Yesterday morning when I was doing my exercise routine, a renown Taoist monk/Tai Chi master contacted me personally and offered help. We had been following each other on social media for some time, and from time to time he’d comment on some of my posts. He noticed that I’ve posted a few times about how much of a funk I was in, and that I was a bit sad. So he contacted me saying that maybe I can train with him for a week or a weekend and tackle this attachment with him (what an honor for such an invitation!). If I was sad, he said, maybe there’s a fault in my philosophical understanding of the Tao.
Due to time/schedule constraints, I couldn’t take him up on his offer immediately. But I felt that he was right. I must have something wrong in my philosophy for my attachments to overcome me a bit. So I sat for a bit and contemplated “wuji,” or emptiness or void or centeredness. All of which are the quiet center from which all things manifest. If my center is chaotic (which really wouldn’t be a “center” if you think about it), then all things that manifest from there will be chaotic. If my center is quiet and empty, then all things manifest spontaneously and beautifully and naturally, the same way the universe created everything, including you and me. Is that not the reason why we’re studying Taoism… to live life according to the natural Way?
I also contemplated a story mentioned in a previous post regarding Zhuangzi’s wife’s passing. It’s a natural thing to feel sad when something heartbreaking happens. But it’s the natural flow and transformation of all things in the cosmos. Nothing truly stays in its same state forever and ever. The universe changes, seasons change, my life changes, and my existence changes. There’ll always be moments in life when I experience triumphs, failures, mistakes, happiness, and grief, and everything in between. It’s my job to let go of my attachments and to find centeredness through all of my ups and downs.
Understanding this, along with dedicated internal cultivation and nourishing hobbies such as art, music, and writing, helps me tremendously to snap out of difficult moments.