The TAO of Living in Balance and Harmony
The mind needs balance and harmony both to control the body and to seek guidance from the soul, which supervises the mind.
Balance and harmony in the soul is alignment and connection for self-healing of the body.
Alignment and realignment
The body, the mind, and the soul work together as a system of life energy for healing. The free flow or stagnation of this life-giving energy is dependent on the balance and harmony of the body, the mind, and the soul at each and every moment. It is this moment-to-moment alignment in the body, the mind, and the soul, as well as their alignment with one another, that creates your unique state of self-healing and self-help, which is a miracle in itself.
What is your current state of self-healing and self-help?
If you are living your life as if nothing is a miracle, most probably your body, mind, and soul are in misalignment with one another. You might feel your body is not healing, your mind is strangled with sadness and doomed to despair, and you life has little or no meaning, without a goal or purpose. On the other hand, if your current state of being is one of joy, hope, and purpose, you are living as if everything is a miracle because your body, mind, and soul are not only inter-connected, but also in perfect balance and harmony with one another.
Alignment or realignment is inter-connection of the body, the mind, and the soul to achieve balance and harmony for self-healing and self-help.
The miracle of self-healing is manifested in the spiritual wisdom of the soul that guides and inspires the mind, which controls the body living in the physical world.
Connection and reconnection
According to entropy, one of the laws of physics, anything left to itself will ultimately disintegrate, and fall apart.
According to John Donne, the famous English poet, “no man is an island, and every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”
Essentially, everything in the universe is somehow and somewhat connected, just as man is connected with one another in a subtle way. The miracle of this connection is to provide balance and harmony to guarantee their existence and co-existence, that is, their alignment with one another.
Focusing on others rather than just on yourself illuminates your soul to see its necessity to express your empathy, generosity, gratitude, and loving-kindness to others. But the challenge not to do that is as great as your innate desire to seek spirituality. Therefore, simplicity in living may enhance your spirituality and increase your strength to overcome the challenge to seek spiritual wisdom.
With spiritual wisdom, you may believe in the miracle of self-healing. You will then see that all happenings in your life are somehow “connected” for an unfathomable and unimaginable purpose, and that you can turn any bad situation into an opportunity for self-healing and self-help. Believe in the miracle that you are connected with everyone you meet in your life, and that everyone can be either your teacher or your student. In other words, there is much for you to learn from any circumstance, as well as from one another. This is the miracle of alignment and connection.
According to the TAO, not living in balance and harmony is not living for life:
“When there is abundance, there is lacking.
When there is craving, there is discontentment.
Striving for power to control and influence
every aspect of our lives
is the source of our suffering.
Obsessed with getting and keeping,
many of us never really live before we die.
Following the Way,
we must learn to let go.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 75)
Letting go is adapting and adjusting any imbalance and disharmony in your everyday life and living:
“Following the Way is like bending a bow:
one end is pulled up;
the other end is pulled down.
Excess and deficiency are balanced.
According to wisdom of the Way:
we reduce when there is excess;
we increase when there is deficiency.
Balance is thus created.
According to common wisdom:
we increase excess and deplete deficiency.
Imbalance is thus created.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 77)
But, given that there are too many attachments in life, letting go is not easy and it requires profound human wisdom:
“Stilling our thoughts,
our needs become few.
Following our thoughts,
our distractions become more,
and thus living in chaos.
Enlightenment is our true nature.
Meditation helps us find the origin,
and thus ending our suffering.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 52)
Attachments to the world are only distractions that lead to detours, causing imbalance and disharmony along the journey:
“The Way is easy,
yet people prefer distracting detours.
Beware when things are out of balance.
Remain centered within the Creator.
Distractions are many,
in the form of riches and luxuries.
They allure us from the Way.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 53)
No-stress living is the way to attaining balance and harmony:
“So, we no longer argue with those who are cynical.
We stop looking for their approval.
We cease taking offense at their unbelief.
We just sow the seeds along the Way,
letting the Creator reap the harvest.
To be loved or rejected,
to gain or to lose,
to be approved or disapproved,
no longer matters to us,
when we know who we are
and who the Creator is.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 56)
According to the TAO, living in balance and harmony is all about “spontaneity" which is the understanding of the nature of all things.
According to the TAO, spontaneity is “doing without over-doing”—which essentially means “doing without consciously anticipating the outcome.”
In the universe, there is an all-controlling force that monitors everything. You breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. You eat and you eliminate. You grow, mature, and die. Spontaneity is the natural built-in mechanism in each living organism. Spontaneity creates balance and harmony, expressed in the Yin and the Yang (the female and the male). Spontaneity is the ultimate understanding of the natural cycle of all things that are beyond human control: what goes up must also come down; success is followed by failure; life forever begets death:
“The Creator creates one.
One creates two.
Two creates three.
Three creates a myriad of things.
All have their original unity
in the duality of the Yin and the Yang,
the opposite life forces that harmonize.
We experience this harmonious process
in the rising and falling of our breaths.
People naturally avoid loss and seek gain.
But with all things along the Way,
there is no need to pick and choose.
There is no gain without loss.
There is no abundance without lack.
We do not know how and when
one gives way to the other.
So, we just remain in the center of things,
trusting the Creator, instead of ourselves.
This is the essence of the Way.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 42)
With spontaneity, we become babies again, living in perfect balance and harmony with everyone and everything:
“If we are in harmony with the Creator,
we are like newborn babies,
in natural harmony with all.
Our bones are soft, and our muscles are weak,
but our grip is strong and powerful.
Not knowing about sex,
we manifest sexual arousal.
Crying all day long,
we lose not our voice.
With constancy and harmony,
we accomplish all daily tasks
without growing tired.
In natural harmony with the Creator,
we let all things come and go,
exerting no effort, showing no desire,
and expecting no result.
Natural harmony is experienced
only in the present moment,
when we see the natural laws of the Creator.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 55)
According to the TAO, living in the present moment is living in balance and harmony:
“We act without over-action.
We manage without interference.
We enjoy without attachment.
Effrontery is just
an opportunity for loving-kindness.
Great accomplishments are only
a combination of small steps.
Difficult tasks are no more than
a series of easy steps.
Therefore, we focus on the present moment,
doing what needs to be done,
without straining and stressing.
To end our suffering,
we focus on the present moment,
instead of our expected result.
So, we follow the natural laws of things.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 63)
Most importantly, spontaneity shows us the wisdom of the impermanence of all things—that is, nothing lasts despite all human efforts to make them continue:
“Strong winds come and go.
So do torrential rains.
Even heaven and earth cannot make them last forever.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 23)
Copyright© by Stephen Lau