We walk through the old town of Puebla de Sanabria .
I read Chapter 77 of the Tao te Ching (translated by Steven Mitchell):
“As it acts in the world, the Tao
is like the bending of a bow.”
We walk to the church and find that it is locked — open only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
We walk around the castle.
“The top is bent downward;
the bottom is bent up.”
There are exhibits inside. I try on the armor and weapons used by those fighting in the Middle Ages.
i hold a small cross bow.
“It adjusts excess and deficiency
so that there is perfect balance.”
We climb up to the castle ramparts.
“It takes from what is too much
and give to what isn’t enough.”
“Those who try to control,
who use force to protect their power,
go against the direction of the Tao.”
We will be climbing many thousand feet over the next few days — passing over the mountains in this direction.
“They take from those who don’t have enough
and give to those who have far too much.”
I look at the defensive situation faced by soldiers who might overcome the first outer walls. The castle contains Inner defensive positions and those below can be fired on by those above.
“The Master can keep giving
because there is no end to her wealth.”
This castle is one of many in this area of Spain. The political situation was often unstable but this castle has no history of defeat. It contained areas for soldiers, servants, nobility. It even had a latrine.
The castle was part of a group of castles obtained by the king who granted them to nobility. Much of the present castle was completed between 1477 and 1482. The Moors were expelled from Spain in 1506. One story is that a beautiful Moorish princess was captured, imprisoned in the castle, but enchanted her captors to the degree that she was allowed to escape (the soldiers constructed a secret passage connecting her cell to a river escape route).
I have been trying to get inside churches to meditate but this is not always possible.
I see a girl who seems to be meditating but when I look more closely I see that she is looking at her cell phone.
“She acts without expectation,
succeeds without taking credit,
and doesn’t think that she is better
than anyone else.”
I understand that those seeking the Inner Way are few but I know that there are many who would benefit from this way. Mediation can be used as a form of self-therapy.