Time passed by. Daily meditations became a usual work for Lao Tse.
Nevertheless, at some point he noticed that his ceaseless efforts did not bring him the same joy and satisfaction anymore…
On top of that, the weather had changed: the rain had been falling for several days already…
Even the donkey did not like the gusty wind with the rain and the slippery clay under its hooves.
The cold penetrated the body of Lao Tse wearing wet clothes, and the nights spent under the open sky did not give him any rest.
It was harder and harder to meditate, although he tried his best.
Lao Tse could not understand what Huang Di wanted from him, and when he asked the Master about this situation — the silence was the only answer…
Lao Tse tried to overcome fatigue, but…
Finally, Huang Di said:
“So, are you tired of all this? Do you want to return to your old life and forget about the Path to Tao?”
“No! Of course, no! But why is everything so bad?”
“The fatigue or the diseases of the body hinder the spiritual work. It’s necessary to maintain the body’s energies in good conditions.
“Enter the house and take a rest! After that, we will discuss all your problems.”
… Suddenly, an old and abandoned house appeared before the weary travelers.
Lao Tse came in and looked around. It was dry and quiet. The dampness and the wind did not enter here. Only the steady sound of rain was heard through the walls that were damaged in some places.
A large pile of fresh hay was in the corner. Thus Lao Tse got a warm bed, and the donkey a good supper under the roof…
“Thank You, Huang Di!”
“I accept your gratitude and, answering your question, I will say that it was just a little test.”
“But I thought that all tests were over a long time ago because I am totally with You!”
“Testing doesn’t cease until the very end of the Path. A possibility to fall, to abandon further efforts or to make a wrong choice is also a part of the Divine ‘roasting’ of the soul, which it must pass in order to achieve the Divine Perfection!
“Well, now take a rest!”
… The donkey began eating its supper.
Lao Tse also chewed and swallowed some rice flatbread and then fell asleep.
He dreamed about the space of the Blissful Light in Which he was soaring like a bird and resting as a soul. Meantime, his body also restored its strengths…
* * *
Closer to the morning, Lao Tse saw himself among his friends during one of the lessons of Huang Di.
They met again in the room for conversations.
Huang Di said to His disciples:
“Today we will talk about some important aspects and conditions of mastering the stages of the Path. It will be useful both for you and for your future disciples.
“Routine and monotony of spiritual exercises and efforts directed to the service can hide Me from a seeker. This is similar to the situation when gray thick clouds hide the light of the sun for a very long time…
“However, even in such situations one should never forget that all spiritual efforts can produce the correct results only if they are made by the soul that persistently transforms itself into Love!
“I don’t come to those who don’t love Me!
“So that one who forgets about love will embrace only… the dead emptiness in the meditations. That person won’t get satisfaction from such spiritual work and may even consider as wrong the methods and the very formulation of the Purpose and of the tasks of spiritual efforts…
“The problem in these cases is rooted in the loss of love for Tao. If one loses the state of this love even for a moment, then that Sacredness which was almost in the hands becomes imperceptible.
“‘I’ of the soul and the Infinity of Tao can merge in the indissoluble Unity. Yet the only way to achieve this is love!
“Therefore, one needs to return again and again to the state of love for Tao, especially in difficult situations.
“As a result, the state of Mergence with Tao may become habitual.
“On the way to that state, one should learn not to oppose oneself to the Will of Tao in anything, neither in large issues nor in small!
“After that, on the next big stage of self-perfection, a practitioner should learn to live coming out from the Infinity of Tao. But this also can’t be achieved immediately.
“Initially, each soul evolves being an individual. This is necessary for its qualitative development and quantitative growth.
“And only that soul which has become very large and has obtained all Divine qualities can dissolve itself completely in My Transparent Calm!
“At the beginning, those who explore Tao come to Its Abode as guests. The Great Te, on the contrary, come and disappear in Tao, because They return to Their common Home! This means that They have become the Hosts since They have learned how to be in Unity with Tao all the time! They can also proceed from the Abode of Tao to act in the material world.
“Let Me add that while a human body hasn’t been filled completely with the Divine Calm of Tao, it can be affected by adverse factors.
“The destruction and death of a body — by themselves — don’t cause harm to a soul. So don’t be afraid of the death of your body!
“Yet bodies are given to us as a means that allows us to grow and perfect ourselves. That is why we should make effort to keep them healthy and strong. One should eliminate fatigue and illnesses, without yielding to them!
“A material body is necessary for a person to traverse the spiritual Path. Therefore, a body should be treated with care as some sort of dress given to one by Tao for one’s entire life on the Earth.”
* * *
At that moment Lao Tse woke up. The joy because of the gained understanding overfilled him!
The sun was shining outside and water drops were sparkling on wet leaves.
Lao Tse washed his body under a small waterfall flowing from a mountain ledge.
He felt truly awakened and began washing himself, like with water, with the streams of the Light of Love coming from the Heavenly Source. Sparkling streams, which gave Bliss, were flowing and flowing through his body and around it…
Lao Tse realized once again that the Great Te are always ready to help abundantly to those who seek purification!
The Divine Light of Love pervaded the body and the soul so that Lao Tse felt the unquenchable desire to give this Light to all living beings, including all the people who live without knowing about this great Light of all Te! These Te are always ready to help with the healing and transformation of the bodies and of the souls and to open the great Path of the cognition of Tao!
Lao Tse saw a peach tree in bloom. Its flowers opened themselves to the sunlight and were giving their beauty and fragrance to everyone. Lao Tse experienced himself like a similar tree, which just yesterday stood bare and was absorbing with its roots the moisture from the depths but today bloomed with fragrant flowers!
He used this image as the basis for a new meditation: he stepped into the depths of the Light-Fire, already cognized by him, dissolved himself in It and began to ascend, being this Light-Fire, to his own body and to pass through it.
The streams of life-giving Divine Love were flowing inside and started opening in the chakras like buds full of bliss and purity.
A minute later the energy channels of the body became filled with this radiance. Lao Tse felt as if the spring and fragrance flowed into every corner of his body! Now the Light-Fire ran freely inside all energy channels.
Lao Tse experienced himself filled with the Light — and this Light was longing to radiate outside!
A not young body of Lao Tse acquired incredible lightness, youthful flexibility, and mobility and started radiating Light so that the halo of Love-Bliss covered all the space around!
Huang Di praised His disciple:
“Well done! You’ve demonstrated your creativity and come really close to mastering the meditation ‘Tree’.
“To do it, you should see now how all living beings on the Earth get the life strength from Tao, like growing plants. This meditation should be started from the Sea of Light-Fire or from the Ocean of the Great Calm of Tao. As you master it, you will experience all the beings of the Under-Heavenly World as small branches of the great Divine Tree.
“By mastering this meditation, you will be able to restore the work of the internal organs of your body and make them function harmoniously. You also will be able to heal other people.
“Still you need to remember that energies flowing inside the bodies of different people are not equal in the levels of their subtlety but correspond to the state of the soul that lives in that body.
“If the level of subtlety of these energies inside the body corresponds with the Transparent Calm of Tao, the matter of that body will change gradually as well.
“When all chakras and main meridians are purified and all three dantyans are developed and refined — you can fill completely, by using that image of a tree, even the smallest energy channels of your body. In that case, the Divine Power of Tao will permeate the entire body from inside, saturating its flesh with the Divine state.
“Thus, after a while, the matter of this body will become totally Divine. Such a body then will obtain the immortality, and the owner of this body all the qualities of Tao, that is, Love, Omnipresence, Omniscience, and Omnipotence!
“In this way Tao gets the possibility to act through our bodies inside the material world in the most effective way.
“However, you still need to work hard to achieve this.”