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Diane Dreher's Tao of Inner Peace Blog

The Healing Power of Nature

During the Covid pandemic, many of us have been spending more time outdoors—taking walks with friends, spending time in parks or in our own yards, and gardening. Renewing our relationship with nature can bring us important lessons.


The Tao Te Ching affirms nature's dynamic balance of the energies of yin and yang.

"The Tao is the one.

From the one come yin and yang,

Sunlight and shadow,

The forms of all creation."

(Tao, 42)


We can develop greater peace within and around us by recognizing that we are all part of nature's pattern of growth which renews itself in cycles. Moving from day to night, spring to winter, active yang is inevitably followed by quiet yin, which gives birth to new yang.


So it is for us. My book, The Tao of Inner Peace, shows us how to find our balance. Too much yin  and we experience stagnation. Our lives become dull and monotonous. Too much yang, rushing from one task to the next, and we become confused, drained, and exhausted. We need to recognize our inner rhythms to cultivate our own dynamic balance.


As we recognize our inner rhythms, Tao principles also lead to greater self-acceptance As each plant has its own cycles, so do we. Judging ourselves in comparison to others is unnatural. Daffodils bloom in early spring while chrysanthemums blossom in autumn. A wildflower blooms for only one season, an oak tree may live for hundreds of years, and California's giant sequoias have endured for thousands. Like the trees and flowers, we each have our own personal cycles.


To experience the wisdom of your own cycles, take a moment now to close your eyes.

Take a deep mindful breath, slowly release it as you feel your body relax.


Now think of one area of your life—your personal life, professional life, or creative life—as you breathe slowly and deeply.


Focusing on that area, ask yourself, "What cycle am I in now?"

Is it a quiet contemplative time of yin?

Or a springtime of emerging yang?


See and feel yourself embracing the wisdom of this current energy cycle.

What is it telling you?

Breathe slowly and listen.


The answer will come, either now or later

As you follow the natural wisdom of Tao in your life.


I wish you joy on the path.


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