The TAO in Everyday Life
The TAO is in every aspect of life: growing up; receiving education; seeking careers; getting married; raising children; connecting with others; staying healthy; growing old; and facing life challenges.
THE TAO IN LIFE CHALLENGES
Life is full of challenges, and challenges come from changes in a forever changing world. But they are no more than life problems that seem inexplicable and insoluble to the human mind. If everything in life is forever changing, then all life challenges change too.
Living for life: Observe all the comings and goings of everything to attain internal balance not only to avoid but also to overcome all challenges in life.
The real meaning of living for life: Be an observer of what is happening to you, as well as to those who are around you; do what you need to do with what you have, and just follow the laws of nature.
Throughout your life journey, being an observer and watcher, you attain internal balance and harmony, without which you strive to do more and end up getting less; you try to pick and choose, and wind up over-stressing yourself; you take pride in what you have accomplished and only leading to an inflated ego-self.
The TAO of living for life is imperceptible, inexplicable, and unfathomable. Only you know what it is, and it is uniquely yours.
You cannot follow it, because it has no beginning and no end. There is no blue print for it, because it has no word to explain it. You cannot even understand it, because it is not of this world.
But the TAO is deep within you. With enlightenment, which is the wisdom of the Creator, you may find it, intuit it, and apply it to your everyday life and living, and live as if everything is a miracle.
“Trusting the Creator, we concentrate on the Creator.
Relying on ourselves, we focus on our ego.
Our greatest suffering comes from
not knowing who we are, or to whom we belong.
Our greatest unhappiness comes from
wanting more than what the Creator provides.
Our greatest satisfaction of contentment
is the lasting satisfaction.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 46)
Letting go: Attachment is the source of human suffering. Do not attach yourself to anything in the material world given that living for life is living in this world but not of this world. .
"When there is abundance, there is lacking.
When there is craving, there is discontentment.
Striving for power to control and influence
every aspect of our lives
is the source of our suffering.
Obsessed with getting and keeping,
many of us never really live before we die.
Following the Way,
we must learn to let go.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 75)
Attachment is the source of human suffering. Do not attach yourself to anything in the material world since nothing lasts forever.
We all have watched on news how people’s possessions and properties were lost and destroyed in wildfires, storms, tornadoes, and other natural disasters. But many of us still believe that those things only happened to others, but will never happen to ourselves. This erroneous self-delusion makes many of us hold on to our attachments, instead of letting them go.
But letting go is easier said than done. It is also one of the challenges in life.
“Can we embrace both good fortunes and misfortunes in life?
Can we breathe as easily as innocent babies?
Can we see the world created as is without judgment?
Can we accept both the desirable and the undesirable?
Can we express compassion to all without being boastful?
Can we watch the comings and goings of things without being perturbed?
Saying ‘yes’ to all of the above is spiritual wisdom from the Creator,
who watches the comings and goings in the world He created.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 10)
Everything is nothing: Everything comes from nothing, and will return to
“Accepting what is, we find perfection in the Creator,
as well as in everything created by Him.
What seemingly distorted is in fact truthful.
What seemingly lacking is in fact abundant.
What seemingly exhausted is in fact refreshing.
Possessing little, we become content.
Having too much, we lose the Creator.
Having no ego, we become humbled, and our actions are enlightened.
Having no desire for perfection, our actions are welcome to all.
Having no expectation of result, our actions are selfless and non-judgmental.
Having no goal, our actions are under-doing and never over-doing.
Accepting what is, and finding it to be perfect is not easy.
But that is the Way to the Creator.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 22)
Reverse thinking is thinking in the opposite way: going back to the beginning, which is the origin.
If you want abundance, think about your lack; if you want perfection, think about your imperfection; if you want success, think about your failure. Thinking about the opposite of everything may change your perspectives, thereby instrumental in making you more caring and loving toward others, more grateful and thankful for not getting what you rightly deserve.
Enlightenment is self-awakening: Challenges come from changes; challenges are transformative because they may be self-enlightening.
"As one, it is unbroken thread with neither a beginning nor an end.
It returns to nothingness: invisible, inaudible, and intangible.
It is the indefinable, the intangible, and the unimaginable.
Stand before it, and there is no beginning.
Follow it, and there is no end.
Only by its grace can we discover how things have been and will be.
This is the essence of the Creator: invisible, inaudible, and intangible.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 14)
"watchful, like a man crossing a winter stream;
alert, like a man aware of danger;
courteous, like a visiting guest;
yielding, like ice about to melt;
simple, like a piece of uncarved wood;
hollow, like a cave;
opaque, like muddy water.
Living by the above, we wait for our muddled thoughts to settle,
our composed minds to become clear just like muddy water, until enlightenment arises, followed by eternal salvation.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 15)
Living is simple: just be a spectator, only watching the comings and goings of anything and everything.
With what you have, do what you can. With no picking and no choosing, never over-do anything. With no preference and no expectation, just accept and embrace all life challenges Life always follows a natural cycle of spontaneity -- everything just comes and goes, generating its natural balance and harmony.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
TAO in the following: