The Chinese philosophical text the Tao Te Ching, attributed to Lao-tzu, has extraordinary passages about mindfulness (and emptying the mind).
Te meaning Virtue, and Tao meaning the Way. These texts were found with one of the earliest forms of the I Ching, The Book of Changes and are written in a similar style.
For me, I find these texts helpful to elucidate the need to be in the middle – in one’s center – seeing both figure and ground, diminishing the need to control or push the river, and increasing the philosophy that going with the flow while remaining connected to virtue and one’s center, is of the utmost importance in creating success in life – the Way – or what I call The Path to Grace.
To understand others is to be knowledgeable;
To understand yourself is to be wise.
To conquer others is to have strength;
To conquer yourself is to be strong.
To know when you have enough is to be rich.
To go forward with strength is to have ambition.
To not lose your place is to last long.
To die but not forgotten – that’s true long life.
Chapter 33 Lao-tzu, Te-Tao Ching from the Ma-wang-tui-Texts
I think of standing in the middle of the river, fly-fishing, the water as it rushes by me drowns out all other sound so that it is like a deep and true silence; the water ripple ahead looks like white birds flying off the water. It is a moment of now. Me in my center, the world around me without meaning. I experience the deafening sound of the water as the beauty of the white water transforms me into a middle place where two pictures of the world can be seen simultaneously: the water flowing by me and over the rocks in white rapids and the vision of the white birds flying off the water toward the sky. I feel my heart pounding in my chest, my breathing, and a true sense of peace.
This is the picture of a meditative state for me, where true clarity is at my mind’s fingertips and I am in complete connection with spirit, nature, and my authentic self. In that moment I notice that I am in joy and that my natural state is joy.
Being in one’s center allows a peaceful joy to take center stage and all decisions and actions from that place are in one’s best interest.
May you find your picture of being in your center so that you may access it easily, and completely – at will – so that joy is ever-present in your daily going and coming.
See you tomorrow.