Appalachian Trail – Walking to Front Royal

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I look at the moon.

I am walking toward Front Royal, on my way to Harpers Ferry.
I read Chapter 16 of the Tao te Ching, written by Lao tsu (translated by Steven Mitchell):

“Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.

Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.

Each separate being 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 you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.

Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.”

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Sunrise

I get water from the spring.

“Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.”

Your mind generates thoughts, emotions, sensations — Acknowledge what comes up and let it go. There is no need to be upset when you find that your heart is troubled — by focusing, you become more peaceful. Peace is a process, not a goal.

Peace is within, waiting.

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I am in the northern part of the Shanandoah National Park.

“Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.”

You can observe your inner turmoil and become aware that it changes over time. By watching, you come to see — more clearly.

“Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.”

All of us are returning to the source — but this is not something to discuss. This is something to experience.

“If you don’t realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.”

I have stumbled and fallen many times — the secret is: Get up!

“When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.”

If you come to my house, I will make cookies for you!

“Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.”

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Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.”

Campfire at sunset

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Sunset

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