My Choice

Tao Te Ching – Chapter 70


Our conditioned ways of seeing things and doing things
make it hard for us to understand,
but this path is easy to find
and easy to follow.

This path arises from the source of all.
Its power enlivens all things.
If we learn to know this source,
we learn to know ourselves.

Following this path we are led to the inner treasure of our being.
Our outer trappings remain simple
so we are free to cherish our inner joy.


The idiosyncrasies of an ancient cabin push hard against my conditioning. I’m a “modern man” and everything around me is supposed to be efficient and problem-free. Plumbing is supposed to remain hidden and do its job without fail. Hot water is not supposed to come out of the cold setting in the kitchen sink. Faucets should not need replacing.

Because of this conditioning, I feel like I am “off the path” when things go awry. When everything goes as it is “supposed” to go, then my conditioning tells me that I am, “on the path.” This, of course, insures that I am seldom “on the path.”

In fact, I am never off the path. I only suffer when I fall into the illusion that such can happen. That is why this path is, “easy.” Today Nancy is traveling to visit a friend on the coast for a few days and I will be alone with my thoughts. Plumbing needs investigating and winter preparations need to continue. On the path? Off the path? The choice is mine alone.

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