A common lament in philosophy circles is the refrain that “busy is bad.” Hectic days and restless nights repeat themselves in hard-to-break patterns. Though we may well know better, we keep saying “yes” to everything and race on.
Rather than give in to a pace that our bodies and minds remind us needs slowing down, most yearning philosophizers determine to try and reconnect with the beat of the natural world. Ancient Chinese sage Lao Tzu writes in the Tao Te Ching that this beat “flows through all things, inside and outside.” Ah, if “natural rhythms” are within all things, that includes humans. We can do this! We can recover the pace best suited to good living.
What does it take, as Lao Tzu suggests, to “hold fast to the center” where nature's universal beat thrums steadily? Even with many responsibilities, how can we get closer to living “fluid as melting ice / clear as a glass of water?” Here are four activities that participants in recent groups have tried with success, discovering inner peace that grows with practice.
1) Promise yourself three times a day devoted to quiet. Noise and distractions drown out the slower, steady beat. Nothing fancy here, just the discipline to step back and away for even five or ten minutes three times a day. No electronics!