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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

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