Little is known about the life of Chuang Tzu, a renowned and influential Chinese Taoist philosopher who lived during the fourth century BCE. According to legend, he refused King Wei of Chou’s offer to promote him from a minor administrative post to chief minister, saying that he preferred to remain free. In “The Woodcarver,” a master carver named Khing makes a bell stand so astonishing that everyone who sees it concludes that it must have been made by spirits. Asked for his secret, Khing says that he has neither secret nor method; instead, after an intensive process of preparation, “the right tree” revealed itself to him, the bell stand already within it.
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The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton. New Directions, 1965.
Reading - Short Enough to Read Aloud.
How can contemplation change our actions?What do we hope to learn from meditation or contemplation?What do we learn from silence?What does it look like to be truly present?Is work a way to a goal or its own reward?What do I hope my work accomplishes?What does it mean to have a “calling”?