Walking the Tao – Chapter 77

Charity is a natural quality of the human spirit. That is, charity in the best sense of the word that avoids condescension and patronizing. It is the ability to gently and creatively let any excess of money, things, and/or time find a flow into a dynamic balance. It is the same process of dynamic balance that sustains and maintains the very structure of the universe.

Walking the Tao – Chapter 76

Tenderness and gentleness are natural qualities in everyone; but as we grow older we learn to be self-protective and afraid. This stiffens our spirits and hardens our bodies. Dead things are rigid, stiff and brittle things will break, but live things are soft and supple. Those who remain tender and gentle throughout their life are the truly blessed.

Walking the Tao – Chapter 75

We all long for village community. Until we are able to bring it into a tangible outward form, we can keep it alive in our hearts, minds, and actions.
Can you see your life as part of a village today despite the desperate attempts to distract you and keep you captive to a consumption culture? The village is alive within each of us. Let’s keep blowing on those small inner embers and keep them alive until the time arrives for a truly new world.

Walking the Tao – Chapter 74

Killing another person is just the far end of the continuum of rash and hasty actions that arise because we are afraid. Our fear causes us to try to force, control, and eliminate anything that we think threatens us. The same process that causes us to cut our finger when the knife doesn’t easily slice an onion gives birth to war and killing. If we ease our fear and stop our urgency, we will no longer need to kill.

Walking the Tao – Chapter 73

We take some sort of action every moment. We have intentions for the outcomes of those actions. Yet we can’t possibly control the infinite interactions that operate in each moment. We can’t control the short or long term effects of any of our actions. We mean for good, and harm results, then transforms into good later on, then… We cannot control nor should we be so narcissistic as to think we should. We simply take the next best step along our path and rest in the knowledge that it is all part of the Tao.

Walking the Tao – Chapter 70

The Tao is simple, easy, and clear. What makes it seem so complicated? There is a difference between complicated, a state of mind – and complexity, the nature of the cosmos. Complication and confusion come from attempting to overlay our views of how life should be, on top of how it really is. Accepting the infinite complexity of the cosmos brings awe – a simple emotion, full of meaning and ease.

Walking the Tao – Chapter 69

Lao-Tzu was not a strict pacifist. He recognized that the fear that permeates a humanity that thinks it is separate from creation can lead to conflict, even violent conflict. Thus defending oneself and one’s community can be appropriate. But his advice seeks to minimize the damage that is done in these situations. To defend without creating an enemy is a powerful act of self-honoring self-defense.

Walking the Tao – Chapter 68

The day does not have to unfold as a series of obstacles and adversities. It does not have to be controlled. And, perhaps more importantly, I do not have to control myself and make myself into someone I am not. Neither the events of the day nor my own natural qualities have to be something other than simply what we are. If I can see deeply into events and into myself, I can respond naturally and effectively to life.