Three Things to Learn in Tao Te Ching
Tao is The Way, Not ‘Your Way’
There are many things that you can learn in Tao Te Ching, and these are three of them.
First, staying detached.
The first thing that you’d have to learn is to see yourself as part of the universe that you are in.
You may wonder why I’m saying this. Isn’t that obvious enough?
Unfortunately, we tend to forget. When we deal with things in life, we tend to put ourselves as the centre of everything, forgetting that we are just part of the flow. We want things to happen our way. While this is not wrong, conflicts arise when what takes place happens to be against our will. This is, in fact, where much of the melancholy of life arise.
The fact is the world functions not according to our will. Rather, it follows the law of the universe that favours no one. If you don’t realise this, then you will be at constant war between what you want and the reality.
“One who desires to take the world and acts upon it, I see that it cannot be done,” says Lao Tzu.
It doesn’t mean that you can’t have things your way. It’s just that you can’t have things your way if you ignore the ways nature behaves. If the crop takes three months to grow, you will need the time and patience to let it grow. Cutting it short to one month kills the crop.
By staying detached from your desires and follow the law of the universe, you are adhering to “The Way” to do things, rather than “Your Way”.
You become a happier and more effective person!
Second, letting go.
Letting go in Tao Te Ching means more than relaxation.
It means you will have to give up control, in order to be in control. If you want to hold an apple in your hand, first let go of your grip.
To give up control, learn to accept.
Your desire is only one of the factors that make things work. It sometimes plays the prominent role. Sometimes it has only a minor role to play. Sometimes it means nothing to improve the situation.
Let yourself go, and allow nature to take its course! Work hard for what you want, but feel happy and thankful for what you are given. Smell the sweetness of life and enjoy the whispers of your loved ones. In any setback, see it as a lesson life teaches you and garner from it the valuable experience it bestows.
“If you realise that you have enough, you are truly rich,” says Lao Tzu.
Third, keeping things simple.
However big the things that you are doing, whether it is the big dream that you are pursuing or a big project that is handed to you, see the small.
Draw a casual line with the pencil and put it under the scrutiny of a microscope, you will see that the line is made up of countless dots. Missing any of the dots makes the line incomplete.
However big your dream or project is, don’t feel overwhelmed. They are made up of little things that contribute to their fulfilment — just like the dots that form the line. Keep things simple. Find out what these little things are and make them happen. You are a step closer to the big things with the completion of every of the little tasks.
Shedding that extra pound is the next exercise routine that you are taking, and seeking support for your project is the next phone call you are making.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” says Lao Tzu.