In Times Like These…

morning-after-sunriseOpportunity within Catastrophe

This picture was taken a few days ago on Wednesday morning, the day the presidential election results were revealed. I use it to represent that as Tao cultivators we remain present and holding constancy. The beauty of life on our planet should not be lost in the distraction of social politics. This sunrise is the Tao in its ever-changing state and  its beauty is not effected by our emotional reactions to life as it is.

Like many of you, my candidate did not win. As a Tao cultivator, I turn to my training to maintain constancy (unity with the Tao ).

In the words of Zhuang Zhou (Chung Tzu) “the perfect man employs his mind as a mirror; it grasps nothing, it refuses nothing; it receives but does not keep.”

There are myriad of opportunities to practice the Tao teachings and personal growth in this situation. We can choose how we react and formulate a way forward. Here are just a few that come to mind.

Acceptance

…Not knowing constancy, one recklessly cause trouble

Knowing constancy is acceptance

Acceptance is impartiality

Impartiality is Sovereign

Sovereign is Heaven

Heaven is Tao

Tao is eternal

The Self is no more, without danger”

Excerpt from Chapter 16

You may not accept the candidate but you must accept that it happened. In the words of Eckhart Tolle, “it is what it is”. Not accepting the reality of the election is just going to generate unnecessary stress. You can avoid distraction and focus your efforts on a solution.

Be Like Water

the great Tao is like a flood

it can flow to the left or the right”

Excerpt from Chapter 34

This non-acceptance can become an obstacle in your path. If you resist and deny it, you become lodged against it, much like a log against a large rock in a river. By accepting that it happened, you can be like water and flow around it, moving towards a solution. Don’t let your ego get hung up with resentment or denial of what has happened.

Be Flexible and Yielding

Yield and remain whole

Bend and remain straight”

Excerpt from Chapter 22

Resistance to the reality is to become rigid in your perspective. This attitude can influence how you are viewing life, and most importantly the quality of your life in this moment. By yielding to the truth, you will weather the storm. By being able to bend, like a willow in the wind, you will return to being straight. By accepting and allowing what is, you will endure. This sunrise picture is a reminder to not any external issue take away the beauty in your life. Don’t let any politician take away your power.

On the other side of the coin, your candidate may have won. A Tao cultivator will remember the three treasure and act accordingly. Humility, Conservation, and Compassion are victorious guides to employ when you realize someone on your path is suffering because your side won. Remember Karma, “the great executioner” does not play favorites.

These are just a few of the many opportunities to be found in this political season for spiritual growth. These are opportunities to learn and develop strength and wisdom. Like water, flow around the obstacle and don’t get hung up in a self-induced misery. This too will pass.