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Tag Archives: William Martin

when suddenly a light goes on …

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… and, for a couple of seconds, clarity reigns. And so it was during last night’s meditation. As I told fellow-sitters afterwards, my blogging days are coming to an end. If not an end, then to a drastic slow-down. In a couple of weeks it’ll be the 1,500th posts since I began — almost one per day for four years.

The time has come for me to walk more quietly. “He who knows does not speak”, it says in the Tao te Ching, and “he who speaks does not know.” There’s a fair amount of ego involved in keeping a blog: thinking that what I have to say is of interest and even benefit to others.

What brought this on? The mind likes to figure things out, label it, put a neat bow on it. In reality, as with an avalanche, many tiny events contributed to the shift. For one, the question of what matters bubbled up on my 68th birthday. So did Steve’s decision to toss his TV and disconnect from the Internet. Also the facts that, in my family at least, the previous generation has died out … and that an offer to father a child has come too late. My days are numbered (statistically) and I notice the hours spent at the keyboard.

All these are just thoughts, of course.

Looking back on life we see
that nothing remained the same.
things came
and went
without permission or control.
The future will unfold in the same manner.
What is there to do
but sit in mindful appreciation
and watch it come
and go.

source: Martin, W. (2010). The sage’s Tao te Ching: ancient advice for the second half of life. New York: The Experiment, p. 114. image: geekalerts.com

ahhh! everything’s imperfect

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The time comes when we realize
that the ducks will never be in a row.
It is the nature of ducks to fly about.
The house will never be perfectly clean.
It is the nature of a house to accommodate clutter.
The project will never be done just right.
It is in the nature of projects to evolve into other projects.
The future will never be perfectly secure.
It is the nature of life to be unpredictable.

Sit still and watch for a moment.
Perfection will be built
from all that is imperfect.

From a modern-day adaptation of the Tao te Ching by William Martin. (2010). Ancient advice for the second half of life. New York: The Experiment, p. 71; ISBN 978-1-61519-024-9. image: http://uwarboretum.org/photos/