Everybody wants a better life. That's where the similarity ends. Everybody has a different idea of what that means and how to achieve it. Which results in the mess everything is in. A lot of people think having their way would result in a better life. A lot of people think having more money would result in a better life. A lot of people think having more sex would result in a better life (For then, but not necessarily for their partners). The list goes pretty much forever. I think being aligned with, living in accord with, the Tao would result in a better life. And, that how to achieve it is by being still and quiet and paying attention in the right ways-- seeing what's what and what needs to be done about it-- and doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right place, in the right way, no matter what, for no reason other than it needs to be done, with nothing in it for us beyond the joy of doing it and the satisfaction of having done it. I spend a lot of time talking about this because I think it is the most important thing. But I can only talk to people who already feel the way I do. I make no headway at all with people who have different ideas about what it means to live a better life. And they make no headway with me. We can only talk meaningfully with people who see/think approximately the same as we do. We have nothing at all to say to most of the people we walk past in a day. When I realized that, I stopped talking to basically everybody, and limited my conversations to business matters and family members. I write all I have to say here and post it to the world, and have less than a dozen readers a day, probably the same people every day. Writing it out enables me to hear/see what I have to say, which creates balance and harmony, and encourages sincerity and integrity, in the service of energy, spirit, and vitality, and I would do it if nobody read it. Writing to me, from me, about me, about how it is with me and how I see things here and now, is essential, I think, to living a better life. That starts with knowing who we are, how we are, when we are, where we are, why we are, and what we are about. So, if you are reading this, I advise getting to know yourself in an on-going, regular, repetitive way. Let it become your practice, to be increasingly clear about what it means to live a better life. And put yourself deliberately on that path, and walk it earnestly, with loyalty and devotion, every day. And if this is a part of that work, I am glad to be helping you to live a better life. Thanks for being here, now.
Sitting still, being quiet and attentive, seeing what's what and what needs to be done about it, opens us to ourselves-- when we are aware of being aware we are aware of how it is with us, of what we are feeling in our body. And, if we sit with our body and what our body is feeling, understanding that is our body's way of communing with us, of communicating with us, we realize that our body is talking to us all of the time. What our body is saying is a matter of attending our body and (This is the important part) interpreting correctly what our body is saying. If you have a dog or a cat, you have come to read what your dog or cat is saying to you. The same applies to your body. Spending time with our body, attending our body, opens up a new world of communication and awareness about our life and its impact on our body. This spills over into, leads to, expanded awareness of our mind/body connection, and how our mind is impacting our body, and how changing our mind-- being aware of our mind and its impact on our body-- shifts everything about our life. By being aware of our mind and our body, we change our relationship with our mind and our body, and transform our life, like that (Snaps fingers). Sit still. Be quiet and attentive. Seeing what's what and what needs to be done about it. And transform your life, just by being aware of your body and your mind. In so doing, you will be tuning into the Tao of Mind-Body-Life. The connection and flow of awareness that shapes and forms our way of being here and now, in every moment of every day, leading us, guiding us, enabling us to do the right thing, at the right time, in the right place, in the right way, no matter what, because it needs to be done, spontaneously, from the heart, for no other reason than because it needs to be done, with nothing in it for us beyond the joy of doing it and the satisfaction of having done it. By sitting still with quiet attentiveness. Seeing what's what and what needs to be done about it. Regularly, routinely, religiously. Transforming your life, and your world, and the world. One moment at a time.
Listening to the Tao is listening to your life. The Tao is our life's rhythm and movement. It is the rhythm and movement of all of life and being, of the cosmos, of all that is and has been and will be. It is the how of things. The way of things. The howness, whenness, whatness and thatness of things. All things. Our meeting place with the Tao is our life. We live in harmony with the Tao or out of harmony with the Tao. In tune with the Tao or out of tune with the Tao. In accord with the Tao or out of accord with the Tao. The term "Tao" is meaningless in itself. It can be understood as "Way," or "Path." It is about rhythm and flow and movement, of all of life and being, and all things animate and inanimate. There is a sense in which rocks and horseshoes have life and being. Everything does. Everything changes. Is in flux. Is becoming something else. How it does so is its Tao, its Way, its Path. Unconscious things do so unconsciously. They are the Tao. They are one with the Tao. They cannot help being so. Conscious things have their own ideas about how their life should be, and compete/contend with the Tao over who they are and what they are about and how things ought to be in their life. When there is disturbance in the flow, the flow folds that into it's fluid nature, takes that into account, and moves on. But the individual life that is refusing to cooperate with the flow is a mess and creates a larger mess in its vicinity because it is disrupting the natural flow and sequence of things. "Smooth and easy" describes the natural flow and sequence of things--the "regular order." "Chaos and turmoil" describes things that are out of sync, turbulent and disorderly. It goes better for us when we are in accord with the Tao, and worse for us when we are at odds with the Tao. But the Tao is not "God's will," and has no purpose in the sense of "divine intention." It is simply how things are and how things work together within the harmonious arrangement of the whole. Yet nothing can happen that is not incorporated into that harmonious arrangement over time. Hurricanes disrupt the regular ebb and flow of the tides, but hurricanes are a part of a different ebb and flow of weather patterns worldwide, so the Tao can be opposed to the Tao and at one with the Tao at the same time. Contradiction--Yin/Yang--is very much a part of the harmony of the whole. And being in accord with the Tao means bearing the pain of our own contradictions even as we enter the flow/flux of life and being. When there is disruption and disharmony in the flow, we wait it out, emptying ourselves of wanting things to be different than they are, and allowing things to be as they are for as long as it takes for "smooth and easy" to return of their own accord. Just being here and now, without will or expectation, desire, interest, or opinion, seeing and doing what needs to be done, moment to moment in each situation as it arises, when it needs to be done, the way it needs to be done... is our contribution to the flow and our assistance in effecting its return. Equanimity and good faith are our gift to the Tao, and the Tao is our gift from the Cosmos. And the flow goes on. "It is the Way."