The inside of my head has been an annoying place to be as of late. The bulk of my self-talk centres around despondency and frustration and the GIANT gap between what I’m doing and what I want to be doing – including my ability to add to my Tao Te Ching commentaries here. Grumble…
I’m doing a few things right, like getting back to meditating every day, but mostly I spend a lot of time thinking about my problems and how to fix them, how to get some spark back into my life instead of just dragging through what has to be done.
I had a couple of realizations today that may just be the shift I need. First is the realization these Tao of V posts aren’t just one more thing on my things to get done list, it’s part of my practice–that thing I do every day to recentre me and help me focus on what to actually put my life energy towards. I’d been avoiding this work as I thought I had more important stuff to do and I should back burner this, only to discover, when I stop doing these, I don’t have the energy or focus to do anything else anyway.
If I don’t have enough energy to do anything more than, in essence, those things that fall under the category of “be excellent to yourself” then so be it. Ain’t nothing wrong with a life focused on self nourishment for a while – I surely won’t get anything else done if I fall down on the self nourishment anyway.
The other really profound realization today was in how I read the chapter before I sit down to meditate (and I don’t mean reading it right to left or some weird esoteric thing). Thing is, because I’d set this as a writing project, one to help explain concepts of Taoism in more modern terms, I tend to read each day with an eye to how I shall present the ideas to others. Again, as per realization one: this is my practice; what if I read each page looking for what I needed for me and commented on that?
Whole different kettle of fish that is. First off, it probably lends to better writing, as I think my posts are way more interesting when I’m laying bare my own messed up crazy bits and sharing my process rather than when I talk on high trying to get YOU people all sorted. But more interesting, it pushes me to push at me. To find the places where I am stuck (and there are many!) and find the cracks to niggle through.
So today’s selection is all about me …but maybe it’s about you too:
The Master keeps her mind
always at one with the Tao;
that is what gives her her radiance.
Now, in a time when I am feeling everything on the far side of the moon from radiance this was a bit like a spiritual cuff to the back of the head. Oh yeah… while I’m flailing about existentially wondering what’s the point really and what am I doing with my life and time feels wasting away I realized THIS is what it’s really all about. Just be centred, be connected, just be. ALL the time. Not that I’m there yet, but the more that I am, the more I’m okay with whatever’s going on, the more I know where I am is exactly where I need to be, not some imaginary place just out of reach.
The Very Cool Most Excellent part of this little piece of data hitting my brain right before I sat down to sit: it totally changed that mediation for me. As of late, meditation has mostly been a time to just still my mind, to try and be quiet inside. I totally forgot there was something behind that stillness, something I’d forgotten to even seek. This chapter ends with:
How do I know this is true?
I look inside myself and see.
So, while sitting, in that stillness, I looked inside myself and connected with something I hadn’t felt for a long time. That something that makes me smile for no reason. That something that makes me walk around with hummy-in-love feelings even when there’s no lover to be found. That something that reminds me why I read Rumi:
God only knows, I don’t
what keeps me laughing.
The stem of a flower
moves when the air moves. –Coleman Barks translation