Tao Te Ching – Chapter 15
The freedom of enlightenment is impossible to describe.
We can only notice how it appears in action.
We pay complete attention
to whatever we are doing,
as if we were crossing a river on ice-covered stones.
We are alert to everything that happens,
like a bird watching in all directions.
We have a quiet dignity and reserve,
like a guest who does not seek attention.
Our judgments and opinions have melted away,
like ice in the Summer heat.
There is a beautiful simplicity about us,
like a gem before it is shaped and polished.
We welcome whatever comes, l
ike a valley welcomes the river.
To notice this enlightenment,
we sit patiently and wait
for muddy thoughts to settle and our mind to become clear.
Life then lives Itself in us.
Practicing this Path, we no longer worry about what we have or don’t have
because we have everything!
I look at these qualities and, thankfully, no longer see them as something for which I need to strive. I finally trust that they are accurate descriptions of the True Nature we each possess but have hidden, camouflaged, and forgotten. I don’t work hard to cultivate them, I just let them emerge. They don’t always! Often the opposite traits of anxiety, control, and curmudgeonly judgment of everything around me dominate my consciousness. This is natural for the conditioned mind that has for so long been in control of my being. But it’s losing its grip and working harder and harder to maintain its voice.
So many changes have occurred over the past year that I can no longer hold on to the illusion of control. The shaping and polishing that is going on in each of us is often grating and uncomfortable, but the simple beauty of our natural selves that is being revealed is worth the grinding. The ego that is melting away seems so essential but is actually longing to become water rather than ice. Let it go.