Maintaining our focus, remaining centered, balanced, in harmonious accord with the Tao is all there is to it. Only fear, desire and duty stand in our way. And the dust of the world. And the 10,000 things. It is amazing that we can even consider focus, centering, balance and harmony. And it is not surprising at all that we have such difficulty finding our focus, our center, our balance and harmony. We only have two tools to work with: Our breath and the silence. Focusing on our breathing and seeking the silence provide us with an oasis in the wasteland. Making regular returns to our breath and the silence provide us with a sacred place amid the heaving waves and the clashing rocks-- all we need for regaining our focus, finding the center, being balanced and in harmonious accord with the Tao and at peace with our life.
Sealing ourselves off from one thing, opens us up to another. We have to come to terms with our vulnerability, and settle for being as safe and as secure as we can be under the circumstances, with all things considered. Our life is a negotiated compromise with "the facts of life," taking everything into account, and being okay with our outcomes, whatever they may be-- understanding "outcome" as being just another event on the unending road of turns and how we respond to them our entire life long. Nothing lasts forever under the right perspective. We give up this to get that, and pay a price for being alive. How creative and flexible we can be, how accepting and open, how pliable and resilient, how generous and kind, how patient and yielding, how perceptive and aware, how long-suffering and considerate, how enduring and responsive... will strongly influence-- if not determine-- how lucky, blessed, and graced we are over the full course of our life. Being lucky, blessed and graced are a function of being trusting and confident in ourselves and our ability to respond appropriately to whatever is happening in each situation as it arises moment-to-moment, day-by-day without having to have things be otherwise. If everything hangs on having everything just so, we will have a hell-of-a-time receiving things "thus come," and seeing what may yet become of us-in-relationship-wth all things just as they are. Which is the very foundation of-- and the door open to-- the wonder and glory of the adventure of being alive. No adventure is what we expect it will be. Insisting and demanding that our adventure be what we want it to be rules out any possibility of adventure from the start. We belong to the road. The road rules. Our place is to laugh and dance along the way. How we respond to the gifts of the road makes all the difference.