Reflections on Chapter 63 of the Tao Te Ching:
Act without doing.
Work without working.
Taste that which has no flavor.
Make great the small,
make many the few.
Return harmfulness with good.
Prepare for difficulty while things are easy.
Take care of big things while they are still small.
The world’s most difficult problems
started out easy.
Great undertakings start from small deeds.
For this reason,
the sage never strives for greatness
and thereby has the ability to achieve great things.
One who lightly commits to great deeds
rarely keeps his word.
Don’t take things lightly
or they will surely become difficult.
The sage confronts difficulties
and therefore in the end has none.
Some things just come easy.
Do you ever wonder while you are struggling with something that perhaps it is just not meant to be? The Tao seems to tell us, again and again, to just calm our jets and let things happen. The natural way isn’t necessarily easy, but it is the way things want to flow – like water.
Sometimes our messages are subtle.
Tasting that which has no flavor is about paying attention. Everything has a flavor, but in our “gimme now” culture in the U.S., we want everything to be handed to us on a silver platter. We want it to be tasty and loud so we can hear it, but so much of what we are meant to learn is very quiet and may seem tasteless at first bite.
I have been reading up on Paleo diets recently.
I first read about it on Mark’s Daily Apple, but then also have read similar dietary suggestions on Tynan.com and on Zen Habits. Not sure if they are all “Paleo” per se, but all pretty much focused on eating better. Many have said that once they start eating more healthy foods, they start to taste better and sugary stuff loses it appeal. I think that this is definitely an interesting phenomenon and why I am mentioning it here. Not sure if Lao Tzu was suggesting good eating habits, but I know that good eating and good spiritual practices often go hand in hand.Since we are close to the new year, and many of you may be making some resolutions to trim the fat in many parts of your lives, I thought that this chapter held some particularly good ideas for this.
“Great undertakings start from small deeds.”
For any changes that you want to make in your life, you have to start somewhere. It doesn’t help things to go all out and try and change everything at once. Pick one thing and just focus your energy on one day of change instead of promising yourself the entire year. What can you do TODAY to make your life better?
Find a way to commit to this one thing every single day.
The “Twelve Steps” of Alcoholics Anonymous has been a great tool that has helped millions of people to overcome the effects of alcoholism, so perhaps this simple step can help you this year to make it a great year.
What do you think? I would love to hear from you. If you have been reading for a while and have not commented, I want to hear from you! Please say hello in the comments or hit one of the sharing buttons in the top of the right column to share this post with your friends. I appreciate hearing from you.
Happy New Year, Everyone!