If I had to summarize what I’ve learned from Taoist and Buddhist philosophy it’s been a deeper understanding of how to let go and connect with life. It’s a kind of yin and yang approach to everything.
In the Tao te Ching the advice is to yield with difficulties, reduce clutter, create space, let go. So over the years I’ve tried to apply this to my thoughts, emotions, goals, expectations and opinions, especially when these are creating anxiety or unhappiness. This approach has helped me to let go of stress, flow with problems, accept situations that were difficult, and to find deeper peace.
On the flip side the great masters of the East offer wonderful advice on how to connect more closely with the world around us, with nature, with creative activities and people, with the great flow of all existence. They emphasize how we are a part of Nature, a part of this Universe, and as we let go of our limited human thoughts and obsessions, we fall back gracefully into the source of all things, connecting directly with the Universal field of energy and spirit that has brought us into being.
This is who we really are, the sages and masters tell us. We are this great dance of life, awareness and creative activity. Breathing in deeply and mindfully we pull the outer world into us, breathing out slowly we let it go.
Connect and let go…
Carrying body and soul
and embracing the one,
Can you avoid separation?
Attending fully and becoming supple,
Can you be as a newborn babe?
Washing and cleansing the primal vision,
Can you be without stain?
Loving all men and ruling the country,
Can you be without cleverness?
Opening and closing the gates of heaven,
Can you play the role of woman?
Understanding and being open to all things,
Are you able to do nothing?
Giving birth and nourishing,
Bearing yet not possessing,
Working yet not taking credit,
Leading yet not dominating,
This is the Primal Virtue.
Tao te Ching