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Meditations on the Way (A Contemplative and Personalized Study of the Tao Teh Ching)

Meditations on the Way (A Contemplative and Personalized Study of the Tao Teh Ching)
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Item Code: NAU760
Author: Nitya Chaitanya Yati
Publisher: Narayana Gurukula, Kerala
Language: English
Edition: 2004
Pages: 130
Cover: PAPERBACK
Other Details: 8.50 X 5.50 inch
weight of the book: 0.14 kg
About the Book

The book is a journal of a series of thirty group-participation meditations conducted by Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati in February and March of 1980 at the East West University branch in Fernhill, Ootacamund in the Blue Mountains of South India. The meditations were based on the first thirty chapters of the Tao The Ching of Lao Tzu.

Lao Tzu, who wrote the verses upon which the present meditations were based, was a sage who lived twenty five centuries ago in China. It is miraculous how his passing thoughts can reach through so much time and space to shed light on the unique meanings embodied in each of our lives today. The sage is one who can encapsulate Truth in seed-form, and those seeds can centuries later still be planted in the fertile field of any searching mind.

Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati, who conducted the meditations, was a living Guru, a teacher not primarily in the sense of transmission of information, but in the sense of having a rare ability to awaken and inspire others to a discovery and cultivation of the wisdom within themselves. A living Guru is like a benevolent gardener tending to each plant according to its individual needs, excesses, and potentialities.

Foreword

Dear friend, the book you are holding in your hands is very special, not just because of what those of us, who contributed, put into it, but because of what you, yourself, can add to it and make out of it. If there is such a thing as "wisdom," it is only real to the extent that it is recognized and becomes dynamic within each of us individually. The dynamism of wisdom is that it ceaselessly conduces to the happiness of oneself and to the enrichment of the community of which one is a part. This, indeed, is the distinction between wisdom and mere knowledge.

The source of wisdom is not anywhere to be found in the outside world. It is an innate factor within each person, though its "still small voice" is often drowned out or ignored in the bluster and bustle of transactional life, which when lived un-contemplatively tends to degenerate into a knee-jerk series of stimuli and responses, conducing more toward anxiety and frustration than toward peace and fulfillment. When Socrates voiced the truth that "an unexamined life is not worth living," it was not his intention to fill the coffers of academic institutions but to awaken each of us, wherever we stand and in whatever path or "walk of life," to the rich source of transformative wisdom within ourselves which has the power to illuminate our own particular inmost goals and values and to guide us along the surest paths to their attainment.

It is the grand paradox of wisdom that it is rooted in a truth which is universal, and yet it never flowers in the same way twice. At the sight of the rising of the oneself same sun, countless birds each burst forth into their own unique songs. Similarly, inspired by the drawing of the universal and eternal light of wisdom within, each of us weaves brand new patterns into the fabric of our common life.

This, indeed as you shall see, was the process through which the meditations documented in this book unfolded, and this, in turn, is how you, in reading them, can take them still - one step further through your own insightful interpretation and application. I only wish the book itself could grow and reflect the contributions which each careful reader will wittingly or unwittingly add to it.

The book is a journal of a series of thirty group participation meditations conducted by Guru Nitya Chaitanya.

Yati in February and March of 980 at the East West University branch in Fernhill, Ootacamund in the Blue Mountains of South India. The meditations were based on the first thirty chapters of the Tao Teh Ching of Lao Tzu. The translation used was that of D. C. Lau (Penguin Books, Middlesex, England,!967). There are other excellent translations, such as by Lin Yutang (Modern Library) and Gia Fu Feng (Vintage Books). The text of the verses are numbered and indented for easy identification within each meditation.

Lao Tzu, who wrote the verses upon which the present meditations were based, was a sage who lived twenty five centuries ago in China. It is miraculous how his passing thoughts can reach through so much time and space to shed light on the unique meanings embodied in each of our lives today. The sage is one who can encapsulate Truth in seed- form, and those seeds can centuries later still be planted in the fertile field of any searching mind.

Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati, who conducted the meditations, is a living Guru who is a teacher not primarily in the sense of transmission of information (though he also represents a wealth of that), but in the sense of having a rare ability to awaken and inspire others to a discovery and cultivation of the wisdom within themselves. A living Guru is like a benevolent gardener tending to each plant according to its individual needs, excesses, and potentialities. Such treatment is also evident in the following pages.

Those of us who participated in the six month semester of the East West University, of which these group participation meditations were a part, come from several countries (U.S., Australia. India, and Belgium), make our livelihoods in a wide range of occupations (carpentry, teaching, fire-fighting, interior design, auto-mechanics, educational administration, parenting, gardening, and a mysterious though perhaps all- inclusive category which can only be called Divine Dispensation), and represent several different religious affiliations and preferences (Christian, Moslem, Hindu. Buddhist, and Taoist). Yet each of us felt directly spoken to and personally benefitted by hearing the words of Lao Tu. sharing our images, impressions, and interpretations with each other, and listening to the reflections of Guru Nitya.

Very early on in this series of medications, the line of division between the three above-mentioned roles of Sage, Living Guru, and Participating Student, all became very fluid and eventually non-existent. Like Chuang Tzu, who awoke from a dream of being a butterfly with the plausible doubt that perhaps he was actually a butterfly dreaming it was Chuang Tzu, similarly we could not ascertain if we were reliving the thoughts that illuminated the life of Lao Tzu or if Lao Tzu was coming again to life as our thoughts. In previous classes we had awaited the comments of Guru Nitya in order to hear the "final word" on some matter of concern or doubt. But through these meditations we discovered that same unfaltering Word of the Guru arising within ourselves and realized that it is and always had been this inner Guru which ultimately interprets and registers assent or dissent even when we listen to the words of a Guru outside.

Listening to each other as well as to ourselves revealed how sometimes radically different interpretation can be given to the same idea or situation, each of which has a great validity within its own frame of reference. We began to look to ourselves and each other with a new appreciation and openness. Although the specific content of each meditation is a treasure in itself, the greatest benefit of participating in these meditations was the intimate familiarization they afforded us with the Sage, Guru, and Seeker within ourselves and each other.

**Contents and Sample Pages**








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