To Live Our Lives Like Water


courtesy of: HaPe_Gera

A Guide For Living

Worth Reading! From Off the Web   By:  Parker J. Palmer, On Being columnist

The best are like water…

The best, like water,
Benefit all and do not compete.
They dwell in lowly spots that everyone else scorns.
Putting others before themselves,
They find themselves in the foremost place
And come very near to the Tao.
In their dwelling, they love the earth;
In their heart, they love what is deep;
In personal relationships, they love kindness;
In their words, they love truth.
In the world, they love peace.
In personal affairs, they love what is right.
In action, they love choosing the right time.
It is because they do not compete with others
That they are beyond the reproach of the world.

I’ve been drawn to Taoism ever since I read Thomas Merton’s 1965 book, The Way of Chuang Tzu. The teachings of Chuang Tzu — a 4th century BC Chinese Taoist master — introduced me to a spiritual path often called “the watercourse way.

Taoism counsels us to live our lives like water, but that does not mean “go with the flow” passivity. Taoism is all about nonviolent action. It invites us to flow quietly but persistently around the obstacles that stand between us and the common good, wearing them down as a river erodes boulders.

I don’t think Taoism — or any other wisdom tradition — has the whole answer to living well. Sometimes we must swim upstream against cruelty, injustice and untruth.

But rightly understood, Taoism is an important corrective to the Western obsession with force, even violence, as the way to get things done — which often results in little more than an escalation of violence.

The passage above is from the Taoist master Lao Tzu who names a few of the virtues that come from living  “the watercourse way.”  They won’t make you rich or famous. But they serve the common good, make life worth living, and help keep hope alive!

9 Pieces of Wisdom…

… That Will Transform Your Life

Worth Reading – From Off the Web!

This article by Raven Fon describes 9 pieces of Buddhist wisdom that will show you how to transform your life into something more meaningful, more beautiful, and full of peace and happiness. Below are a few of my fav’s (edited). Find the full article HERE:

1.  Live A Life Of Compassion

and spirit

and spirit

Compassion isn’t only beneficial to the world as a whole, and it isn’t only important because it’s considered “the right thing to do”.  A critical part of finding peace within yourself –  is self-compassion. When we learn to forgive ourselves and accept our humanness, we can go through healing and move on from difficult challenges that hold us back.

When we agonize over someone else’s behavior, it’s because we don’t understand why someone would do a certain thing or act a certain way. By applying the basic premise of compassion, we first remember the inherit goodness in every living thing, man, woman and child. Then, seeking to find that goodness in specific people. Compassion helps us when undergoing the mental torture of not understanding the actions of others.

Simply connecting with others through the act of compassion can be a great source of joy, for both parties involved.
There are many reasons for practicing compassion. Try to live in a way where everyone is equal – treat others how you want to be treated. Even though this may seem tricky at first, stick with it and you will see the power of being compassionate.

2.  Make Connections, And Nurture Them

We are often in groups of forced connections, with a lesser goal in mind than consciousness. Monetary gain, substantial growth, control and power bring us together during the work week, but what if we made connections for a greater cause?
Buddhism calls a “sangha” a community of persons who work towards the mutual goal of awakening for themselves and all beings. Sangha is a principal the entire world could benefit from, yet can be expressed in your own life in a multitude of ways.

Being fully aware of the power of truly connecting with others, whether it’s one person or a hundred, and nurturing that connection, will transform your life in ways that will continue to bless you for years to come.

3.  Be Awake

Being mindful, having a greater awareness, paying attention to the little things, whatever you call it- it can alter every facet in your life, in every way possible. Try to live completely awake in each moment of your day. This will help you to overcome personal struggles, find a deeper sense of peace and happiness, and understand that the greatest life lessons learned are taught to us when we are fully awake to the present moment.

4.  Be The Change You Wish To See

Try to do more than be a help to others; instead, be an example.

5.  Embracing Death

Rather than shielding ourselves from death, we need to open ourselves up to the concept. By accepting our mortality and cherishing our moments here, now, we can appreciate the numerous joys in our everyday lives.

6.  Being Mindful of our food

There is a Buddhist meditative practice involving mindfulness and contemplation, which helps us understand the precious nature of the food we eat.  As we contemplate and think about the food on our plate, we start to understand the immense system of interconnectedness in our lives, and how many elements had to be in place for it to get there.
This will help us to deepen our relationship with food, give us a greater sense of gratitude at the start of each meal, and learn to respect the fragile balance of life.

7.  Removing the Three Poisons

Life is filled with plenty of good things. On the other end, life has it’s share of negative things as well. Vices are qualities that in fact bind us to unwholesome ways of living, causing a sense of separation, and therefore remove us from the true purpose of life. Within all of these things, these three poisons are the most powerful: 1- Greed,  2- Hatred,  and  3- Delusion.

When you start to experience any of the three poisons, become aware of it and work at removing it from your life.

8.  Realize Non-Attachment

A Buddhist sense of non-attachment means to live in a way where you coexist with the natural flow of life, while simultaneously not allowing yourself to become attached to the things in your life. It means to live constantly aware of the impermanence of all people and things.

9.  Live Deeply

To live deeply, with awareness, allows us to learn the beautifully profound natural laws of the universe. This allows us to savor every experience in life, to feel peace in even the most tedious of tasks, as well as transform negative experiences into something that nourishes and heals.Being Alive copy
When you realize your interconnectedness (you see how everything is connected to everything else) and impermanence (you see how everything constantly changes and constantly dies in order to be reborn) you begin to grasp the sheer mystery of this amazing existence called life!

Written by Raven Fon. Check out her blog:  Edited for readability

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