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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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  • SKU: NAU760
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  • Publishers: Narayana Gurukula, Kerala
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Description

Specifications:

  • Dimensions:8.50 X 5.50 inch
  • Edition:2004
  • Author:Nitya Chaitanya Yati
  • Publisher:Narayana Gurukula, Kerala
  • Cover Type:PAPERBACK
  • Number of Pages:130
  • 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 isvery special, not just because of what those of us, whocontributed, 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 recognizedand becomes dynamic within each of us individually. Thedynamism of wisdom is that it ceaselessly conduces to thehappiness of oneself and to the enrichment of the communityof which one is a part. This, indeed, is the distinction betweenwisdom and mere knowledge.

    The source of wisdom is not anywhere to be found inthe outside world. It is an innate factor within each person,though its ''still small voice'' is often drowned out or ignoredin the bluster and bustle of transactional life, which whenlived un-contemplatively tends to degenerate into a knee-jerkseries of stimuli and responses, conducing more towardanxiety and frustration than toward peace and fulfillment.When Socrates voiced the truth that ''an unexamined life isnot worth living,'' it was not his intention to fill the coffers ofacademic institutions but to awaken each of us, wherever westand and in whatever path or ''walk of life,'' to the rich sourceof transformative wisdom within ourselves which has thepower to illuminate our own particular inmost goals and valuesand to guide us along the surest paths to their attainment.

    It is the grand paradox of wisdom that it is rooted in atruth which is universal, and yet it never flowers in the sameway twice. At the sight of the rising of the oneself samesun, countless birds each burst forth into their own uniquesongs. Similarly, inspired by the drawing of the universal andeternal light of wisdom within, each of us weaves brand newpatterns into the fabric of our common life.

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

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

    Yati in February and March of 980 at the East WestUniversity branch in Fernhill, Ootacamund in the BlueMountains of South India. The meditations were based onthe 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 excellenttranslations, such as by Lin Yutang (Modern Library) and GiaFu Feng (Vintage Books). The text of the verses are numberedand indented for easy identification within each meditation.

    Lao Tzu, who wrote the verses upon which the presentmeditations were based, was a sage who lived twenty fivecenturies ago in China. It is miraculous how his passingthoughts can reach through so much time and space to shedlight on the unique meanings embodied in each of our livestoday. The sage is one who can encapsulate Truth in seed-form, and those seeds can centuries later still be planted inthe 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 oftransmission of information (though he also represents awealth of that), but in the sense of having a rare ability toawaken and inspire others to a discovery and cultivation ofthe wisdom within themselves. A living Guru is like abenevolent gardener tending to each plant according to itsindividual needs, excesses, and potentialities. Such treatmentis also evident in the following pages.

    Those of us who participated in the six month semesterof the East West University, of which these group participationmeditations were a part, come from several countries (U.S.,Australia. India, and Belgium), make our livelihoods in a widerange 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 DivineDispensation), and represent several different religiousaffiliations and preferences (Christian, Moslem, Hindu.Buddhist, and Taoist). Yet each of us felt directly spoken toand personally benefitted by hearing the words of Lao Tu.sharing our images, impressions, and interpretations with eachother, and listening to the reflections of Guru Nitya.

    Very early on in this series of medications, the line ofdivision between the three above-mentioned roles of Sage,Living Guru, and Participating Student, all became very fluidand eventually non-existent. Like Chuang Tzu, who awokefrom a dream of being a butterfly with the plausible doubtthat perhaps he was actually a butterfly dreaming it wasChuang Tzu, similarly we could not ascertain if we werereliving the thoughts that illuminated the life of Lao Tzu or ifLao Tzu was coming again to life as our thoughts. In previousclasses we had awaited the comments of Guru Nitya in orderto hear the ''final word'' on some matter of concern or doubt.But through these meditations we discovered that sameunfaltering Word of the Guru arising within ourselves andrealized that it is and always had been this inner Guru whichultimately interprets and registers assent or dissent even whenwe listen to the words of a Guru outside.

    Listening to each other as well as to ourselves revealedhow sometimes radically different interpretation can be givento the same idea or situation, each of which has a great validitywithin its own frame of reference. We began to look toourselves and each other with a new appreciation andopenness. Although the specific content of each meditationis a treasure in itself, the greatest benefit of participating inthese meditations was the intimate familiarization theyafforded us with the Sage, Guru, and Seeker within ourselvesand each other.

    **Contents and Sample Pages**








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