When we are not instigating, not contriving, not exploiting, not manipulating, not setting things up, not arranging for something to happen, not striving, not pushing, not forcing, not straining, not stressing out, but are simply being present in the moment and allowing things to just happen, everything happens as it should. Try it sometimes. Participate in some moment without trying to get something to happen there. Just be present, attentive, engaged, but not in charge, not in control, not directing, just watching, letting things take their own course, noticing how things just happen of their own accord, when no one has ambitions, and no one exercises power and authority. It's magical. The occasion seems to have a mind of its own. Things happen as they should and no one makes it so. We can be forgiven for thinking that Carl Jung might be right when he said, “Our life is not made by ourselves. The main bulk of it is brought into existence by forces that are hidden to us.” And when we operate our life with a light touch, giving "the hidden forces" room to operate, things tend to happen of themselves, exactly as they should. And no one knows what to make of it.
I have a friend who was always playing around with drawing and lettering. In jr. high, he noticed the lettering on school buses was chipping off and wearing away, so he would climb over the fence at the bus yard and touch up the letters. The authorities caught him doing it, and paid him to do it. He grew up, graduated from college started his own sign company, and has made a comfortable living drawing and lettering. This is letting your life guide you through your life. During college and somewhat afterwards, he took up sailing, and told me, "I became a sailor the day I realized the sea was out to get me." He learned to read the sea and live within the boundaries the sea set, knowing what he could get by with, and what he had no business doing. Knowing "the sea was out to get me" had meaning on two different levels, and if he ignored one, the other would not be lenient or forgiving. It was the same knack he used with his life. His life was out to get him, and when he lived out of that understanding, he was well served. And when he tried to force his way onto his life, compelling it to be what he wanted it to be, thought it ought to be (He tried playing basketball for a while), his life banged him around like the sea would when he tried sailing against the prevailing wisdom of the wind and waves. The lesson here is see what you look at, by taking the time to really look at it and know what it is telling you, and what doors are open, and what doors are shut, and walk through the open doors. Letting our life have its way with us is an art to be learned by living, just as sailing is to be learned by sailing, knowing what is called for and what has no business being. Your life is out to get you. Know what that means, and adjust your living accordingly.
We are all on our own, with only our sense of what is working and what is not to guide us. Working in terms of what? The question is ours to answer. And we have to be right about it. Our life teaches us to be right about it. Which means we have to be open to changing our mind about what it means for something to work/not work. To refuse to change our mind about what is important, is to bang away at what we have no business having/doing our entire life long, hellbent and determined to have our way or die trying. Cemeteries are filled with people who died trying, or quit trying and died without a clue. Life and living are for finding out what is important and serving it with filial devotion and liege loyalty. What does it mean for our life to be working? For our life to not be working? Working in terms of what? Working in light of what? What matters most? What is guiding our boat on its path through the sea? What are we trying to have that isn't worth having? How are we being asked to change our mind about what is important? Those who can change their mind when their mind needs to be changed, live a lot better life than those who cannot.
Sitting with our life in stillness and silence, listening, looking, waiting to see, hear what is waiting to be seen, heard, is the ground of all that follows. The path to the path of life and being. The path to the path to the mystery of life and being. We never know what is going on, or what it means, or where its going, or what it will lead to. It's all a mystery unfolding into mystery and wonder. We go "Aha!" all the time, as though that means something. It just indicates a connection has been made with what has gone before, in a "That meant THIS!" kind of way-- but we have no idea of what THIS may mean, or lead to, or what we are being asked to do now, so we are always being asked to sit in the stillness and silence, listening, looking... We can never rush ahead, thinking we have it now at last, and know what's what and where its going and what we need to do to make it happen. Whenever we make something happen, the wrong thing happens, and we have to return to the stillness and the silence, and allow the mystery to unfold into mystery and wonder.
"To bide our time" means waiting for the time to be right to act. How do we know? What is the difference between "not now" and "now"? How often do we say "not now" when we mean "never"? All photographs are better in some times than in others. This could mean a time for better lighting. Or a better sky. Or no wind. Or no people. Or more people. Etc. Depending on what the photographer's desired outcome for the photograph is. The right time depends upon what needs to happen, and whether this is the most propitious time for it to happen, with "favorable" meaning "desirable." Ah, but, that supposes we know what to desire. That is one thing with a photograph, and another thing with abstract things like whom to marry, what career to pursue, where to live, what "success" means, or "happiness", etc. What is desirable here? What are we waiting on to know and to act? We step into darkness and foreboding like that (Snaps fingers). We don't know what we are doing, or what to do or when to do it about most of the things that matter. Where are we better off? How can we tell? How do we know? Better in terms of what? It helps if we listen to our hearts, and to our stomachs, and to our bones, and to our balance and harmony, and to our spirit, energy, vitality, and to our nighttime dreams. Our body knows. Let your body be your guide. And choose your friends wisely. Hang with those who listen to their body, and are friends with stillness and silence. Be like them in those respects. You could do a lot worse.