Stories & Life
Comment 1

Mud Wrestling

“Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?” – The Tao Te Ching

This is one of my favorite quotations from the Tao Te Ching. The idea here, as I understand it, is that the correct action makes itself clear when we give up the inner desire to find the correct action. There is a certain faith at work, a faith in one’s own serenity. If we are calm and patient, relinquishing the need to act, then we can wait until the right action manifests itself.

I am only a beginner when it comes to patience. Like most of us, I often experience the compulsion to find the right action, right now! Good spiritual teaching, however, works on becoming aware of these compulsions, letting them pass, then acting from a place of clear-mindedness and rationality.

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Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy; I pass the winters in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. I'm working on a memoir-based nonfiction book on the American Dream. I blog, quite frequently, and I also have a novel in process, set in Alaska.

1 Comment

  1. Wonderful words. The desire for control and the need to always want to make it happen is so intense. I suppose its part of our Western heritage and the above is so foreign to our thinking; yet one begins to enter a wonderful perspective when one tries to practice this. I must say that with you, I too am just a beginner. But there’s a tremendous sense of peace which begins to settle as one seeks to live this way.

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