The path of a thousand miles
begins with a single step.
There was a master. He was called Master Heavenly Heart. He was called so because His spiritual heart was connected with the Infinite Tao and opened for the worthy — the gate to the Abode of Tao.
When He walked — Tao was with Him and in Him.
When He stopped — the pass into the Infinite Tao opened in the place where He stood.
When He was thinking — Te were there and illuminated His thoughts.
When He submerged Himself into the calm — He dissolved and disappeared in the infinite Ocean of Tao.
When He acted — the Great Te directed His actions, and Primordial Tao gave Him the power to fulfill them.
It was so with any activity in which He participated. And He did not waste His thoughts but rather kept peace and silence in the mind — so as not to interfere unnecessarily into what was already done. Yet if He participated in the creation and implementation of any plan — there was no force that could stop this plan from being realized.
A sage sees all the connections between things and events in their unity and from the Calm of Tao. And He acts only when Tao prompts Him to act.
Such was Master Heavenly Heart.
I say “was”, following the custom of people to name as “existing” only that which takes place in the material world, and as “non-existing” what is not dressed in the material cover.
But to be honest, everything should be called vice versa.
The Immortal Masters live on the other side of the things and phenomena of the dense material world. But this does not mean that They do not exist.
They may have bodies or may not have them; it does not affect Their awareness of Their existence and Their ability to act anywhere as needed.
Master Heavenly Heart is one of the Immortals. Therefore, He is always everywhere.
He comes to those who really need this and are ready to learn from the Immortal Masters.
At the same time, He always lives where things and phenomena of the material world do not have power and where vanity and worldly desires cannot perturb peace.
Where is such a place? It is in the Infinity of Tao!
Even now it is possible to hear the stories about His great and small deeds. These stories about wisdom remain in the world, where ignorance and disorder reign. They help those who travel from this world to the cognition of Tao.
* * *
A young man was looking for a Master Who could help him understand the meaning of human existence on the Earth and cognize the mysteries of Tao.
He heard about the Master Heavenly Heart and decided to find out whether what was said about Him was true or not.
And it was said the following: “He is never in a hurry and never rushes anywhere. He stays all His life in one place but knows everything about everything. He is everywhere and acts only when Tao orders Him. He walks, remaining motionless inside. He speaks, maintaining inner silence. His peace is transparent, and this allows the Greatness of Tao to be manifested through Him.”
The young man found the modest dwelling place of Master Heavenly Heart.
He saw the Master sitting near a lotus pond and being submerged into the Unity with Tao.
The young man did not have the ability to see Tao and Te, so he decided to make sure that the true Master was in front of him.
He came up to the Master and asked Him:
“Master, can You be wrong?”
“What do you want Me to say in response?
“If I say: ‘No, I’m never wrong!’ — then you will… worship My words and My body instead of working yourself to achieve the Mergence with Tao.
“If I say: ‘Yes, I can make a mistake’ — you will torment yourself with doubts about what I could teach you and about My knowledge of Tao — and then you will go to look for another master.
“Yet I will answer to you the following: ‘If Tao wishes, I can make a mistake. But it will be that mistake with which Tao will fulfill Its plan.’
“Is it enough for you?
“In order to cognize the Primordial Source of everything, Great Tao, — your aspiration for Tao is needed, and not miraculous properties of a master! Your success depends on your personal efforts! Even the Greatest of the Immortals cannot make a disciple Enlightened! You yourself should work, transforming your essence!
“First of all, you need to master the peace of mind, submerging it into the spiritual heart. Then you will live without being tormented by the crowd of thoughts; you will not be burdened by many things, and a series of mundane events will not overly involve you, nor enslave you!
“Clear the space for Tao in your spiritual heart! This will be the start of the creation and growth of the Heavenly Heart!
“The one who has mastered the peace of mind and become the love that originates in the spiritual heart — obtains the first achievement: the vanity of thoughts doesn’t overcome this person, wild outbursts of desires have no effect, and love for all creatures and Tao leads this seeker through life.
“If you want, tomorrow we can go to the mountains to start learning…”
“Master, why do we need to go to the mountains if you possess the power of Tao and Te and can move the mountains right here?”
“I wouldn’t like to bother other creatures by moving mountains because of your insignificant desire to see a miracle or because of your laziness that prevents you from making personal efforts.
“There is an easier way: we can begin to move our bodies to those mountains.
“We will set off, and every day you will see how the mountains become nearer, and how the distance, which separates us from them, reduces.
“This is the same with the Spiritual Path: no matter how great is the Master, His disciples themselves must traverse the road! Many times I passed this Path next to My disciples; I won’t give Myself the trouble to pass it again with you.
“The Enlightenment is not a gift from a Master to a disciple. The disciples should gain wisdom, love and power on the Path to Tao through their intense work and indomitable courage.
“Learn to work diligently and recapitulate what was already done! String the pearls of wisdom, given to you, on the thread that connects them!
“All that you will master on this Path may become your property only if you learn to use this wisdom in the life of your body and soul.”