A man is looking for a bowl of fine quality. So he visits the most famous porcelain shop in town.
To test the quality of the bowls, he picks up one of the bowls on display and knocks it gently against another.
The test goes like this: Upon knocking the bowl against another, if he can hear a sweet resonce, he knows he has found an excellent bowl.
No luck for the first attempt. The sound was dull. He tries the second one. No luck either. Then he tries the third and the forth… How disappointing! None of the bowls on display brings him the magical resonce he is looking forward to hear.
The old master craftsman sees it, and knows that he has wrong. “Young man,” he picks up another bowl on display and says, “Why not you use this bowl to do the test? Not the one in your hands.”
The man does as the master says. Now when he knocks the bowl against the rest of the bowls on display, every bowl resotes!
“So every bowl is good!” The man yells. “But why could not I hear their resonce before?”
“Because the bowl you used for the test was flawed,” says the master. “I’m sorry, but it was a defective one that I was about to throw away.”
Just as a flawed bowl finds a flaw in every other bowl, so it is with a faulty attitude. The Way of Tao says:
“If you open yourself to the Tao,
The Tao will eagerly welcome you.
If you open yourself to virtue,
Virtue will become a part of you.
If you open yourself to loss,
The lost are glad to see you.
When you do not trust people,
People will become untrustworthy.”
The trust must begin with oneself, then only can it extend to others and to the Way of Tao.
“He who does not trust enough
Will not be trusted”
This is why they say practicing Tao is like swimming in water. If you trust yourself to it and stay relaxed, you float. If you are doubtful and strive to be in control, you struggle and sink. The essence is to draw confidence from the water itself by reposing your trust in it.