When The Way is not trusted, duty comes to the fore. Dharma tells us how to act. Should's Must's Ought's replace our natural, intuitive, instinctive sense of what is called for moment-to-moment in each situation as it arises. We begin to live by the book instead of living from the heart. The way of the child, before Should/Ought/Must bear down upon her (him), is to respond sincerely and honestly to the moment in doing what she (he) feels needs to be done there. Our task is to get back to the child, to "the face that was ours before we were born," and to live in our moments as those who are open to each one, and free to respond instinctively/intuitively to what is happening there-- just doing what needs to be done, just being what is called for there. Allowing the circumstances to elicit our natural response, without artificially imposing our idea of what should be done-- spontaneously offering the right thing, without thinking about what we are doing. Can we do that? Can we just watch what we do without meddling with the moment? Without thinking about what we ought to do? Without imposing The Rules? Just allowing our heart to lead us in the dance with time and place?
Living tactfully, artfully, moment to moment is paying attention to the time and place of our living, without contrivance, or agendas, or designs, or schemes, or plans, or intentions, or goals, or ambitions, or ideas squeezing the life out of the moment in ways that might be beneficial to us. Living tactfully, artfully, moment to moment is seeing the moment, hearing the moment, knowing what is happening there and sensing what is being called for, and speaking/acting in light of what the moment needs from us, and not in light of what we stand to gain from the moment. With nothing to gain, nothing to lose, and nothing at stake, everything is possible in any moment. The good lies in being who we are and letting things fall into place around that. No contrivance, just being. Doing flows from being in response to what needs to happen. The identity of water-- water being water-- is its blessing. All things find their place just by being what they are. No wanting, no seeking, no striving to have, to attain, to gain... Agendas and ideologies, ambition and aspiration, wanting and desiring and having to have are at odds with the way of the moment at hand and what needs to happen here and now, and spontaneously serving it in each situation as it arises. See clearly. Respond appropriately. The key to life.
Being prepared for anything is being grounded in, anchored upon, our original nature. We are born with everything we need to find what we need to do what needs to be done in any situation that arises, in a "Here we are, now what?" kind of way. We don't know what is coming, but we can know who we are, and trust ourselves to bring forth from our own depths what is needed to find what is needed to do what needs to be done. The Mystery is what to do about what needs to be done. We do not think our way there. We simply wait to see what we do in response to the situation at hand, without forcing anything. It is like giving birth when we didn't know we were pregnant.
The mysterious power arising within is not a function of willful, deliberate, striving, but of being in accord with The Way of time and place meeting opportunity in the field of action, with our only responsibility being that of being present and being open to the situation at hand in a "Here we are, now what?" kind of way. Reading the context and circumstances, aware of what is happening and alert to what is being called for, standing aside and allowing our response to be evoked by the occasion in ways appropriate to the occasion, achieves miracles while doing nothing miraculous at all.
Noise, clatter and chatter, complexity and complication, trauma and drama, diversion and distraction disrupt our focus and concentration, and prevent us from simply being present with what is present with us, here and now, as servants of instinct and intuition, urges, nudges, hunches, whims, inklings, inspirations, revelations, realizations, etc. in putting what needs to be done together with how it needs to be done to create a response appropriate to the occasion, in each situation as it arises. Stillness and silence are the operative requirements for seeing/hearing/understanding/knowing/being/doing. The louder we live, and the more fragmented and disarrayed we are, the less likely we will be able to offer what is called for, when it is called for, the way it is called for in the time and place that is at hand. Being anchored to our original nature, with balance and harmony between that and the context and circumstances of our life, is the key to being who we are where we are. And that is the essential requirement for being fully alive in the time and place of our living. So diminish the noise, etc. and increase the silence and stillness for the work that is to be done.