Tao by Matsumoto

Taoism videos / Chapter 15 6-9.

Buddhist ice

Tao Te Ching Chapter 15-6
Solemn, as if he were a guest. (Ch.15)

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If you know Tao, you are formal and dignified as if you were invited to a dinner party.

What does "to be solemn" mean here?

It means "to be detached".

When you are a guest, you have to be polite enough, but largely detached from what the hosts are really doing, saying, and especially thinking.

Never mind. It's not your business if the sauce is too salty or not.

In life, you are a guest to the world.

You don't invite them. You are invited.

See the post with a photo at «Tao by Matsumoto» blog

Watch the video and read its comments at YouTube


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If you are familiar with Major League Baseball, you know what Baltimore Orioles are. Eternal underdogs. We love underdogs somehow, don't we? I do. Particularly when I see the international popularity of Zen, I want to help a bit to promote Buddhist underdogs, Tariki Buddhism. Tariki means "not to help yourself, but let others help you." Read Shinran Shonin's Tannisho. There is a cheaper paperback, too. Under dogs might be closer to Tao. Didn't Mr Lao Tzu say so?

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Tao Te Ching Chapter 15-7
Buddhist ice / Disintegrating
Disintegrating, as if he were ice about to melt. (Ch.15)

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If you know Tao, you are disintegrating.

Hang loose.

Never mind falling


Don't try to structure things.

A Buddhist monk, Bassui Tokusho 抜隊得勝 (1323-1387), said:

"When you are lost, you are like ice."

(«Bassui Kana Hogo» 抜隊仮名法語)


Other Zen Buddhists say:

"When you are tight, you are lost. When you are loosened up, you are Buddha."

See the post with a photo at «Tao by Matsumoto» blog

Watch the video and read its comments at YouTube

Tao Te Ching Chapter 15-8
Thick, as if he were an uncarved block. (Ch.15)

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"You are a bit thick. You know that?"

When you talk about

Tao in front of people,

some of them must say


If they say: "Wow, you are a true enlightened man", you are not talking about a true «uncarved block».

This is one of Lao Tzu's favorite expressions to describe the initial state of being.

Be as innocent, as stupid, and as thick as an «uncarved block».

See the post with a photo at «Tao by Matsumoto» blog

Watch the video and read its comments at YouTube

Tao Te Ching Chapter 15-9
Empty, as if he were a valley. (Ch.15)

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A: "Be empty."

B: "Sir,... Excuse me,

sir. How can I be


A: "Empty your mind."

B: "Yes, sir."

B tries to empty his mind.

B: "No, sir, I can't do it. I can't do it. Oh, my god! There must be something wrong with me. Something wrong with me!"

Don't worry.

Nobody needs to empty his mind.

Don't waste your time and energy. It doesn't matter if you can do it or


Your mind and body are a hologram. In a sense, you are already


Then, what does "Be empty." mean really?

It means:

"No resistance. Accept all".

See Chapter 6 Valley God. The word "valley" is always associated with emptiness, vacuum, and void in Tao Te Ching.

Buddhists say:

Color is justly equal to emptiness. Emptiness is justly equal to



[Shiki soku ze ku. Ku soku ze shiki.]

Dogen adds:

Color is color. Emptiness justly emptiness.


(Makahannya Haramitsu 摩訶般若波羅蜜, «Shobogenzo»)

Naoto Matsumoto says:

You say Potato. I say Potahto.

See the post with a photo at «Tao by Matsumoto» blog

Watch the video and read its comments at YouTube

See also Full = Empty 45-3


Need help?

Q: "I am frustrated! Will Tao help me?"

A: Why don't you think the other way round?

Reverse Thinking

Q: "I am not happy about how I look. Do I need a cosmetic surgery?"

A: Before you invest a hefty sum of money on your appearance, there are a few things to think about.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall

Q: "I am scared of seeing my reports. What’s gonna happen if the numbers are not good enough"

A: Zen Masters asks you to forget about statistics.

No Numbers

Q: "We need to change our way to grow foods. I am worried about the future of my children. What should we do?"

A: If you are interested in organic foods, read about the modern-day Lao Tzu of “Do nothing” farming, late Masanobu Fukuoka.

Tao Agriculture

Q: "People talk about Zen, but what the heck is it indeed?"

A: Zen is nothing special. It is something you know well.

Zen is Love

Q: "I am desperate. I need some solutions right away."

A: No worries. Here is a practical method.

10 points to be One with Tao

Q: "I am confused when people tell me to face reality. What is reality?"

A: A good question! Zen masters have been tackling the question for ages, but our old man, Lao Tzu, knows the answer.

No Absolute Truth

Q: "Is a geisha truly a p,........., a lady of the oldest profession of human beings?"

A: No, it means "artist", literally. She is an artist of the Taoist way of living.

Kawabata's Onsen Geisha

Q: "What Does Nintendo mean?"

A: It means "Do nothing" Corporation.