Friday, August 8, 2014

Energy and the Tao (Revised)

Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.
Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common Source.
Returning to the Source is serenity.
(Tao Te Ching)

Our spiritual community loves reflecting on the Self, the ancient voice that is in constant God connection. Everyone in one way or another has experienced this connection, has received a glimpse of what life could be if only we could have constant access to God. So we keep on reflecting on this divine state and we think about the ego, the "I", or our desires which often seems to stand in the way of experiencing Heaven on earth. So in essence we are thinking about ways how we could overcome our ego. The problem with that approach is that the ego is us, so if we think about the ego, everything becomes a little circular.

Thinking about our ego is perhaps not so helpful, yet being aware of the voice in our head is. In the same way, we can reflect on the "mood" that we are in; we may be indirectly able to perceive the hormones that are flushing through our system; we can perceive our breathing, and so much more. To find a name for all this, we can experience our energy state; we can observe it and react to it very much like the voice in our head. When we discuss spiritual themes we experience different energy than when we work. When we play with our children we have a different energy than when we go on nature walks.

The Tao traveler would tell you that everything is energy, everything that goes on within you just as much as everything that happens outside of you. We claim that if only we could be aware of our different energy states, we would be in tune with the Tao already. We have learned the hard way that it is good for us to stay away from dark energies; colleagues who love to gossip, greed, alcohol, violence, porn or stress. We have learned the hard way that we need meditation, yoga, nature walks, a meaningful work or a creative outlet; we need friends, a soul mate, family, exercise, a spiritual community or simply from time to time a vacation. All the activities and connections breathe new life into us. Naturally, we want exposure to good energies all the times.

All these positive energy sources are indirect ways of keeping our spiritual balance amidst a stressful life. Yet, how much nicer would it be if we could connect with divine energy all the time. It turns out, simple awareness gets you to that state. Your power of observation has that magical ability to stay connected to the Tao, and in effect, making you a master of your life. You are no longer just swayed by emotions or acting unconsciously like a slave. Being aware of energy - be it positive or negative from your perspective - allows you cooperate with life all the time.

As a spiritual path traveler you can learn to be in tune with your energies. You can feel how your impatience is rising, you can feel that you are speaking too fast when you express yourself. You always have the Tao to lean onto, the signs and symbols that you perceive as a constant feedback mechanism. When you lose your connection to spiritual energy, your soul siblings are happy to tell you when you need to slow down, or will at times encourage you to speed up a little.

You may take a colleague to a golf game and just as you are complaining about some internal company politics you observe how the bag of your golf partner keeps slamming into the back-door of your car; but as change the conversation to a more uplifting subject, you suddenly observe that - miraculously - the car ride has become so much smoother. And as you finally pull into the parking lot while you discuss how much you enjoy working with a new colleague, you observe that the time has just moved to 12:34; a feat that is totally lost on your colleague.

Along the Tao you cannot really make a mistake. Sure, we are as driven by our desires - the ego - just as the fellow next door, but by engaging with the Tao's energies we manage to stay in the holy Now sometimes despite our desires, but mostly because of them. Rain or shine, serenity, love and peace is always near-by ready to catch up with you.

By Christian and Su Zhen

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