What is the present situation asking of us? That is all we need to know. And do. We know it by being aware of the time and place of our living. We can do that by emptying ourselves of our opinions, our judgments/evaluations, our expectations, our disappointments, our fear/anxiety/worry, our wants/desires (Even our desire to be empty), our aspirations, our frustrations, our anger, our drives and ambitions, our motives and incentives, our beliefs and assumptions, our inferences and convictions, our... (All that is in the way of The Way) And simply being here, now-- the place where we are between breaths. (Try that-- being in the place between breaths: Breathe more slowly than normal, deeper than normal, taking a slow abdominal breath, by pushing your stomach out as you inhale to fill your lungs to their capacity, and exhaling slowly through your nose, concentrating on the flow of air as it leaves your nostrils, and pausing for a count of 5 before inhaling as you just did. Do this for three breaths, and on the third breath, as you exhale and count, notice how empty you are of all the things that normally drive you [crazy]. That is the place between breaths). By doing this breathing-with-awareness throughout your day, you can empty yourself momentarily of all the BS you carry with you that keeps you from being where you are when you are ever. Being empty transports us to the silence, and in the silence we can be aware of the present moment, and of what is called for there, what is being asked of us there, and respond to the moment spontaneously/sincerely with the gifts that are ours to give in the service of the needs/requirements of the moment. Doing this moment to moment moves us to living differently, to changing/transforming our relationship with our life-- and that makes all the difference. And all you did was live out of the place between breaths, without trying to impose your will on anything.
Original Sin from a Taoist perspective is The Profit Motive. Always wanting more than we have. Never being satisfied with anything as it is. Wondering incessantly what's in it for us. Being endlessly driven to have/get our way... You know, like that. That is the one thing that separates us from what matters most. And What Matters Most from a Taoist perspective has nothing to do with keeping some god happy with us, but with integrating the opposites at work in our life moment-to-mnoment in each situation as it arises. Our conflicts and contradictions keep us from being who we are, where we are, when we are, how we are, why we are, ever. We are always wrestling with how things are, striving to have this and avoid that, and serving our way now at the expense of all other possible ways ever. We have an adversarial relationship with our life, or a totally submissive relationship, or somewhere in between. Our rage is evident of things not going our way. As is our depression. And our anxiety. And our addictions. And our absent-mindedness. The list is long of maladaptive behaviors, which are actually get-my-way behaviors, or acting out because we are not getting our way behaviors... This is the profit motive at work in our life. Driving our life. Preventing us from ever being alive. Taoism nailed all of this 500 years, or more, before Jesus was born. And Taoism has worked out what to do about our conflicts of interest and how to integrate our opposites/contradictions in the service of doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, the way it needs to be done, 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, in each situation as it arises, all our life long. We do that by collaborating with the Ten Guides which lead us into/through seeing/hearing/knowing/understanding/ doing/being who we are in relation to what's what in each situation as it arises, walking two paths at the same time, and being who we are-- true to our Original Nature ("The face that was ours before we were born")-- AND doing what needs to be done here and now. The Ten Guides are: Emptiness and Silence, Balance and Harmony, Sincerity, Spontaneity and Integrity, Spirit, Energy and Vitality. Central to living in accord with Tao is living in the presence of Silence. Silence is the Source and Origin of all that is. Everything comes from the Silence and returns to the Silence, and we live best when we live out of the Silence. Sitting still and being quiet are the essence of Taoist practice, and the path to The Path, which, of course, is The Path. Simple. Essential. Neglected. Sigh.
Meet the moment on the moment's terms, and do what needs to be done. Do not force your will on the situation. Offer what is needed to the situation-- doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, moment by moment, situation by situation, without looking for what's in it for you, or seeking to manipulate your way into being. Live for the moment-- to be what the moment needs you to be-- for the joy of doing what is called for, and the satisfaction of having done it. And let your life fall into place around that. Starting right now.
There is the way things are, and there is the way we want things to be. And therein lies the rub. How do we work out the conflict? Manage the contradiction? Denial seems to be the most popular choice. How many ways are there of disappearing the problem? Which creates multiple spin-off problems, until we are awash and drowning in a tumultuous sea of difficulties-- replete with clashing rocks and heaving waves-- just because we refuse to face the fact of facts that invalidate our preferences and terminate our dreams and wishes in mid-production. Did someone just mention global warming and the fossil fuel connection? Amazing sense of timing on that one! The old Tao recognition of the harmonization of Yin and Yang being at the heart of life and being is brought into sharp focus in every situation as it arises. The integration of opposites is where we come in-- and that includes bearing the pain of the tension produced by irreconciliable and mutually exclusive polarities. We are often "damned if we do and damned if we don't." And we live with that, fully aware of the agony of having to choose the unchooseable choice, yet again-- by choosing to be damned and be done with it-- once again. This is the path way to maturity and grace, and the catch is that the prerequsite for walking the path is maturity and grace. We grow up against our will, one painful choice at a time.