Friday, April 02, 2010

Back To The Tao

What is really important in life? Today's Tao reading encourages us to ask this question.

Make every move count.
Pick your target and hit it.
Perfect concentration means effortless flowing.

The commentary gives us the following thoughts...

A life that is spiritual requires focused action. It needs quick reflexes, accurate timing, and abundant skill. Each day your life grows a day shorter. Make every move count.

I think life is spiritual whether you realize it or not or whether you care or not. It is spiritual in ways that religion is not. As I get older I often believe religion is actually a hindrance to what is spiritual. The religion in which I was raised is wracked with scandal and I do not think I will live long enough to see it's recovery. What I am more concerned about than the authenticity of religion is understanding on a deep level what is really important in life. As I strive to recognize and focus on the truly important, I wonder how I can best make every move of my life count. Too often I am frustrated or depressed about how much of my life is spent doing meaningless tasks or spending time in activities that are not important to me. We all have responsibilities and commitments. Sometimes, however, these responsibilities and commitments take over our lives and we feel trapped. We get hung up in other people's agenda's. It's difficult to balance one personal needs with our obligations to others. I know that one of the weaknesses of my personality is to be too compliant and too willing to take the path of least resistance in order to maintain a peaceful existence. What I prefer, to use the words of author Ken Kesey, is to "be in my own movie". I often wonder if I would really change my life and live a different way if I had the freedom to do so. It is not likely that I will ever have a totally free life so how can I "make every move count" in the life I have? Do I even have a target in my life? I know I don't have "perfect concentration" and I rarely experience "effortless flowing". I am reasonably content in my life but my happiness in mostly in moments that quickly pass. Too often I sustain myself with memories of happy moments more than happiness itself. I am a person that many people like and admire but I often feel unloved and unnoticed. What is really important in life? I think feeling loved and being happy despite the fact these things often seem to elude me. I have experienced both but not enough to give me "effortless flowing" in my life. Less I sound like a man full of self pity, I also question how much love I have shown others or how much happiness I have given others. I am a temperamental and sensitive person whose feelings are easily hurt and who may need more than most can give. Maybe what I feel, or don't feel, is in equal proportion to what I have shown. Am I starving to death in the middle of a banquet? Perhaps. Are others feeling unloved and unnoticed by me? Possibly. I know I am sometimes too self absorbed. It's an unfortunate side effect of being naturally introspective. In spite of eternal optimism and a generally positive attitude, I sometimes get mired down in thoughts about what is missing in my life. I do struggle with all of this. Nevertheless, I am also blessed in many ways. I know a perfect moment when I have one, I know what's important even when it seems to elude me. I value joy because I understand sadness. Do I hit the targets in my life? Sometimes. Other times I am the target and joy, love, and happiness hit me when I least expect it.

No comments: