teach me? I
let go fear of not enough money. People have
been helping me. I remember Larissa’s wisdom
in Russia when I needed my return ticket, and
the man I trusted had not given it back to me.
“Is everything okay now?” I calmed down
with difficulty. Did I not feed myself out of my
summer garden, even a few figs where the
branches lived? Farmer Kenneth kept
undercharging me for his perfect vegetables,
saying, “I’m going to take care of you.”
I’d made pickles for him as well as for me.
He gave me cucumbers and jars. Two
former students suddenly wanted to take
my new class when my enrollments have been
dropping. Then Pete gave his Taoist friend
a copy of Beaver Soul, a book of love for
water and for memories that are like fishes,
and this friend says my poems are Taoist
teachings. I did read the Tao Te Ching
once, and what I remember is: “Be like water.”
The highest good is like water.
Water gives life to the 10,000 things and does not strive.
It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao.*
I see my life afresh. Everything fits, including
how the living of wisdom is the hardest. Time
to let go my striving except to keep giving my
gifts wherever they are loved and desired.
Let people live with their own errors and trespasses.
We all have to do that, take our consequences.
Mine now are shoring me up, reminding me yet
again that receiving, trusting, valuing, using
my gifts and giving them away has transformed
my life into the Gift I was as a newborn and
grew to accept and live out as well as I could,
not without errors, and yet with an unerring
sense of who I was and where I needed to go
and how I needed to be.
*Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tsu, #8.
Translated by Gia Fu Feng and Jane English
Cover of American edition of Beaver Soul published by Finishing Line Press, 1913. $12. $15 to be mailed, includes tax. PO Box 253, Moncure, NC, 27559-0253. Cover by Mikhail Bazankov.