This morning, I recorded a 21-minute podcast as a review of the month of January 2017. Topics covered in the podcast:
- The balance between “Going with the flow & letting life unfold” vs. “Goals”
- The difficulty of avoiding time management in our society since our jobs swallow up most of our time.
- Overcoming addictions that take away free time. (Smoking cigarettes, Facebook, cellphone addiction, drinking, snacking, etc.)
- Successes & failures during January 2017.
- Goals for February 2017 and beyond.
Deng Ming-Dao on Orientation
Planets orbit the sun.
Forms orbit the mind.
Most of us embody disparate aspects in our personalities; these are our forms, the way we take shape. If we aren’t careful, we can become confused by such complexity. We should not deny any part of ourselves. We should arrange them. All elements are valid — they must simply be placed in the right context.
Those who follow Tao understand that a diverse personality is problematic only if some aspects dominate to the exclusion of the others. This is unbalanced. If there is constant alteration between all aspects, then equilibrium is possible. Like the planets, feelings, instincts, and emotions must be kept in a constantly rotating order. Then all things have their place and the problems of excess are avoided.
Just as the sun is at the center of our solar system, so too must the mind of wisdom be the center of our diverse personalities. If our minds are strong, then the various parts of our lives will be held firmly to their proper courses, and there will be no chance of deviation.
I found this chapter more difficult to understand that other chapters of 365 Tao. I was able to get some insight from a quiltmaker’s blog, oddly enough. It almost sounded like he could be referring to the different roles we play in life. Sometimes I identify as a father, a worker, a writer, a musician, a lover, a reader, a music historian, etc. The trouble comes in when I’m wearing the wrong hat at the wrong time. Jack Kornfield covered this in Chapter 5: The Mysterious Illusion of the Self, in his book The Wise Heart.
I’m also reminded of Ecclesiastes 3 from the Bible (which Pete Seeger wrote into a song called “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, which The Byrds made into a hit song):
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
The Daily Stoic: Philosophy as Medicine of the Soul
Today, Ryan Holiday reminds us that although we get busy with work and making money, being creative, and being stimulated, we can drift away from philosophy. When we forget about philosophy, we get stressed and this injures us. We need to have a regimen and practice of philosophy. For me, that’s what this blog is all about. I would recommend to anyone owning a book like 365 Tao, The Daily Stoic, Daily Devotions (for Christians), or some kind of daily app like “Daily Buddha Quotes”. Some kind of philosophy or spirituality that works for you, to restore you every morning and get you through the day. It’s a good practice.
Tomorrow is February 1st. New challenges:
- Writing first draft of a book.
- Couch to 5K running program.
- 66-Day Challenge to spend 15 minutes per day on employment and money making opportunities.