Friday, August 30, 2013

Tao #15 : Patience

"Can you wait quietly while the mud settles?
Can you remain still until the moment of action?"

Friday, August 23, 2013

Tao #14 : This Is It

"Approach it and there is no beginning;
follow it and there is no end.
You can't know it, but you can be it,
at ease in your own life.
Just realize where you come from:
this is the essence of wisdom."

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Time to Meditate

You know when you feel like doing something, but there's nothing you want to do? That's the time to meditate.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tao #13 : Being Unimportant

"Accept being unimportant.
Do not be concerned with loss or gain."


Well, you're not. No one is important all the time and everywhere. Everyone is important sometimes and in some places. But we don't have much trouble accepting that. The trouble is accepting the experiences in between, when we're not particularly important.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Non-Doing: An Attitude

Writing essays for medical school applications has forced me to remember and rationalize a period of my life that I'd rather forget. It was a few years ago, when I was beginning to experiment with the Eastern art of non-doing.

I successfully did nothing for well over a year. It was a period of underachievement that left a huge hole in my resume and gave me no tangible accomplishments to show off or put on an application. However, it helped me redirect my life, partly because I used that time to learn and develop myself, and partly because I needed to step away from my old habits in order to break them.

Most of this underachievement happened before I even picked up Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. After reading that book and initiating my own Zen practice, though, my understanding of non-doing slowly evolved into a process of active doing that is happening today.

So what changed?

Tao #12 : This Right Here

"The wise person is guided by what he feels and not by what he sees.
He lets go of that over there and chooses this right here."

Directing your attention inward will connect you with a world of knowledge, memories, feelings, and intuitions that have been accumulating your whole life. Moreover, these things are more personally meaningful than anything you observe from a distance. Consequently, looking within will not only provide you with information with which to make decisions, it will provide you with a compass to guide you toward choices that are actually meaningful to you.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Tao #11 : Usefulness

"We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,

but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house,

but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.

We work with material,

but emptiness is what we use."