Newsletter Summer 2013 – Modern Daoist

The Dao is everywhere, in all things, at all times. Some of these “things” help to illuminate it more clearly for me; the song “Be Still” by the Killers is one such thing. Following are the lyrics and my interpretation of the lines in which I so clearly hear the Way.

Be still
And go on to bed
Nobody knows what lies ahead
And life is short
To say the least
We’re in the belly of the beast
(signifying the dualistic view)

Be still
Wild and young
(free, clear, immortal)
Long may your innocence reign
(Meet every timeless moment anew, without the influence of the past or future.)
Like shells on the shore
And may your limits be unknown
(the limitless Dao)
And may your efforts be your own
If you ever feel you can’t take it anymore
(in times dominated by the delusions of the mind…)

Don’t break character
You’ve got a lot of heart (Be guided by your true heart. No need for good/bad, do’s/don’ts. Simply let the Dao shine through you – the Dao is your character.)
Is this real or just a dream?
(“He didn’t know if he was Zhuangzi who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuangzi.”)
Rise up like the sun
Labor till the work is done
(Be diligent in your practice. Know and guard the One in every moment until Complete Perfection is achieved.)

Be still
One day you’ll leave
Fearlessness on your sleeve (Cultivate stillness until you know emptiness, void of all emotions.)
When you’ve come back, tell me what did you see
What did you see
Was there something out there for me?
(We can question, but the Dao can only be known through direct experience, not the intellect.)

Be still
Close your eyes
Soon enough you’ll be on your own
Steady and straight
And if they drag you through the mud (“They” = attachments and ego. It is not limited to external opinions, but any construct of the mind that creates suffering.)
It doesn’t change what’s in your blood
When they knock you down

Don’t break character
You’ve got a lot of heart
Is this real or just a dream?
Be still
Be still
Be still
Be still

Over rock and chain
Over sunset plain
Over trap and snare
When you’re in too deep
In your wildest dream
In your made up scheme (Take refuge in the Dao unceasingly, through all of life’s seemingly “ups” and “downs”; “True stillness is when a mountain crashes in front of you and you are not afraid”).
When they knock you down
When they knock you down

Don’t break character
You’ve got so much heart
Is this real or just a dream?
Oh Rise up like the sun
And labor till the work is done
Rise up like the sun
Labor till the work is

Rise up like the sun
And labor till the work is done (Not Two)

In Stillness,
Ashley Welikonich
Priest-in-Training 2013

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