Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Tao Te Chin(g) of Skateboarding: A Guide to Stoke (Part 2)

                                  The Tao Te Chin(g) of Skateboarding: A Guide to Stoke (Part 2)

See this post for introduction.


We join seven steal balls together in a bearing
but it is the center hole
that allows us to roll;

We shape concrete into a pool
but the emptiness inside
is what we occupy

We hammer wood for a DIY
but it is the space between features
that make it skateable

We work with Being,
but non-Being is what we skate.


Colors (of graphics) blind the eye.
Sounds (of grinds) deafen the ear.
Flavors numb the taste.
Thoughts (of skating) weaken the mind.
Desires (to improve) wither the heart.

The Master skates, and observes, the world
but trusts his inner vision.
He allows things to come and go.
His Stoke is open as the sky.


Success is as dangerous as failure.
Hope is as hollow as fear.

What does it mean that success is a dangerous as failure?
Whether you go up the ladder or down it,
you position is shaky.
When you stand with your two feet on the ground,
you will always keep your balance.

What does it mean that hope is as hollow as fear?
Hope and fear are both phantoms
that arise from thinking of the self.
When we don't see the self as self,
what do we have to fear?

See the Session as your self.
Have faith in the way things are.
Love the Stoke as your self;
then you can care for all that skateboarding offers.


Look for the Stoke, and it can't be seen.
Listen, and it can't be heard.
Reach, and it can't be grasped.

Above, it isn't bright.
Below, it isn't dark.
Seamless, unnamable,
it returns to the realm of nothing.
Form that includes all forms,
image without an image,
subtle, beyond all conception.

Approach it and there is no beginning;
follow it and there is no end.
You can't know it, but you can be it,
at ease on your board, and in your own life.
Just realize where your skating first came from; The Original Stoke.
This is the essence of wisdom.


The first skaters were profound and subtle.
Their Stoke was unfathomable.
There is no way to describe it.
all we can describe is their appearance.

They were careful
as someone crossing an iced-over stream.
Alert as a warrior in enemy territory.
Courteous as a guest.
Fluid as melting ice.
Shapable as a block of wood.
Receptive as a valley.
Clear as a glass of water.

Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unrolling
till the right line arises by itself?

The Master doesn't seek fulfillment.
Not seeking, not expecting,
he is present in the session, and welcomes all things.


Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.

Each separate skater in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.

If you don't realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where your skating first came from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.
Immersed in the wonder of the Stoke,
you can deal with whatever a session, and life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.


When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.

If you don't trust the people,
you make them untrustworthy.

The Master doesn't talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
skaters say, "Amazing:
we made a DIY, all by ourselves!"


When the great Stoke is forgotten,
goodness and piety appear.
When the body's intelligence declines,
cleverness and knowledge step forth.
When there is no peace in the family,
filial piety begins.
When the community falls into chaos,
competition and comparison are born.


Throw away holiness and wisdom,
and people will be a hundred times happier.
Throw away morality and justice,
and people will do the right thing.
Throw away industry and profit,
and there won't be any thieves.

If these three aren't enough,
just stay at the center of the bearing*
and let all things roll on their course.

*See Chapter 11


Stop thinking, and end your problems.
What difference between yes and no?
What difference between success and failure?
Must you value the trends, tricks, and style that others value,
avoid what others avoid?
How ridiculous!

Other people are excited,
as though they were at a product toss.
I alone don't care,
I alone am expressionless,
like an infant before it can smile.

Other people have what they need;
I alone possess nothing.
I alone drift about,
like someone without a home.
I am like an idiot, my mind is so empty.

Other people are bright;
I alone am dark.
Other people are sharper;
I alone am dull.
Other people have a purpose;
I alone don't know.
I drift like a wave on the ocean,
I blow as aimless as the wind.

I am different from ordinary skaters.
I drink from the Great Mother's breasts.

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