Michelle Wood, 3

Interview with Michelle Wood

MP:

I SO love your take on teachers. I absolutely hear you. Especially the bit about feeling less-than because your teacher hasn't rung your doorbell. I appreciate your recognition that all we need resides within. I like to think of this as a biological or chemical shape that naturally attracts the next shape just like building blocks or puzzles. Nature knows what it is doing. I have to say I just cracked myself up, as I saw the difference between intuition and tuition as "in" further proof that it is always right there in front of us.

In addition, your comment on the difference between good and great teachers is well made. Thank you for all of that. It is a question that comes up often in these interviews. Some feel that a teacher is absolutely essential. Others do not. There are also those who believe that discussing these things at all is harmful- that any words put towards describing greater awareness, awakening, enlightenment, etc. can only be distracting to one's growth as it paints a picture of what one can expect. Yes, the Tao cannot be named, but some of the greatest teachers have spoken non-stop their entire lives. What is your take on this?

Michelle:

LOL- that's a good one, intuition and tuition! I'll have to remember that one! I really love the puzzle imagery, too; I enjoy putting together those 3-D puzzles of buildings. Everything in the universe does fit together perfectly. We just need to allow it to do so without judgment which leads to interference. I don't believe that discussing any subject is harmful, but it is true that a person must remain as open-minded as possible and Allow instead of Expect. Above all, that is most important.

Discussion is good. It leads to thoughts which lead to ideas which lead to experimentation which leads to experience. It's good when someone clues you in on the possibilities. How else would you know what to look for or how to get there? I believe that is why some of the greatest teachers talk non-stop about that which cannot be named, the Tao. The Tao is the most delicious paradox. It is both the Void in which we experience Oneness with Universal Consciousness, and to be "In The Dao" is the experience of being in complete harmony with the cycles of changes that make up the physical world.

Like Unconditional Love, Tao is a state of being. There is nothing in the Daodejing (Tao Te Ching) that tells you what to expect. It does instruct you in how to attain harmony, how to "do without doing," follow the laws of Nature and let Nature take its course, to be in harmony with all that is, and that is what leads to being in the State Of Being that is Tao.

Take, for example, Steve Mitchell's translation of verse 48 of the Daodejing: "In pursuit of knowledge, every day something is added. In the practice of the Tao, every day something is dropped. Less and less do you need to force things, until finally you arrive at non-action. When nothing is done, nothing is left undone. "True mastery can be gained by letting things go their own way. It can't be gained by interfering."

It's very simple, really. It's so simple most people can't believe it because it's so simple. It's "too easy." Today, most people believe that everything of value is complicated. Nothing could be further from the truth, and that is why teachers talk non-stop about the Tao, to open our eyes to the truth and virtue of simplicity, harmony, and compassion.

There is another verse of the Daodejing I like that is beautifully simple yet powerfully instructive, verse 70, again Steve Mitchell's translation: "My teachings are easy to understand and easy to put into practice. Yet your intellect will never grasp them, and if you try to practice them, you'll fail. "My teachings are older than the world. How can you grasp their meaning? "If you want to know me, look inside your heart."

Your intellect can't grasp the Tao, it's not a thought process, but your heart (the seat of the Spirit (Shen in Chinese)) knows what it is to be in Conscious connection. Like Unconditional Love, being In The Tao is a natural state we have lost. Teachers of Tao help us rediscover it. What can be more simple, more powerful, more profound than allowing ourselves to return to our natural state of being?

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