For every act of evil, there is an act of beauty. You Can't Change the World, Only Your Attitude Towards It.

> Empty your boat... <

...or admit there is no driver.

This is a Tow Wow Important post

The Tao story that filtered down into Zen, through to more normal Buddhism seems also to be quite common in folk tales so you are sure to have come across it. It is the story of the man who on crossing the water would be angry about a boat with a driver hitting his boat but not bothered if the boat that hit his was empty and drifting freely.

The story would then encourage the reader to empty his own boat and I would like to look at at least three useful views you can take from the simple story. 1) Seeing other boats as empty. 2) Emptying your boat. and 3) Admiting there is not even a driver.

1) Should you be on a busy street and have to step around a box then it would take a very angry person to complain. Should the box be replaced by a drunk man then the disruption to your walk, a side step and carry on, would be the same yet could cause some people to complain about the person blocking their way. - In this case we must empty the other boat and just flow around any obstacle with no blame on it.

2) The above can be cured also by your emptying your own boat. If you clipped the drunks leg as you stepped by then they may complain. If you made it by with no interaction still you could complain. In all cases if your boat is empty then nothing is done and no residual wave is carried into your next actions. The empty boat glances off the other and goes where ever it is going next.

3) In both cases we were asking the driver to effectively disown their ego reaction to the world and this may be argued as being asked to be a zombie or to attempt to throw away life and not have any care of that going on around you. This is not the case. The empty boat still goes to many places, it just never gets lost, never fights the tide or wind, never tries to go one way and dislike going another. The empty boat, rather than picking up some anger or murmuring some words "damn drunk", telling their friend how the drunk was this or that and in doing so passing on the ripple to another, instead of picking anything up and being left to drop it in the future, has their whole complete mind on the pleasure of being.

The empty boat still hits stuff, still gets pushed about by the wind, still will get old rotten and sink, but by not attaching to it's form or it's destiny it remains open, with no driver it never misses one moment of truth.

The mind is on the pleasure of being and no where else. This boat never carries excess weight that has to be dropped later, that weight is simply not picked up in the first place.

Tao Wow | Daily Cup of Tao


tao said...

You have inspired this:

Tao said...

again I don't see the connection between your article and mine but thanks for sharing your thought.

Eric Dubay said...

Another amazing article. I don't think you can have parenthetical >Tao Wow Important Posts< because they all are! Keep up the great work, your articles always bring a smile to my face and peace of mind.


konzy said...

I believe we all have free will to the point that we base it on our past in a logical progression. In a sense we have already chosen our future the day we were born. Fighting it we fight with ourselves.