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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 58: Opportunity

Day 58
A green bird darting in the night.
Will you be able to see it?
Will you be able to catch it?
Cling to Tao like a shadow.
Move without a shawdow.
-Deng Ming-Dao

Didn't he already go this concept with the crane being with the tao by standing patiently and waiting for the fish to swim by, catch and eat it? I'm not certain if all opportunities are there for the taking. His suggestion of going where the tao goes leaves one up for a bit of a roller coaster ride - no discernment. Just because it's a fish doesn't mean you have to eat it and  just because you can doesn't mean you should. He has also gone over the fact that when you do make a decision you should leave no residue, no trace. So, by Day 58 he's already repeating himself, but just using different metaphors.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 57: Predilection

Day 57
Those eho follow Tao do so
From their own predilection.
There are no promises,
Yet the rewards are immeasurable.

He continues, "If you can avoid being discouranged by poverty, isolation and obscurity, you will find an unshakable devotion to will last your entire life, and rewards will come in slow and subtle ways....for the Tao offers only three things: sound health, a way through bewilderment of life and liberation from the fear of death...that is why there are so few followers of Tao."

I believe and have all of this, but will not follow or consider myself in affiliation with any spiritual or religious institution or ideology. I will walk the truth of myself and call by no name.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 56: Muteness

Day 56
The more you dwell in the spirit,
The farther you are from common ways.
If you want to speak of Tao's wonders,
Few will listen.
-Deng Ming-Doa

He goes on to write, "Why no stay quiet?...Let others think that you are dumb...if you are merely a wanderer in a crowd of strangers, it is wisdom to be silent."

I agree. People don't listen. They don't understand anything other that what their politicians, performers and charlatans are offering them in 'easy speak' (1984). Keep to yourself and keep quiet is my motto. Share only with those in who you have full conifidence and the exchange of words and ideas will be of benefit; otherwise, keep youself to yourself  and to no other, for it is a complete waste of time and energy. It is difficult to remember this practice and there will be times that you share what you've self-cultiviated in wisdom and truth. Like a mousetrap snapping,  you'll experience the ultimate realization that there was no cheese to be had and you've made a grave mistake in thinking your could take the bait they were offering you at a listener and confidant. - Demori

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 55: Division

Day 55
Problems cannot be
Resolved at once.
Slowly untie knots
Divide to conquer.
-Deng Ming-Dao

The author divides problems into three categories: puzzle, obstacle and entanglement, or a combination. Well, I'd probably say that my life is a combination a missing piece to a Rubics Cube, summiting Mt. Everest and a decades growth of dreadlocks. I'm not seeing a means to getting out of what's been created in my life on an psychological and emotional level.

I went to bed at midnight after taking my new sleeping pill. I was awake at 4pm. I've been suffering with insomnia since I was 26 years old when I was awoken by a 2:30 am call from my mother telling me that my father had fallen and she couldn't get him up. The truth of the matter is that he committed suicide using a .22 caliber rifle to blow out his brains. Prior to that he loved to torture me and my mother with mental, physical and emotional abuse. I've been emotionally unstable since my mother died suddenly from cancer treatment in 2006 and a stressful adventure to Nepal and Tibet in 2009 with a two groups of idiots and upon returning had lost 2 dogs and my job.

My anxiety attacks are back, my insomia is worse then ever and I couldn't take the stress of my last job - I came home and cried every night - for fear that I was wasting a day from my dogs who could get sick and die, my husband, my home - just worry and anxious. Plus it was a very erratic environment.  Now, we're renovating the dining room and kitchen and you'd think some awful event had happened in my life. It's causing me to just breakdown because of the temporary lack of peace and stability in the house. Lately, I've been wondering if I have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

So, since I couldn't sleep I decided to take look into PTSD and saw that I can take a self-test for PTSD - 
I  passed. I got a very high score indicating that I have several symptoms of PTSD and should seek help. But what is anyone or any drug going to do? I already take xanex and sleeping pills. I can't say that I feel depressed, but I do think about death ALOT. Not just my own, but my dogs and husband. I think that I'll die soon - I always imagine "Death" sitting in the corner of the room I'm in just waiting - sometimes he's reading the paper, playing solitaire, or just staring at me. Sometimes I talk to him, other times I yell at hime, and then there are the times that I just dare him to take me. I'm afraid of people and don't feel that I can trust most of them, even my friends - I pretty much feel that there will be a let down or a back-stabbing at some point from their end. I suppose I'm not an optimistic person. Also, in the last year I've become a concrete existentialist and athiest. This coming from a woman who spent 20 plus years searching from "God" in any conceivable means and found absolutely nothing except the reflection of herself in the mirror. So, if I am in the image of any "God", this deity is old, shattered, torn, worn and tired.

Apparently the aforementioned daily life I live reflects an individual with PTSS or on the edge of combined personality/anxiety disorders. So what? What can anyone do? I've talked. I've cried. I've rebirthed. I've sweat lodged. I've yoga-d. I've done everything mainstream, new aged and ancient to heal the wounds. What I've been left with in an un-armed armadillo - I've lost my shield, my shell. I feel unprotected from the world and very vulnerable with just my skin as a very poor piece of armor.

So, dividing and conquering is not alway the answer there Deng. I wish it were so easy. I'm begining to think that Deng Ming-Dao contradicts himself every other day and has not had much practice with personal suffering in his life. It must be great to live in his little, protected taoist world.

"The only true wisdom lives far from mankind, out in the great lonliness,
and can be reached only through suffering. Privitaion and suffering
alone open themind of a man to all the is hidden in others"
-Igjugarjuk, Caribou Eskimo Shaman

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 54: Adversity

Day 54
A tree hemmed in by giants
Requires tenacity to survive.
-Deng Ming-Dao

He goes on to state, "During times of adversity, vision and determination decide the outcome."

The greatest adversity that I can think of is that of the Dali Lama against the Peoples Republic of China.  His vision and determination to save the people of Tibet from the government of the Peoples Republic of China has failed. He admitted last night on an interview that he no longer wishes to "Free Tibet" because it is so intangled with China that the Tibetans have been integrated into China's education, economy and politics over the past 50 years. The only thing they don't have is religious freedom, which is the centeral aspect of their culture. What is money to a Tibetan if he/she can't even own a picture of the Dalai Lama? The material aspect has it's place, but it is the latter that causes them heatrache. This picture of Tibetan life is true. I know because I experienced it for myself when I was in Lhasa and western Tibet. The Chinese have created a great illusion that the Tibetans have religious freedom because you can see them take pilgrimage at Potala Palace. But, across the street from them stand a number of Chinese soilders in attention with guns watching them.  To fight against this adversity will only leads imprisonment or death. The Tibetans are caged birds.

So, not all adversity can  be overcome. Sometimes there must be acceptance that things cannot always be changed just because you want them to be different. Deng Ming-Dao writes, "Take calculated risks if you must, or face danger if you have to. If your mind is focused to the utmost, you will triumph." Ah, sorry to break it to you Deng, but this is bullshit. You do not always triumph, instead it may be your adversary using the same methods that Deng is proposing that triumphs over you. It's like a two Christan warlords praying to the same "God" for victory. What comes from adversity are winners, losers, prisoners and corpses. Each one of us falls into one of the options, whether we are aware of it, or not.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 53: Imbalance

Day 53
Sleepless nights.
Diet, mind, conditions
Hold the possiblity of correction.
-Deng Ming-Dao

I find that imbalance comes whether it's invited, or not. I find that balance comes whether it's invited, or not.

One day you just awaken to an awkward energy within you and around you. Another day you awaken to an energetic and creative energy within you and around you. The key is to try accepting the "off days" as well as the "on days" as much as possible. When I feel as if I can't concentrate on intellectual endeavors, then I just chill and let my mind wander. Then there are days when get up, read a book with my tea and I have an open, absorbent mind. I've found that if I "push" to be what I'm not on that day - or act against my grain in any aspect of my life - then I'm not at ease with myself and  imbalance follows. On the other hand, if I follow my truth and walk my path with ease and in peace, then I feel in balance with myself and the world.  -Demori

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 52: Nonconformity

Day 52
The world is dazzling,
I alone am dull.
Others strive for achievement,
I follow a lonely path.
-Deng Ming-Dao

He goes on to described Taosist as, "...erractic, antisocial, irresponsible, inexplicable, outrageious and sometimes scandalouse. We here other voices, respond to inner urgings. We have no interest in the social norm....It doesn't matter if no one can understand us, for we are nurutred by something most people do not sense. Awakening to this inner urge, and distninguising spiritual impulses from the merely instinctual, is one the the crucial goals of self-cultivation...this is a lonely path...That is why it takes someone both sensative enough to hear the call and strong enough to walk the solitary path."

I'm not going to claim to be a Toaist, but his description of one who follows the tao is the same lfie path that most nonformist lead, too. There are very few true companions on this sojourn that you trust enough to love you in spite of yourself - they may not always understand you, but they love you all the same.

It's the "Others"- the ones who place no importance on the aforementioned personality traits, that will never get us. They veiw us as a type of freak show. What they don't realize is that we view them as the freaks of this world - full of nonsense and wandering about in a programmed reality in which they cannot think for themselves and don't even realize it!

We nonconformists walk to the beat of different drummers and forge our own path. We recognize the paths of past nonconformist and have an affinity toward visionaries who, in their time, were cast aside as lunatics. Most of us lead quiet lives. However, there are those who have been willing to attempt the process of converting the comformist - seeing a vision or a truth that they are but continually blind to perceive. What is important to note is that most were not respected for their nonconformist vision until they (and those who ridiculed them) were dead. Respect for such vision was not embraced until centuries later, if ever.

The "Others" are worthless. They are cruel, greedy, stupid and inhumane. They wander about this planet with a frontal lobe, opposable thumbs, generational genetic reproductions of themselves and think that our species is the select choice of "God". 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 51: Beauty

Day 51
Lavender roses.
Incarnate fragrance,
Priestly hue of dawn,
Spirit unfolding.
-Deng Ming-Dao

There is a great amount of beauty if one is in the correct mind to allow for it to flow into your life, your vision. It is not easy in these days of great decline. So, if one is seeing the world without beauty, then each day is spent in hell. I know people who live in such a world. Causality & Chaos can take the most basic of  beauty and turn it into something ugly and vice versa. Entropy.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 50: Interaction

Day 50
We make life real
By the thoughts we project.
-Deng Ming-Dao

Projection and Perception
are the masks of illusion
 from which we view reality.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 49: Death

Day 49
Death is the opposite
of time.
-Deng Ming-Dao

Time is relative - no true division between past and future, rather a single existence. If death is the opposite of time, then there must be a distinction - you cannot physcially exist in time if you are dead and this makes physics obsolete.  There are those who claim that physics is the language of "god". Hence, I can only conclude that when you die, then "god" becomes a mute point.
- Demori

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 48: Knowledge

Day 48
Life is
-Deng Ming-Dao

He goes on to write, "Only knowledge removes this fear. If we we shown he whole truth, we could not stand it. Both lovely and horrible details make us human, and when knowledge threatens to show us our follies, we may realize that we are not yet ready to leave them behind. Then the veil closes again, and we sit meditating before it, trying to prepare ourselves for the moment when we dare to part the curtain completely."

Seeking knowledge is a great pastime, for certain. Experience has a place in this knowledge. The issue being that when we place experience and knowledge together they create an equation. This "knowledge" plus this "experience" equals this "outcome" (K+E=O). Once that equation is established it is very difficult to undo, whether is a "good" or "bad" outcome of two independent factors means nothing, they can still be connected psychologically and emotionally to an aspect of your life that become fear-based. To someone else this fear will make no sense; but to you, it is as clear a condition as ever was one. How do you break the equation? How do you part the curtain? Truth is the only answer.

That truth doesn't come from a guru, lama, master or any other word for a teacher. It doesn't come from a practice,whether it be yoga, tai chi, chi gong, meditation, vision quest or any other human devised concoction of action or inaction. The aformentioned are just egos and rules, they are suppose to be conduits for the truth you already hold inside of you, but the key is not to let them define you in the process of finding your truth. Otherwise, you'll never find it because you'll get entangled in a snare of human conditioning that won't seem like conditioning because it's new and different from the conditioning you're trying to rid yourself of from the life you've lead in a society, culture and religion. The only way to knowledge is to release yourself from the straight jacket of "Thou Shalt".

I have fears that make no sense, but still they are there walking with me everyday. Some days I feel them inside of me, other days they are barely noticeable. I've discovered a new fear that I've never had before. It involves leaving home for an extented period of time and my life falling apart or something happening that I can't stop and it causes me pain.

When I was away for a month in Nepal and Tibet one of our dogs died and I was in great sadness that I was not home to help my husband or the dog go through this process. By the time I got home the other dog was dying. The third dog was just confused that I wasn't here and the other dogs were dead or dying. My husband was in shock, I think. Plus, I had to give up my livelihood of the past 17 years do to an injury that seemed better while I was away, but came back full force once I started to work again.

Now I'm afraid to leave home or on a vacation for a period of time for fear that something bad will happen to my life and the things that I love. Part of the reason I had to leave H&R Block was not just because the company sucked, but because I had this underlying fear that if I continued to work that I wouldn't be available for my dogs or my husband if something should happen or that I'd feel guilty for working - time that could not be regained and will have lost that time with them. I know it sounds crazy, but it is a very true fear that has found its way into my psyche and did not realize it until I began working. My knowlege and experience have created an outcome based on one incident. How do I let it go? I need different knowedge, expereince and outcome to counter the initial belief. I've got to go away and come back to find all is well.

However, what I think is an important lesson is that I've realized that I must be alert and awake, for each moment in lfie is precious. We were never meant to be contained in the four walls of an office building, despite that is where many humans find themselves several hours out of a day - it's just crazy. You cannot regain a loss that is so valuable as time in the places, people and things which nurture your soul. I don't want to construct or direct it. I do want to live it, even in the most boring of moments and regard them as a gift, especially the quiet moments with my husband and dogs, lunch with friends, walks in woods. I understand why my mother wanted more time with me, for she knew that the moments we spent together were finite, (even before became ill). I, on the other hand, had not realized just how finite moments which are weaved together by a fine twine do end in the most abrupt ways, suddenly ending, cut by fate - there is nothing to be done but to recall what we should or should not have done in our restropection of the days which have been spent or savored.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 47: Impermanence

Day 47
Tidal windstorm
Splits trees and rock,
Yet cannot last a day.
So much less, man's work.
-Deng Ming Dao

He continues, "All our efforts are temporary. They borrow from preexisting forces, ride the current of natural events, and disappear according the dictates of the situation. It is best to realize the transitory nature of things and work with it. Understanding the world's ephemeral nature can be the biggest advantage of all."

I have seen
things come and go -
  loss and gain,
gain and loss.
I was born.
I will die.
It means nothing.
This is my legacy.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 46: Organization

Day 46:
Pattern and creativity
Are the two poles of action.
-Deng Ming-Dao

I'm seeing a pattern is Deng Ming-Dao's writing about sucess and how to get there. This is where the bullshit books came from such as, The Tao of Managment.

In one medatation he speaks of flow, oneness and flexibility with life, and in the next he's talking about organization. How can tao be organized? Oh, the excercise of planning and executing while working with "invisible lines of destiny" Somehow I'm thinking the the "invisible lines of destiny" are being left out of the morning brain storming session, as are references to grace and "preserve the ways of nature". For this taoist philosophy you'd have to get the CEO to read The Tao of Pooh. Ah, that's not going to happen.

So, you can "plan" each day, to some degree, yet setting goals to me does not seem very taoist, nor does trying to suceed. If anything I think it gets in the way of living each day with its natural energy pattern it is offering. Some days feel very kinetic, others are just lazy. What's wrong with living it the way it feels instead of forcing a "plan". 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 45: Circulation

Day 45
Spirtuality begins in the loins,
Ascends up the back
And returns to the navel.
- Deng Ming-Dao

I have no doubt that Tai Chi and Chi Gong are an exercise and practice in connection to the the psycho-physcial energy of which her refers concering circulation. Since I am not a practitioner of either, I can say nothing in regard to how they influence spirituality. What I do know is that people can and do use these practices as a means to feed the ego. It brings to mind Josepsh Campbell's reference to religion being an obstacle to a religious experience. If one concentrates on the activity that is suppose to support spiritual attainment, then it is very possible that it could be the thing that also blocks them from that which they seek - kinda like not seeing the forest for the trees. I want to add that if there is a practice that is suppose to support your attainment of spirituality and that practice has been devised by humans, it will most likely be that which keeps you from that which you seek.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 44: Stretching

Day 44
When young, things are soft.
When old, things are brittle.
-Deng Ming-Dao

He goes on to say, "Metaphorical stretching leads to expansion and flexibility in personal growth.  A young plant is tender and pliant. An older one is stiff, woody and vulnerable to breaking. Softness is thus equated with life, hardness with death. The more flexible you are, the greater your mental and physical health."

For me stretching has taken the form of hatha yoga for the past thirteen or so years. Flexiblity in other areas of life takes daily practice, too.

Some days a yoga posture is easy and strong, on other days it is not so. It depends on the time of day - morning yoga is wonderful but your flexibility in not as great as the end of the day. I prefer evening yoga after taking a hot shower and just before going to bed.  As well, it is best for me to consider matters of importance after daily rising, drinking two cups of English Breakfast Tea and reading a bit of  Joseph Campbell. You must discover when your body, mind and spirit are at its best for "stretching".

Lean flexibility is synonomous with youth; however, metaphorical stretching comes with experience and age. 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 43: Perserveance

Day 43
Invisible lines.
The fisherman repairs his net
And the fish are nearly caught.
-Deng Ming-Dao

What of perservence if there is no longer a goal?
Contentment has no plan.
We perservere toward mortality.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 42: Walking

Day 42
Trail beside a stream,
Fragrant pine.
Rocky red earth,
Steep mountain.
-Deng Ming-Dao

Almost every day I walk in the wood with my dogs. A minimum of an hour, but usually closer to two hours. I feel safe wandering through Eastern woodlands - pine, oak, birch, gum - water surrounding me, sky above me, earth below me. I know many who would find such natural surroundings intimidating if they are alone, but I find being alone within nature to be so very soothing, safe and spiritual. People tell me to be careful. I feel no fear. The only time I get concerned is if I see another human and I need my intuition (or that of my dogs) to acknowledge concern for my situation, if there is any need. But, alone in the woods is the best place for me; and my dogs love to roam and explore with me. I can think of no better way to spend a portion of my day than under a canopy of trees with the sounds of the wild. It gives my body, mind and soul a sense of peace. For, as Deng Ming-Dao writes, "There are a thousand meanings in every view, if only we open ourselves to see the scripture of the landscape."

Day 41: Resolution

Day 41
Footsteps in the sand
Quickly wash away:
The seashore mind.
-Deng Ming-Dao

He writes, "...we should act without leaving consequences. This requires great thoroughness. Such completeness is challenging, but to suceed is to live perfectly. By resolving the problems of each day to our utmost satisfaction, we attain the sublime purity of a becah constantly washed by waves."

With a record amount of snow and a blizzard covering the Mid-Atlantic States today, it's easier to imagine footsteps in the snow made invisible by another layer of frozen condensation than it is to envison foosteps in the sand being washed away by the ocean tide. In either case, there applies the trekker's motto/resolution of Leave No Trace - not even your footprints - it must be as if you never walked upon the earth. - Demori

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 40: Subconscious

Day 40
Heaven and hell:
Our subconscious.
-Deng Ming-Dao

What I remember...

My father dropping me of f at nursery school on his way to work and my mother picking me up after work.

When I asked my father way my last name was different from his, he told me to just tell people that he was my step-father.

When I was a little girl I had a dog named "Freckles". Since I was an only child and there were no children near me to play with, he was my very good friend. One night there was a lightening storm and Freckles, who was chained to a Weeping Willow tree, got electrocuted. The next day my parents told me that he ran away to be with his girlfriend. I was very sad because my friend left me. I thought maybe it was my fault he left or maybe I wasn't fun enough. It was many years later that I was told the truth.  

When I was a little girl (after Freckles died) another little girl moved in dow the street from us. Her name was Jeanine. After we'd become very good friends she had to move.I never heard from her again. I didn't have a really good friend for many years afterwards.

Visiting a man named "Indian Joe" with my father. "Indian Joe" lived in a undeveloped stretch of woodlands along the Maurice River. His dwelling was a 1950's style travel trailer with faded red & while paint and  located at the end of a gravel road.

Playing in the woods with my friends and building forts. Sleighing down a hill that we thought was huge, but when I go back there it is a very small hill and it makes me laugh to think that my impression was ever otherwise.

Swimming in river during family picnics when my father still had a boat docked at the edge of town. My mother's baked beans. Being happy with my cousins playing on hot summer days.

My grandmother sitting in her rocking chair at a window so that when I waled to school in the morinings I could wave to her.

Waving goodbye to my mother from the living room window all the way down the street until she turned the corner and I couldn't see her anymore as she drove for work.

My mother being at every softball game, field hockey game, school concert and play. My father watched my games from the distance in his truck and to be later to be told all of my faults.

My father committing suicide. My mother dying from the cancer treatment.

What I don't remember:

How sad I was when Jeanine moved, but my mother told me that I was. 
When I lived with my father his children from a previous marriage called me a "bastard". They would not come to visit my father if me and my mother were at home. My mother & father never married.

Leaving my grandmother and uncles trailer to go live in my  father's place.

My father ever coming to a lay or a concert that I was in as a child.
Ghosts and Phantoms of the Subcounscious...
All ghosts and phantoms of my subconscious. So many fragmented memories. Lost pieces of a puzzle intermingled with pieces of another puzzle - some aspects of the picture don't seem to fit - like a Picasso painting. There is no one left to ask. No means of clarity for blurry recollections and deformed figures.

Heaven and Hell 
walk hand-in-hand,
skipping down the road
with our childhood.
Grown up,
 we play hopscotch with stones,
the debris of shattered
memories and broken dreams.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 39: Worry

Day 39
Worry is an addiction
That interferes with compassion.
-Deng Ming-Dao

He goes on to describe worry as, "a cancer of the emotions - concern gone compulsive. It eats away at body and does no good to say'Don't think about it.' It is far better to keep walking your path, changing what you can. The rest must be dissovled in compassion."

I wouldn't say worry is an addiction unless you're always worried. Frankly, telling someone (or yourself) not to worry about an issue is like taking a sedative that kinda works for a small amount of time and then wears off. I'm not exactlty certain where compassion comes into the equation, except as a means to allow one to accept everything as it is. Still, your on a ride that you're not comfortable being on and in this case, you must keep breathing.

He goes on to write, "Whenever you meet a problem, help if it is in your power to do so. After you have acted, withdraw and be unconcerned about it. Walk on without ever mentioning it to anybody. Then there is no worry, because there has been action."

Where does Wu Wei come into worry? Maybe there needs to be a lack of action in certain circumstances.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day 38: Adapting

Day 38
Heaven embaces the horizon.
No matter how jagged the profile
The sky faithfully conforms.
-Deng Ming-Dao

The sky faithfully conforms? Blah!

The sky does not adapt to the horizon, nor does the horizon adapt to the sky - there is no true conformation of either, but only the illusion created by man (city skyline) or nature (mountain or mesa) that makes it appear so.

When it comes to adaptation, it is quite obvious that humans have been pulling a rabbit out the hat for a very long time. So long, in fact, that we've begun to believe the magic trick is the truth. Without his "tools" man is prey to his environment. The concrete jungle is one of his own making and the only surrounding he feels safe in because it is here that he deems control. So, if adapting is as the author says "conforming", then we each need to decide what we're willing to conform to in society, culture, religion, politics, etc. versus adjusting - there is a difference.

Joseph Campbell writes, The person of noble heart acts spontaneously and will avoid the wasteland of the world of "Thou Shalt".

To those who feel the need to conform or adapt so that they won't be on the outside looking in are cowards. You can call it Tao or Torah, it doesn't matter. If adapting means giving up your truth for "Thou Shalt", then you've lost yourself along the way. There is no right Tao or wrong Tao, for there is no Tao. Taosism is adapting to the Tao, but what is the Tao other that that which it is not to be called the Tao. There is nothing in a name or title that cannot fall outside of it. Adjust to that point of view.

Deng Ming-Dao states, "being flexible and constantly adjusting to the times is one of the secrets of Tao."  Not everything that is adapting is Taoist. Just adapting doesn't mean you've seen the flow of life, the stillness in movement, for what it's worth, neither does adjusting. In our current world, survival is primary (adapting) and living is secondary (adjusting). There is a huge space between the two.

Adapting gets you through life.
Adjusting gets through a moment.
- Demori

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 37: Discord

Day 37
When birds fly to high,
They sing out of tune.
-Deng Ming-Dao

He goes on to say, "...we should learn from each time that we lose Tao. Sometimes this is enough to prevent reoccurances, and sometimes i is enough to buoy our hopes through future lean times. Once we know the Tao, we will recognize it again and again. We will not lose faith, even in times of discord."

Joseph Campbell's equivalent to the Taoist concept of the discord meditation is his saying, "You know when you're on the beam, you know when you're off the beam." As a former gymnast, this makes a great deal of sense to me.

When you're performing a routine on the balance beam, one small miscalculation or loss of concentration can cause a fall out  and lack of synchronizaiton. Keeping your balance is the key, but not always so easy to do.  If you catch yourself before falling off the balance beam, arms flinging about and at least one leg in the air, eventually you can regain balance, continue the routine (minus some points) and walk away knowing you made a recovery. However, in most competitions, if you fall off the balance beam, then you are expected to get back on the beam and finish your routine. That can be difficult because you've already lost some belief in your ability to finish. To reset in this fashion is to transcend a mistake - later you'll beat yourself up for it, replaying the routine over and over in your mind to find out what you did wrong and the moment of discord in your intention. Eventually, it will be forgotten and you go on learning new routines. Even with this revival of spirit, when you are on the balance beam you never forget your previous mistakes and falls - the place of disorientation. You'll always remember that no matter what happens you've got to finish the routine.

To feel out of harmony with your surrounding or your life or the moment itself is a means to identify disorientation and in this case, "Tao has flowed elsewhere". Do you chase the Tao to where it went or do you try to harness back to where it was? Where is the balance once you've decided to take discord out of your life and follow it to a more harmonious space/place? If you've found yourself in a "reoccurance", then you'll recognize how to remove yourself from discord and move into harmony, no matter the cost.  

Only you know how to regain harmony and peace in your life.
Don't let others make the judgement for you,
you must know how to get off the floor (discord),
get back on the balance beam (harmony)
and finish the routine (life).
 - Demori

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 36: Vantage

Day 36
Distant ridges, far away clouds
All events come from a distance.
With a high vantage point,
Foretelling the future is elementary.

Achieving a high vantage point is also synonomous with having a range of life experience. From either, one can usually recognize how the future with present itself. Its normal to know the outcome of a situation if you've been there before, yet we can still question the instict and knowledge we've gained, our clarity and perspective.

In my particular situation I knew months ago that walking into a corporate situation was probably a bad idea. But, when I thought there was too much drama being connected with the very small & temporary role I'd be playing, the vantage point was trashed. I'd consider my thought process as being, "how bad could it be?" way of thinking.

What I thought could happen did happen. It was foretelling, afterall. Trust yourself. Don't second guess your high vantage point -  stay there.

"I don't have the gift of the prophecy,
telling everybody how it's gonna be.
You go passing wrong for right and right for wrong,
 people will stand for that for just so long"
- Natalie Merchant
"This House Is On Fire"

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 35: Utilization

Day 35
Kites harness the force of the wind.
They express our intent,
But they cannot change the wind.
-Ding Ming-Dao

"...(Tao) about taking advantage of natural forces. It means accepting the way they work, and then finding a way to borrow their power. It does not mean trying to change or circumscribe things. If the wind is not blowing our kite the way we want, we cannot change it. We can only borrow energy. When initiative and natural forces are combined, there is true harmony."

I'd like to add that if the wind is not blowing the kite the way we want there is another option - reel-in the fucking kite! Take the kite and yourself out of the equation! Removing yourself from a situation, taking a step back to reflect and recognize it for what it is (or is not) is a good thing. Why do you want to be chasing a kite off a cliff just because that's the way the wind is blowing you?

Borrow the energy and use it, then stop before you fall over the edge. If an energy is being its' true nature - in this case the wind - then, it has no concern whether you stop a the edge of the cliff or go down the rocky face - it's not personal. It's just what is. However, I  believe this is where personal initiative comes in - it's up to you to find your place in the equation of natural forces (Tao). Finding harmony means knowing when to borrow the energy and when to let go of it. Only you can know when, where and how.

Utilize energy until it no longer serves you,
for if you borrow it for too long
it can destroy you.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 34: Engagement

Day 34
Prey passes the tiger who
Sometimes merely looks,
Sometimes punces without hesitation,
But never fails to act.
-Deng Ming-Dao

The author continues, "This is engagement. Whatever comes to you, you must engage it somehow. You receiveit, you may later the circumstances and let it go, you many interject something of your own into it, or you may knowingly let it pass. Wahtever you do, there is no need to be apathetic toward life. Instead, full participation in all thing is the surest way to happiness, vitality, success and a deep knowledge of Tao"

Today I walked out of H&R Block knowing that I would not return. It was my last day because it was not working. It was an opportunity that ended up not to be a good fit. Best to let it go.

Joseph Campbell what right about following a pay check or a pay off vs. following your bliss. For $9 per hour, a chance at an unemployment check of $190 week and re-training (ends up not in too many areas that fit my interests or my path), I thought that selling my soul to the corporate devil would be easy for 3 months. But, it wasn't. I cried almost every day knowing that deep inside of me I wasn't doing the right thing, but was conforming to the programming still playing inside of me. I know the sound of that program and thought I could just listen to the hum of it's disgusting little sound for a short time. Alas, won't due for me.

I can't do it anymore - the lie. I don't have to live it, either. I've have seen the corporate monster's fangs once too many times and I won't be its prey. I just cut it short and ran away. Taking my gains/losses and moving onto living my inner truth - back to long days with Pembroke Welsh Corgi's in my little house with my wonderful husband, three cats and my magical walks in the woods. Oh, how I've missed my simple little life over the past two weeks (seems much longer) and have longed to return, knowing now what I've taken for granted and the most precious of all - time and simple beauty.

So, if engagement is about letting go of "opportunities", like when the tiger sights prey but is not hungry enought to hunt, then that's me in this scenerio. My belly is full. I can lay in the shade of a tree and watch the tall grass blow in the wind. Content. There are always other ways to engage myself that fill days and nights with sweet dreams and smiling mornings.

If engagement means selling your soul
then don't do it, my friend.
What you will endure is a timeless sorrow
that time cannot mend.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 33: Defense

Day 33
Demons who enter your circle
Must be pushed out.
-Deng Ming-Dao

In order to triumph over evil you must be certain not to lose yourself in the battle against it. The fight can break us or it can make us. If we are just reacting, then the demon described will win. If we act with preparedness via the innate truth of who we are, then they cannot reach us even with the longest, sharpest of their words or swords.

Deng Ming-Dao writes of these people, " No matter what world you walk in - office, school, temple, prison, or the streets -t here is an underworld populated with demons. These are peole who are aggresive, sadistic and cynical. They not only take advantage of others without compunction, they delight in it. They find pleasure in seeing others suffer."

I wish that such individuals did not exist, but they do exist. In the aforementioned description, the author describes them perfectly. For those of us who wish to wander the earth in quiet peace and left alone to listen to the sound of winds, such "demon" people will never understand how we should wish such things. Their agenda is malice. They will push you until they think that they have you at the breaking point. It is here that you must decide how you will defend yourself.

In my case I took an iPod to work to listen to Bach during my lunch. The "demon" does not understand such action. It will confuse them that you aren't engaging with others, even when it's your own time and you're off the clock. Then they will usually walk away to find another victim.

The other theory is this: they are not there to harm you, but perhaps they are there to remind you that you still have old wounds to heal and old demons to remove from yourself. If they push a button in you, then recognize that issue. Figure out a way to either live with the realization or find a way to let it go! It's not easy to do and you will struggle at first to even admit to it. But, once it comes to the surface you must set it free. Then the "demon" living outside of you and the "demon" living inside of you no longer have any power over you.

No one can take from you what you are not willing to give.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 32: Ubiquity

Day 32
Tao is everywhere.
It cannot be kept from the sincere.
-Deng Ming-Dao

Being everywhere at the same time, being in the present and in dream.

I had a dream last night that involved being in a community of people, even those I have not seen in a very long tme. They were all women. There were these two women who were discussing the spiritual search. I walked up and asked if could interrupt. I told them that I'd given up the spiritual search, for it had  never served me to find what I was looking for.

So, I stood next to a 4' cedar bush and asked them if there was anything about the cedar bush that they would change. I explained that the cedar bush was perfect in its natural construction, just as we all are each perfect in our natural construction. However, most of the time we cannot see our own perfection or that of the world around us. It is easy to see imperfection, just like it is easy to believe the more negative aspects of ourselves. What would you change about yourself if no one judge anything about you to be right/wrong, ugly/beautiful, fat/thin, etc.? You wouldn't change a thing because no one be judging you. Nature doesn't judge us, it accepts us just as we are. The problem with human nature is judgement everywehre, all the time.

If the Tao is everywhere, then it is also in the "dream-state" as well as in a "waking-state".