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The way in the middle

Last updated on March 14, 2022 by Roger Kaufman

A wise quote from the legendary Lao Tse

Who is Lao Tzu? Statue of Lao Tzu
The way in the middle

"He who holds balance, beyond the alternation of love and hate, beyond gain and loss, honor and shame, holds the highest place in the world." – Lao Tse, Tao the Kink

The path in the middle quotes

“Some people will certainly follow their minds without listening to their hearts, and others will follow their hearts without listening to their minds. Therefore, there are reasons that there is a balance between heart and mind. We were not advised to keep your mind and neglect the heart as well. Instead, we should follow the heart over the mind, but without abandoning logic completely. The middle path is the preferred path, and this path simply indicates that you let your heart guide you. But don't forget to balance reason with your conscience.” – Suzy Kassem

“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it was a hand all the time or stretched out all the time, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every little narrowing and widening, both beautifully balanced and collaborative like bird wings.” – Jelaluddin Rumi

Stones stacked on top of each other balanced in the hand - The path in the middle - "He who holds the balance, beyond the alternation of love and hate, beyond gain and loss, between honor and shame, holds the highest place in the world." - Lao Tse, Tao the Kink
The way in the middle

“First of all is the Buddhism neither pessimistic nor positive. If anything, he's reasonable, because he takes a reasonable view of it live and the world one. He checks the points neutrally. In a fool's paradise, neither scares nor torments you with everyone possible imaginary worries and sins. It tells you accurately and objectively what you are and also what the world is around you, and also reveals to you the means to ideal Freedom, rest, peace and joy.” – Walpola Rahula

“Don't go in and don't hide; do not appear and shine too; stay still in the middle.” - Zhuangzi

Buddhist training is neither a course of denial nor of affirmation. It reveals to us the paradox of the deep space, inside and beyond the lapel.

This awareness is called the middle ground

a blue spiral of clay
The way in the middle

Ajahn Chah discussed the middle ground daily. At the monastery we considered the middle ground.

At Golden, one hundred monks sat in an outdoor meditation structure fringed by towering trees and a dense, eco-friendly forest, and recited this first knowledge: "There is a middle ground between the extremes of enjoyment and self-denial, without sorrow and suffering. This is the means to peace and also to liberation in this life.”

If we seek happiness solely through forbearance, we are not free. And when we fight both ourselves and the globe, we are not free.

It is the middle ground that brings freedom. This is an axiom revealed by all those who are awakening. “It's like traveling through a large wooded area and encountering an old path, an old road that goes by People trodden in earlier days... Nevertheless, I have seen monks an ancient way, an ancient road, trodden by the properly informed of yore,” the Buddha asserted.

The middle way describes the happy medium between attachment and also hostility, between being and non-being, between type and emptiness, between free will and determinism.

The more we explore the middle ground, the deeper we rest between lapel games. Sometimes Ajahn Chah described it as a koan that "neither goes forward, nor kicks, nor stands still."

To uncover the middle ground, he continued, "Try to be conscious and let things take their natural training course. After that yours Spirit come to rest in any environment, like a clear forest pool, rare pets will certainly belong to consuming alcohol in the swimming pool, and you will clearly see the nature of all points. You will surely see many strange and also wonderful things repeated, but you will surely be silent. That is the joy of the Buddha.”

Forest pools in Thailand overlooking a temple
The way in the middle

Learning to relax in the center requires a trust into life itself. It's like learning to swim. I remember taking swimming lessons for the first time when I was 7 years old. I was a skinny, shuddering Kindthrashing around trying to stay afloat in a cold pool.

But one morning there came an enchanting minute that drew me back as I was held by the governess and then released. I understood that Water hold me that I can swim. I've started trusting funds.

There is both a simplicity and a poise to counting in the middle way, a mobile recognition that we too, in the ever-changing sea of life being able to swim, which actually always kept us.

The Buddhist Mentor invites us to uncover this convenience everywhere: in reflection, in the business, wherever we are. On the middle path, we settle into the reality of the here and now where all opposites exist. TS Eliot calls this the "quiet point of the spinning globe, neither to and fro, neither comprehending nor moving, neither flesh nor fleshless." Sage Shantideva calls the middle way "complete non-referential comfort." The Perfect Wisdom Text describes it as “awareness of suchness that past attainments of Big or small, ever present in all things, both as a course and as a goal.

A Buddhist woman searches in a temple - creating a balance between happiness and unhappiness
create balance between happiness and misfortune – The way in the middle

What do these strange words mean? They are trials, the joyful Experience to describe coming out of time, out of attainment, out of duality. They explain the ability to stay in the here and now. As one educator put it: “The middle way is not from here to there. He goes from there to here.” The middle way explains the existence of eternity. In the The fact of the here and now is life clear, brilliant, conscious, empty and yet full of possibilities.

When we find the middle ground, we neither distance ourselves from the world nor lose ourselves in it. We can with all our Experience in their complexity, with our own precise ideas and feelings and dramatizations as they are.

We discover to embrace tension, mystery, conformity. Instead of looking for resolution, waiting for the chord at the end of a song, we let ourselves open up and lean back in the middle as well. In between, we discover that the globe is editable.

Ajahn Sumedo teaches us to open ourselves to what points are like. “Of course we can always do more excellent Imagining conditions, how it should be ideally, how everyone else should behave. But it's not our job to develop something perfect.

It's our job to see what it's like, as well as win out of the world for what it's like. The conditions are always sufficient for the awakening of the heart.”

Ginger was a 51-year-old social worker who had worked for years at a center in California's Central Valley.

A dedicated meditator, she took a month off to come to our spring retreat. At first she found it difficult to thoughts to calm down.

Her precious younger brother had re-entered psychiatry, where he had originally been for schizophrenia Break had been admitted to the hospital.

She shared with me that she was flooded with emotions, confused by worry, confusion, restlessness, anger and also pain.

I advised her to drop everything, just sit and walk on the ground and let the issues settle in her own time. But while she rested, both the sensations and the Stories stronger.

I explained to her Ajahn Chah's training of resting like a clear forest lake. I challenged them to recognize one by one all the inner wilds that come and also consume by the pool.

She started naming them: Concern about loss of control, fear of death, worry for a total life, pain and clinging to a former connection, longing for a partner but who wants to be independent, concern for her siblings, stress and fear of cash, anger at the healthcare system she had to fight every day at work , appreciation for their employees.

I welcomed them to be in the middle, the paradox, the confusion, the hopes and fears. "Sit like a queen on the throne," I said, "and allow it game of life, the joys and also the sadness, the fears and also the complications, the birth and the death around you. Don't think you have to fix it."

Ginger practiced, rested and strolled too, let everything be. As the intense sensations kept coming back, she relaxed and also became increasingly quiet and present.

A woman raises her thumb - Disregard what harms you, but never forget what it has taught you. - Shannon L. Alder
The way in the middle

Her meditation actually felt much more spacious, the solid states and feelings arising seemed like impersonal waves of power. Her body became lighter and luck also set in. 2 days later the spots got worse.

She contracted the flu, felt exceptionally weak and at risk, and became clinically depressed. Since Ginger also had C liver disease, she worried that her body would certainly never be strong enough to meditate well or just live.

I reminded her to sit in the thick of it, and she came back the next day, quiet and content.

She explained: "I went back to the center. She laughed and sat down.

"Like the Buddha, I realized, oh, that's just Mara. I just say 'I see you Mara.' Mara can be my sadness or my hopes, my physical discomfort or my fear. All of that is just life and the middle ground is so deep, it's all and none of them, it's here all the time."

In fact, I've seen Ginger for many years now since she left hiding. Their external conditions have not really improved.

Her work, her brother, her health and well-being are still issues she continues to face. But her heart is particularly relaxed. She sits still almost daily in the chaos of her life. Ginger tells me that her reflection helped her discover the main path and also the inner freedom she was hoping for.

Source: "The Wise Heart"


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“Afflictions are classified as external mental elements and are not themselves any of the six major minds (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and also mental consciousness). The mind (a psychological consciousness) comes under its influence, goes where the illness takes it, and also accumulates a bad action.

There are a fantastic number different types of suffering, but the most important of them are desire, hate, gratification, wrong view, etc., distress and also disgust are in the foreground. Because of a first attachment to oneself, disgust arises when something undesirable happens. In addition, by clinging to oneself, there arises the pride that thinks one is exceptional, and similarly, when one has no expertise, a misperception develops that thinks the things of that expertise do not exist.

How does self-attachment etc. arise in such excellent power? Due to initial loose conditioning, even in dreams, the mind clings to 'i, i' and with the power of this imagination self-attachment occurs, etc. This wrong conception of 'i' arises from lack of knowledge about the Putting points cares. The reality that all elements are void of inherent existence is obscured and points are also taken in order to natural to exist; the solid idea of ​​'i' follows from this.

Therefore, the perception that sensations inherently exist is the nagging ignorance that is the ultimate source of all suffering.”
Dalai Lama XIV

Dalai Lama - Entering the Middle Way - The Middle Way

Day 1 of His Holiness the four day teaching Dalai Lama on Chandrakirti's “Entering the Middle Way” for Buddhists from Taiwan at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India from October 3rd – 6th, 2018.

The Dalai Lama
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