Patterns In Nature

“Great means passing
Passing means receding
Receding means returning”
Verses 9-11, Chapter 25, Quote Tao Te Ching

 Spiral Patterns In Nature

Nature is a manifestation of the innate creative principle of the Tao. It is the myriad of things produced by the movement of the Yin and Yang. Insights about nature are insights into the workings of the Tao. You can see it in both living organisms and in the non-living aspects of the cosmos that we live in. The essential nature of yin and yang is change.
In the physical world, the weather is a good example for seeing how energy affects our weather and climate. The sun heats the water, air, and land. The build-up of temperature and density causes a change in the polarity of key sub-atomic particles. When this potential reaches a critical point, there will be a convergent release or movement. This is the same movement that you experience and realize this with the onsett of lightning.

The Yin and Yang perspective is relevant to the Tao cultivator because it sets the foundation for understanding how the Tao operates as both the source and a way of spiritual discipline. This binary perspective of changing polarity applies to everything. It is an important understanding for developing life strategies. When you factor the Yin-Yang principles of what has happened and what will happen, you can have more success in shaping your destiny. Knowing that permanence is an illusion, you can accept that change is inevitable.

Clarity is the term for realizing how things are. Clarity is seeing the nature of the Tao in life. Through clarity, you can observe the nature of life in the Tao. Acceptance is having clarity and abiding with the truth. Going against the nature of the Tao creates stress, tension, and suffering.
Example: When inconvenient weather intervenes with planned outdoor activity and you get upset.
Example: When you become impatient because it is taking too long to make that left turn.
Understanding and acceptance of this fundamental universal law is a necessary step in developing your wisdom. Resisting, fighting, and denying, only cause internal conflicts. You can learn to unify with the flow of the Tao and find harmony. Striving is going against the nature of something. Harmony is the balance achieved when working with the nature of things.
The wisdom is accepting that creation and change are part of nature. The wisdom is in both acceptance and unifying with nature and its laws. Awareness of this Tao phenomenon and integrating it into your life is an element of attaining the Tao.
What is your relationship with the laws of nature? This may be the first time that you have ever considered such a notion. Tao and the divine are one in the same. When you align your higher consciousness with the Tao, you are attaining the Tao. Attaining the Tao is to be at one is to be in unity with nature. Why would you not seek that? Your answer will reveal your present relationship to the Tao.
I encouraged you to enrich your perspective of life events and situations by realizing more than one perspective on any given situation that will arise. A multi-perspective view will empower you to increase wisdom. Learn to see and accept the underlying reality of the world around you.
Are you working in harmony with the laws of the universe (nature)? Going against the natural order of things creates striving, stress and distraction. To be at one with the Tao you must become aware and mindful of the patterns and flow. Then you can adapt to the timing of circumstances. If you are too distracted, too inflexible, too rigid in your beliefs, you will miss the true nature of life in those moments.

This is a paraphrase from Chapter 9, Sovereignty; The Tao Principle of Self Management


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Attention to intention

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions” Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

The last blog post contained the lesson “before goals, work on the self first”. This post continues with this context. With New Years right around the corner, many of us are contemplating resolutions for the new year. We are making promises to ourselves and setting goals to improve our lives. But before we make that selection and promise, it is wise to contemplate the motivating intention. This too is working on the self first.

As mentioned before, self-management (sovereignty) is ego management. Ego intentions can lead to an unexpected and undesired destiny. Self-reflection is a good meditation to explore the why and what of the intention being considered. Its good to step back and pay attention to the emotions that may be driving those intentions. It’s good to acknowledge and remember that the ego is mostly self-serving and narcissistic. And it is always wise to remember take a moderated approach.

Ask your self these questions and give honest answers. They will reveal what is behind your intentions. Your intentions should be grounded in wisdom and virtue.  Look to see if the ego intentions such as vanity, greed,  or envy.

Why do I really want to achieve this goal? 

If you are intending on aquiring something, is it “want” or a “need”. 

What am I trying to accomplish?

What will it take to achieve this? What level of commitment are you willing to give?

What role is the ego playing in this desired goal?

Will this cause harm to others?

What future and destiny am I creating for myself?

Goal achievement takes a measure of discipline to continue when you face obstacles along the way.

What is your strategy for staying on the path when you have the inevitable setback?

How will you maintain willpower and not give in to distraction and desire?

Finding answers to these questions is working on the self. Sovereignty is the ability of the true-self to manage the ego self from hijacking good intentions and getting lost on the side paths.

For more strategies on working on the self, please see my book.

Available in Paper Back, Sovereignty; The Tao Principle of Self Management

 

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We are all on the path

Whether we realize it or not

Keeping to simplicity, you can consider the Tao in two fundamental ways:

  • As the source and creative energy of the universe
  • As a spiritual path that follows the natural order of the universe”

Excerpt from Chapter 3, Sovereignty – The Tao Principle of Self-Management

As stated above there are two simple but important ways to define the Tao. One is to recognize it as the void or emptiness that is full of potential and the source of all things. The second is The Tao translated as“the way” or the path. This is a spiritual path. The word “path” is a metaphor for the long experience you have as a sentient being. It becomes a spiritual path when a person becomes self-aware and witnessing of the life experience as it happens.

Distraction and Disconnectedness

Being consciously aware of life as it is happening is the point, the reason, and purpose of life. To witness and have the experience.  The prime directive for all living beings is to experience, to learn, to evolve. Most of the lower animals do this naturally. Their central purpose is to just remain alive in a dangerous world. Humans have evolved to the point where it has become too easy to be in a state of distraction and detached from being aware and present with life. One the one hand the distraction might be some kind of desire fulfillment. On the other hand, it might be a way of coping with the obstacles in life. In this state, those who are constantly distracted are disconnected are unaware of the life they are creating through unwise choices. So even though they are on life’s path, they are unaware of their destiny because they become detached from it. 

In every moment of every day, we each make choices that form our destiny. Choices and actions create the future that will be experienced later on life’s path. This future is our destiny.

“The great Tao is broad and plain

But people like the side path…”


Excerpt Chapter 53, Tao Te Ching

This path, the true path is not hard to stay on if you just pay attention. As stated above, it “is broad and plain”. You are on this path whether you choose it not. So the best wisdom is to wake up and manage your life. We all must disengage from distraction and reconnect with life by being present and paying attention to what we do and why we are doing it. By being mindful of what we focus on we can moderate life with balance and create harmony. As you make your mindful choices, avoid extremes and be moderated in your way forward (choices).

It is the lower level of spirit, the ego, which “likes the side path”.  Ego always following desire and self-serving interest becomes a lost in the weeds at the side of the road. Often we are searching for happiness in all the wrong places.  By becoming self-aware and mindful, your choices keep you on the true path. This is sovereignty.

So, no matter who and where you are, you are on the path. Wake up from the side paths and take charge and pay attention. Develope sovereignty to manage the ego and stay on your true path.

For more life path strategies, please read  Sovereignty; The Tao Principle ofSelf Management

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Work on the “Self” first, goals are secondary – Chap 26

Woman stretching at gym.

Work on the “Self” first, goals are secondary.

New Years is just around the corner. It is a time when people pledge new resolutions. Lofty goals of self-improvement are set and like so many of us, they have been forgotten by March. I found a way that helped me to stay on the goal path until the achievement has been made. Your first resolution should be to work on your “self”.

Before you can work on your goals and strategies, you must lay the foundation for success through self-discipline. The first discipline that you must commit to is to cultivate your “self” first. Chapter 26, Sovereignty.

This uncommon insight was given to me early on by my Tao mentor, and I have found it to be one of the most important first strategies to cultivate. Goals without willpower and self-discipline are just good intentions. The chances of not finishing are much higher without them. You know the old proverb about the road to hell as being paved with good intentions.

What does “work on the self first” mean? It means to learn to control the wild ego part of the spirit that is the epitome of self-satisfaction and desire. The discipline in maintaining full management and control over emotions, desire, and distraction so that you can avoid the pitfalls and temptations that lead to failure.

Ego-goals are well intended but almost always fail. Every January, many people state a new resolution to accomplish a personal goal. Weight loss is a very common one, and we all know that the failure rate is very high. We lose our momentum towards the weight loss goal when we:

Cheat

Lose the will to continue

become distracted (forget or don’t pay attention to what we are doing)

Lie to ourselves

set the goal for the wrong reasons

and most importantly, when we lose our battle with desire

Only if you are mindful of your emotions, feelings, choices, and actions can you wisely navigate life to accomplish long-term goals. Goal achievement lies somewhere in the future. The steps you take to reach that point in your destiny are made right here and right now. That moment of choice is the point whether you remain true to your higher self or fail at self-discipline. You must have virtuous clarity in picking your strategies and goals otherwise you will serving the ego’s path of desire. How to work on the self begins with meditation and mindfulness. A good teacher can help you begin to be aware of the ego’s effect on your choices and actions through mindfulness. Being aware of your intentions and choices are mandatory to have the willpower and discipline to not make those working choices.

These are excerpts from the book. For this and more Tao wisdom please consider getting a copy here:

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