Friday, March 28, 2008

More From The Tao Te Ching

When I awoke yesterday morning it was pouring down rain. I wanted so much to stay in bed. The drive into work was dreadful. The last few days my wife and I have been car-pooling with my daughter in law. Every time I think my wrecked car is ready to be picked up from the body shop, it's "one more day". I miss my car and my regular morning routine. Driving a different route in the pouring rain, mostly on interstate highways trying not to get blown off the road by eighteen wheelers, was a bit stressful. I was never so happy to get to work. The drive home was little improvement. My wife was late getting out of her office. This only seems to happen on days where we are under the gun to get to Chloe's day care by 6:00 PM. Traffic was bumper to bumper and moving at a snails pace but eventually I got out of first gear and we made it on time. Chloe was eager to get home last night because Mommy and Daddy had bought her a puppy. I love taking care of Chloe and I don't mind picking her up at the day care but I am not walking the dog! Note to my son and daughter in law: Welcome to parenthood. I hope you have a shovel.

The following is the 3rd verse from the Tao Te Ching.

Putting a value on status will create contentiousness. If you overvalue possessions, people begin to steal. By not displaying what is valuable, you will cause the people's hearts to remain undisturbed. The Sage governs by emptying minds and hearts, by weakening ambitions and strengthening bones. Practice not doing. When action is pure and selfless, everything settles into its own perfect place.

The 3rd verse of the Tao Te Ching advises rearranging priorities to ensure contentment. Focusing on obtaining more objects of desire encourages external factors to have control over us. Pursuit of status, be it monetary or a position of power, blinds us to our relationship with the eternal Tao, along with the contented life that is available. Overvaluing possessions and accomplishments stems from our ego's fixation on getting more wealth, belongings, status, power, or the like. The Tao recommends refraining from this kind of discontented life. We need to be guided by a higher principle than our ego driven desires. Remind yourself daily that there is no way to happiness. Rather, happiness is the way. Desires can produce anxiety, stress, and competitiveness. Bring happiness to every encounter in life instead of expecting external events to produce joy. Do not focus on acquiring more. Rather, focus on how better you can serve others.
-from the book "Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life...Living the Wisdom of the Tao by Dr. Wayne W Dyer.

One more thought from Henry David Thoreau, one of my favorite people.

Let us spend one day as deliberately as Nature and not be thrown off track by every nutshell and mosquito's wing that falls on the rail. If the engine whistles, let it whistle till it is hoarse for its pain. If the bell rings, why should we run? I have always regretted that I am not as wise as the day I was born.

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