Give up learning and you will be free

from all your cares.

What is the difference between yes and no?

What is the difference between good and evil?

Must I fear what others fear?

Should I fear desolation

when there is abundance?

Should I fear darkness

when that light is shining everywhere?

In spring, some go to the park and climb the terrace,

but I alone am drifting, not knowing where I am.

Like a newborn babe before it learns to smile,

I am alone, without a place to go.

Most people have too much;

I alone seem to be missing something.

Mine is indeed the mind of an ignoramus

in its unadulterated simplicity.

I am but a guest in this world.

While others rush about to get things done,

I accept what is offered.

I alone seem foolish,

earning little, spending less.

Other people strive for fame;

I avoid the limelight,

preferring to be left alone.

Indeed, I seem like an idiot:

no mind, no worries.

I drift like a wave on the ocean.

I blow as aimless as the wind.

All men settle down in their grooves;

I alone am stubborn and remain outside.

But wherein I am most different from others is

in knowing to take sustenance from the great Mother!

Lao-tzu

One of the central themes behind most eastern religions is the concept of living in the moment, and live free from striving for more of this or that. It is about being content and being free from our lives of constant hustle and bustle. This verse discusses these issues. The 20th verse asks me to live a life free of striving not only for possessions, but for attachments to anything that doesn’t include the here and now such as what work am I going to get done tomorrow when it is only 11:00am today. I need to learn to slow down my demands for more, and slow down my anticipation to be somewhere else. I need to live in the moment. I need to enjoy each key stroke while my office fills with great music. I should take the time to stop for a moment and soak the process in not just hurrying to get the process done.

I need to not only be here in my body but I also must be here in my mind. I should achieve a state of appreciation of what is now with an absence of longing. Often times I write multiple posts in a day especially the days where I am in a mania state. The words just pour out at a rapid pace and I do everything I can to write them down as fast as I am thinking them. When I go to type them I am often times concerned about my next thought and not my current piece. This causes me to write poorly thought out posts. I am also consumed with this idea of completing my query letter to agents, and the what-ifs of me sending them out. This one thought cycles in my mind over and over again until it completely consumes me and the writing is all but stunted. This is also the case with my future readings plan. I cannot stop thinking about getting my business cards, buying my “reading” book, and what my set list is going to be. I am looking into what the future may be, completely neglecting the here and now. I need to release the what-ifs and all my goals for the future, and replace them with the power of this instant. Thinking of being someplace else uses up your precious present moments.

In my studying I have found that “being” here now is accomplished by adopting an acceptance of life as it is presented by the Great Mother. This is a hard concept for me because it requires me to have faith and surrender to a higher power above myself. Instead of trying to live a life of routines I should just allow this great all-creating, all nourishing source to take me where it will. I think with any religion surrendering is a key process into becoming religious; every religion is built on faith. This surrendering allows me to not fear desolation because the Tao is abundant. This surrendering allows me to not fear death because why should I fear the darkness when light is shining everywhere. I need to trust in the great source to provide me with what I need, as it has done for all beings.

The Tao teaches us to simplify our lives by not seeking another thing or striving to be somewhere or someone else. You’re no longer living inside yourself with a desire to be someone else. Am I totally missing out on the experience to becoming a published author by consistently striving to become said writer? I need to trade striving for arriving and enjoy the ride with all the good and bad things that may come my way. I think Lao-tzu is telling me to change how I see what’s here now in my life, for then it will become exactly what I need in order to BE happy. I don’t NEED another thing or accomplishment to be happy; it’s always being provided for me right here and right now. I need to be in the moment, and free myself of striving for something more or to become someone else.

I need to let go of my daily demands, along with my beliefs that I can’t be happy because of what is supposedly missing in my life. Insisting that I need what I don’t have is insane and robs us years worth of present moments. The fact that I am okay without what I think I need is proving I do not really need this thing after all. I did a post on Facebook after reading this verse several times and I think it is fitting to end on it.

“The foolish live today thriving for tomorrow; the wise live today loving each moment.”

Tim

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Comments
  1. The researchers found the happiest other hand, seems much healthier, at different levels, both physically and mentally than those who are not. A marker of stress is a chemical called fibrinogen, found in the blood.

  2. johanna says:

    Being “in” the present moment is so hard. I am always distracted (by choice) I try to do many things at once and don’t put my full attention on my family. Even when I do stop to really listen to what they are talking about, I still zone out and say, “uh-hu”. Very tough. But, definitely a worthy goal to strive for.

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