"The Vinegar Tasters" is a famous picture of Confucius, The Buddha and Lao Tzu. The three masters have each tasted vinegar from the vat in front of them. Their facial expressions reflect their philosophy...
To Confucius life was sour. He believed the present was out of step with the past and that the government of man on earth was out of step with heaven. His way to return the balance was the use of precisely measured court music, prescribed steps, actions and phrases all adding up to an extremely complex system of rituals each used for a particular purpose at a particular time. Of Confucius it is said "If the mat was not straight, the Master would not sit."
To the Buddha, life on earth was bitter. The world was considered an illusion of attachments and unnecessary desires leading to pain and suffering. His 'way' was to transcend the 'Matrix' to reach a dream like state - Nirvana.
To Lao Tzu, the harmony that existed between heaven and earth can be found by anyone here and now but not by following rigid rules. He believed that earth was a reflection of heaven operating under one universal law. According to Lao Tzu, the more man interferes with the natural balance of the universe, the more he creates an illusionary self and the more he is removed from true harmony. When abstract and arbitrary rules are imposed from the outside, struggle becomes inevitable and life becomes sour. By being as one with life's circumstances, it is realised that sweet and sour are conditions placed on experience by the mind. In this way, life itself is sweet. Therefore he is the only one smiling.
The Tao (way) of Openhand is most in line with the philosophy of Lao Tzu. We provide a simply to follow process to help achieve this surrendered state of being. If you would like to know about it...click here