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Diane Dreher's Tao of Inner Peace Blog

Cyclical Growth

The Tao Te Ching  tells us:


The Tao is infinite, expansive,

Always returning

In endless cycles,

Creating the Great Harmony.

                  (Tao, Chapter 65)


We are part of a universal pattern of growth which renews itself in cycles. Moving from day to night, spring to winter, active yang is inevitably followed by dormant yin, which gives birth to new yang.


The walls around you and the roof overhead—may appear solid, but are actually composed of billions of tiny particles whirling in cycles of incessant energy, tiny universes unto themselves, continuously evolving. Similarly, every cell in our bodies is constantly changing. We are not the same people we once were. Each year much of our body is renewed through metabolic change. The dance of life goes on within and around us. Nothing in the universe stands still.


The Tao teaches us to conquer our impatience, to work with the cycles. Our projects, like the seeds we plant, have different seasons. Some spring up quickly. Others take longer to germinate, even longer to bear fruit. All of the impatience in the world will not change the process.


You are a unique expression of  life. Your patterns are like no other's.

You can  explore your own patterns in this brief meditation


Close your eyes

Take a long deep breath and slowly release it

As you continue breathing slowly and deeply,

Breathing in

Breathing out

Let you mind flow freely

To explore the patterns of yang and yin—day and night, speaking and listening, action and rest in your own life.


Now think of one area in your work or personal life.


Ask yourself what you can do now to honor the natural rhythms of yin and yang in this area to create greater harmony in your life.


When you are ready, open your eyes


I wish you joy on the path. 



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The Power of Wu

The Tao Te Ching tells us


"The Tao that has been charted is not the eternal Way.

A word we can define is not the eternal Word.

Wu, the eternal, existed before heaven and earth.

We know it as yu, the source of ten thousand things."

                                                 (Tao Te Ching, 1)


The Tao cannot be reduced to names and formulas. It is wu ming, without a name, because it's the source of all existence. In its infinite creative potential the Tao is wu, eternal non-being. In its created existence it is yu, eternal being. Eternally changing and evolving, it is neither one nor the other: always both. As quantum physics has revealed, all of creation is both existence and potential, particle and wave.


Like the Tao, we cannot be reduced to categories. Each of us exists in our current state of life and our infinite potential. We are both what we are and what we might be. Herein lies the strength of wu: our unlimited capacity for growth and change. Knowing at any moment we may begin a new cycle of creation, we can draw upon the power of wu in our lives. (26)


Take a few moments now to connect with the power of wu in your life.


Is there an area of your life where you have felt static or stuck?

Silently name it to yourself now.


Then join me in this brief meditation.

  • Close your eyes.
  • Take a deep mindful breath and slowly release it.
  • As you slowly breathe in and breathe out,
  • Visualize yourself standing by the ocean
  • Watching the rhythm of the waves.
  • Breathe in the salt sea air. Feel the ocean breeze upon your face.
  • Now look up at the sky
  • Watching the clouds overhead slowly changing shape.
  • Feel nature's dynamic movement of creation.
  • Now turn back to that area in your life you thought of earlier
  • Feeling the power of the sea and sky
  • Embracing the power of wu to begin a new creative cycle in your life.
  • Then open your eyes,
  • Ready to find the next step forward  as you move through your day.


I wish you joy on the path.


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