October 18th, 2006


Tao Card

Taoist masters teach us to lighten up and see the humor of our predicament.  for most of us, however, some things just aren't a laughing matter.  But not for Chuan Tzu.  He could even joke about his own death while he was dying.  His disciples planned to collect money among themselves to give him an honorable funeral.  Chuan Tzu, however, announced, "I don't want any of that ritual nonsense.  I will have Heaven and Earth as my coffin and the jewels that adorn it willl be the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars, and the whole of Nature will be my burial procession.  Could you buy me anything better than this?"  His disciples insisted, saying, "We will not leave your body unburied to be eaten by vultures and crows."  Chuan Tzu laughed and replied, "So instead you would bury it to be eaten by ants and worms.  Delivered from birds to be devoured underground by insects!"

Yang Zhu advises, "Obtain as much joy from life as you can, and then accept death when it comes, for everything must end."  With typical Taoist bluntness, he points out,  "Even if someone lives to be a hundred years old, a great part of that time is spent in the infirmities of childhood and old age.  A huge part is consumed by sleep at night and worries by day.  Much of it is wasted in sorrow and fear.  Only a small fraction remains for enjoying being alive - so don't waste it!"

Focus for contemplation:

Experiment with taking life lightly. If you are facing a difficult predicament, refuse to get pulled into the melodrama of it all and let it just be what it is.  Try seeing the funny side.  Be sure to laugh at yourself as often as ossible.  The Taoist way is to enjoy life as much as possible, by really appreciating the good and completely accepting the bad.  Experiment with embracing wholeheartedly every opportunity you have to enjoy yourself.  Make the most of your life.

This is a card that I keep drawing over and over.. which along with my husband's frequent admonitions to "lighten up"...  really points out how much I NEED to take life and myself less seriously.
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