Breathe in. Breathe out.

Tao Te Ching – Chapter 29

Attempting to control external events
will never keep us safe.
Control is an illusion.

Whatever we try to control,
we separate from ourselves.
Whatever we try to fix, we ruin.
Life is sacred,
and flows exactly as it should.

We return to our breathing.
It knows exactly what to do,
rising and falling without conscious control.
In the same way
we sometimes have an excess
and sometimes have a lack.
We sometimes assert ourselves,
and sometimes hold back.
We sometimes succeed,
and sometimes fail completely.

Our practice is to see all this
without taking it seriously.
That way we do not abandon ourselves.
We remain at peace.
_________________________________
I have lived for almost a year greatly expanding the boundaries of my “comfort zone.” A good friend, and former Outward Bound instructor, is writing a book about the learning process. She states that only when we step outside our “Zone of Comfort” into the “Discomfort Zone” can we learn anything. I have certainly learned a lot!

But there is another zone, outside the discomfort zone that she calls the “Panic Zone.” If we push ourselves too far we end up in situations where our discomfort is too great and we panic or freeze rather than integrate learning. At those times we need something to help us find our way back to a place that will stabilize us. I found myself in the Panic Zone a couple of times during my transitions this year and it was The Tao Te Ching and its gentle advice that rooted me and kept me from complete decompensation.
Breathe in, breathe out. You’ll be OK.

2 thoughts on “Breathe in. Breathe out.”

  1. These are so darn good. When you finish a year of them you should publish them as a book as you did before. Lots of us will buy it I bet!

    On Mon, Aug 26, 2019, 10:43 AM A Daily Dose of Tao wrote:

    > William Martin posted: “Tao Te Ching – Chapter 29 Attempting to control > external events will never keep us safe. Control is an illusion. Whatever > we try to control, we separate from ourselves. Whatever we try to fix, we > ruin. Life is sacred, and flows exactly as it should. W” >

    Like

  2. I too have returned to the “Tao Te Ching” as of late. Utilizing several translations and commentaries, simple breath focus meditation and writing haiku. Your note today hit home. Thanks Bill

    Like

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