Thursday, 5 January 2012

Verse 26


The heavy is the root of the light.
The unmoved is the source of all movement.

Thus the Master travels all day
without leaving her home.
However splendid the views
he stays serenely in herself.
He stays poised and centred
in the midst of all activities.

Why should the Master be amused
at the foolishness of the world?
If you let yourself be blown to and fro,
you lose touch with your root.
If you let restlessness move you,
you lose touch with who you are.

The words of this twenty-sixth verse might initially sound a bit obscure. I believe the key message is to stay centred in who and what we are at all times.

It’s easy to lose ourselves in the world, to ‘let restlessness’ propel us into engaging in all kinds of pointless activities, both physical and mental. Many people have a very restless streak and can’t sit still for even a moment without having to engage in activities or be swept along by various trains of thought.

We lose ourselves in the world, in what’s going on, in what’s on television or the hundred and one things we have to do about the house, office or garden. We let ourselves be ‘blown to and fro’ all the time, and in our compulsive doing, we forget about our innate being – we completely lose touch with ourselves.

This doesn’t mean we have to spend our entire lives sitting in a vegetative state. But it does mean that no matter where we go or what we’re doing, we remain grounded in an awareness of who and what we are.

It’s a beneficial practise to never engage a full hundred percent of our attention upon the external, but to always have a small portion of it rooted in awareness of our true nature, which is consciousness. After all, we don’t perceive a world ‘out there’, everything and everyone that we perceive is an occurrence in our consciousness. No consciousness, no world, no self. Consciousness is the foundation and entirety of our experience of life and it is the essence of what we are.

By remaining aware of this, we find that in the midst of activity, we can remain serene, poised and centred.

Try stopping every so often and taking a few deep breaths. Breath reconnects us with our true nature, for it is invisible yet essential to our existence, much like the Tao – much like the animating consciousness that we are – and on a physiological level it also balances both body and mind. Then we can re-engage in our activities without fully losing ourselves in mind or in doing.

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