Doing What Needs Doing

Tao Te Ching – Chapter 45

True perfection does not exhaust itself
trying to appear perfect.
True abundance does not waste itself
in showy displays.

The most direct path
will appear to wind about.
The greatest skill
will appear quite ordinary.
The most helpful words
will appear hesitant.

When we see clearly,
we act with tranquility,
and exactly what is needed is done.



The last three lines here are important to me at the moment. Voices in my head point me in a dozen directions, A multitude of tasks seem urgent and necessary. When I take these voices seriously, nothing really gets done and a great deal of energy is expended.

I’m learning how to see clearly. It’s not a familiar habit because I have been trained for decades to see what society and my conditioned mind wants me to see. At this moment I am sitting at my keyboard and eating some scrambled eggs and listening to the very litany of voices I mentioned. I am going to stop writing, finish my breakfast, wash the dishes, and sit on the porch for a few minutes and look around and listen to a different voice – one that arises from the bird song, the breeze, and the deeper parts of my soul. Then I will do whatever truly needs to be done.

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