Friday, April 20, 2012

Floating

Life is a river, and I am in a bubble bobbing along the surface, moving where it takes me. The Tao Te Ching instructs us to be like water. Very little can stop water. In fact, even if you find something to stopper it up, the water continues to flow, it just changes direction. A bathtub will fill up rather than empty through the drain. A lake will form where a river was dammed. 

Be everchanging - be like water. 

Water also takes things as they come. A river doesn't change its course unless something is put in its way. It is steady-flowing. You don't see water changing directions for no reason. There is something, even if you can't discern with your own eye what that obstacle is.

The river doesn't make plans.

Water also knows that there is always a way. Given enough time, water will erode any substance. It just needs to be strong enough or patient enough. Sometimes both. 

Water is relentless.

The Tao Te Ching also advises us to be always empty so that we may be always filled. This is a tough task. We are always filling ourselves with things. Plans for the future, plans for the present, work, play, decisions, decisions. It's hard to be empty when we feel so full, maybe overwhelmed, by what we have. But if we let those things settle to the bottom, become the nothings they truly are, we will have room for what the river of life brings next.

What life brings isn't always what we want.

So we must be patient, be ever flowing, and ever vigilant. Things will poke at us, we may tumble down waterfalls, or be bounced around by rapids, but the it takes an awful to burst a bubble, even though it does seem so fragile. 

We don't know what the bubble is made of.

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