To follow the Tao
In wisdom and stillness
Brings order to the world.
(Tao, Chapter 45)
Our days are filled with news, noise, and endless commotion. Yet the most profound messages often come to us in silence. Just now I glanced outside my window to see a monarch butterfly land on the wisteria branch outside, its glorious orange wings fluttering in a silent greeting, reminding me of my connection with nature.
Silence can bring us guidance and inspiration. Each morning I have a ritual: to meditate before I write, listening for the still, small voice of inspiration. As I open up to inner guidance, new insights come from a realm beyond my personal awareness.
These days, while it's important to be informed citizens, we can become overwhelmed by nonstop negative news and frantic activity. Doc Childre of California's HeartMath Institute points out the profound difference between care and overcare. Overcare is feeling excessively responsible, overwhelmed by the problems around us, so much so that we lose heart and burn out. [i] As the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching reminds us, "Stretching ourselves too far, we lose our balance"(Tao, Chapter 24).
Have you stretched yourself too far? Are you caught up in overcare with too many tasks, too much responsibility, too much news and noise in your life? The Tao describes the dynamic balance of nature— yang and yin, day and night, action and repose, sound and silence . If there's too much yang in your life, where can you find the wisdom of yin, the balancing power of calm, reflection, and silence? For with silence comes new inspiration and guidance on the path.
To connect with the wisdom of yin, I invite you to join me in this brief meditation.
Take a moment by yourself where you won't be disturbed. Close your door, turn off your phone, or step outside to a quiet corner of your yard.
- Sit down, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing.
- Breathing in, feel yourself becoming more comforted and calm.
- Breathing out, release any tension
- Breathing in,
- Breathing out.
- Ask yourself, "What is it that I need to know?"
- Listen in the silence, as you slowly breathe in and breathe out.
- The answer will come, either now or later as you go about your day.
- Now gently open your eyes.
I wish you joy and peace on the path.
[i]Childre, D. (2016). Care vs overcare. In D. Childre, H. Martin, D. Rozman, & R. McCraty (Eds.). Heart intelligence: Connecting with the intuitive wisdom of the heart (pp. 213-222). Waterfront Press.