Photo: Men Laden With Tea, Sichuan Sheng, China. By Ernest H. Wilson, 1908.
The Tao is uncontrived, yet there is nothing it does not do.
It can be witnessed by the mind, not known by knowledge.
What is "knowing"? What is "witness"?
Knowledge dismisses knowledge.
Witness only responds.
Response comes from nowhere.
Mind then penetrates.
Penetrate the One, and all tasks are done.
The One is the root.
The task is the door.
When the task returns to One, the One is ever present.
The presence should not be reified;
provisionally we speak of keeping it.
Keep open selflessness and naturally be eternal.
'Immortal Sisters: Secret Teachings of Taoist Women'
by Thomas Cleary (Editor, Translator)
Immortal Sisters presents life stories and teachings of distinguished female Taoist adepts who lived from the third to twelfth centuries. Among them is the poet and mystic Sun Bu-er, who passed into folklore as one of the famous Seven Immortals and appears as a character in countless popular novels of China. These accomplished women, renowned in their own day and in history, represent a uniquely female heritage of spiritual mastery. Through poems, stories, teachings, and commentaries, Immortal Sisters sheds light on the spiritual methods taught and practiced by these women and illustrates the importance of the feminine in Taoism.