Friday, March 13, 2020

Transition into Early Spring and the Dao. Many Paths, One Center.

When we are in the midst of seasonal transition, I always love to revisit the Daoist translations and the work of Dennis Willmont. His work is rich and meaningful on so many levels. I look for the pearls, something to hold onto, even if it is for just a few savored hours of study and exploration. He has merged what feels like lifetimes of academic research into just one book and he has written so many! Thank you Dennis.
This particular excerpt caught my eye today, it is from the Embracing Dao section of the book title Many Paths, One Center, A Comprehensive Study of the Diodejing. (Volume 4 in the Daodejing Series)

"The idea of PROTECTION works on the PREVENTION level of HEALING where an alliance with the Principles of Dao is fundamental. Such an alliance is also fundamental in having FAITH in the ORDER OF THE UNIVERSE as the External provider of VIRTUE/EMPOWERMENT.

One who sincerely embodies VIRTUE is like a NEWBORN. Poisonous insects (that is, hornets and scorpions) and snakes do not sting it, fierce beasts do not prey upon it, and birds of prey do not spring upon it. -Daodejing 55."

"Now it is heard that he who is proficient in living LIFE meets with no wild buffalo or tigers in his tracks, and comes out of the MILITARY without SUFFERING from SHIELDS and WEAPONS. For him the buffalo finds no place for his horn, the Tiger finds no place to claw, and WEAPONS find no place to slay. What is the reason for this? Because he has no place for DEATH in him. -Daodejing 50."

The understanding that I take away from this translation is to seek and mind the middle path.  By walking alongside this construct, we are less likely to swing too far into one direction or to become injured. 
As Spring arrives, I have been taking pictures of the new flowers, making collages and reading. I observe the middle path of the natural rhythms and remain the constant and curious observer. 
Befriending this hibiscus flower again in bloom has brought me so much joy this week. The color, the vibrancy and grace,  the study of the anatomy, and to be held in its pink embrace.

These collages include my botanical illustrations, a dragon that I painted many years ago, my needlepoint and favorite reproductions from my grandmothers books. They are happy floral images and I wanted to include as many beautiful images in this post as possible. 

The middle lower center image is one of my sun prints, the bird image in the lower right hand square is by Tanya Wolfkamp, the needlepoint from a series that I completed this past Winter. 

The Hellebore above was taken in the afternoon light this week, here in East Hampton. This is the best light of the year because the leaves have not yet emerged but the sun is stronger and crisp. The bluebird was an extraordinary gift yesterday that made my heart sing. 

Wishing everyone the gifts of the middle path as we transition into Spring in these changing times. 

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