Thursday, April 30, 2009

What Is The Best Of Each Day?

Although I didn't realize it at the time, today's Tao thought ties in a little with what I wrote yesterday.

Nothing is meant to be, There is no predestination.

Let me quote from the commentary for today's Tao thought.

Those who follow Tao endeavor to have as few restrictions placed on them as possible. By completing each action, they minimize causality. By living fully in the present, they absorb the best of what each day has to offer. By understanding there is no literal destiny, fate, or predestination, they keep the future as free and open as possible. That is truly the openness of life.

For the average person living an ordinary life, this openness of life can seem beyond their grasp. Many people, and I am one of them, often feel trapped in the demands and obligations of life as well as the expectations of others. This is a recurring theme in my life. Beyond the feeling of being trapped, the routines and sameness of most days feels anything but free and open. As I get older I feel a greater sense of urgency about the quality of my life. I am not talking about material comfort. I have enough stuff and I am content with this aspect of my life. I am less content with the emotional side of my life. To many my life may appear peaceful and calm on the surface. Inside, however, I am often in turmoil. What does "living fully in the present" have to say about that? I'm not sure I know the answer to that. The practice of mindfulness may give me a greater appreciation for the moment but it also sometimes causes me to be even more lost within myself. This wandering within myself makes me wonder, "What am I looking for? What am I chasing? What am I running away from? What is it I expect from life"? Happiness must be based on something more than the fact that nothing terrible is happening. Sometimes I hear people say things like, "Nothing good is really happening but nothing bad is happening either" or "Life is very boring but that's a good thing because it means nothing bad is happening". I don't want to feel good about life simply because nothing bad is happening. There's no joy in that. A good day has to offer more than the absence of the worst each day could bring.

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