The Cultivation of Realization: Heaven and Earth

Translated by Thomas Cleary

The Great Way is formless; the universe is the Way with form. The universe itself does not speak; sages are a universe that can speak. I did not get to see the sages, but I have read their classic writings. By reading their classic writings, one can understand their principles; how is that different from seeing the sages?

God creates our bodies, God bestows our nature. Inside and outside are both from God; how dare we derange them? We are within God, God is in our hearts; if we see the universe and emulate its purity, this is not different from the Great Way. If we have even a little selfish intent, we experience penalties that are not trivial.

The physical body is God-given nature; if you act in accord with God-given nature, you will spontaneously be free of the burden of human desires. Daily tasks are norms; act in obedience to the laws of God and there will be no mistaken excesses.

The path of humanity is always coordinated with heaven and earth in the alternation of movement and stillness. Human energy is always in communion with heaven and earth in the alternation of exhalation and inhalation.

I have read that the sun going down into the earth is a symbol of the fire of the heart descending, and the moon reaching the center of the sky is a symbol of the water of the kidneys rising. Gazing upward, we see the North Star abiding in its place, with the other stars revolving around it; so it is called the pivot of the sky. Since even the heavens have a pivot–which is considered the root of creation–human beings also have a pivot, which is considered the source of nature and life.

Even though they are equally human, there are so-called great people who match their qualities with heaven and earth. Try examining your own mind and your own nature–how may they match heaven and earth? If they match, then be diligent; if not, then quickly reform. Do this and attaining human greatness will not be a worry.

Heaven produces, earth develops; they are our universal father and mother. Heaven is active, earth is still; they are our universal guide and teacher. The past sages were the children of heaven and earth. Those who actually love their parents are great in virtue; they will surely receive life. Those who actually respect their teachers learn from the ground up and arrive at the peak.

Source: Taoist Meditation: Methods for Cultivating a Healthy Mind and Body

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