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28 February 2009 @ 08:17 pm
Tao of the Day  
Before sorrow, anger,
longing, or fear have arisen,
you are in the center.
When these emotions appear
and you know how to see through them,
you are in harmony.
That center is the root of the universe;
that harmony is the Tao,
which reaches out to all things.

Once you find the center
and achieve harmony,
heaven and earth take their proper places
and all things are fully nourished.

This chapter is about saving the world. You save the world when you save yourself. (There's no one else you can save.) Returning to the center is thus an act of infinite kindness.

There's nothing wrong with sorrow, anger, longing, or fear; a painful emotion is just a signal that you've left the center. When you are at peace, everything is at peace. What seemed like cacophony becomes the music of the spheres: a suite for unaccompanied mind.

Living in harmony with the way things are, the mind finds its center everywhere, its circumference nowhere. The part becomes the whole; what is becomes what should be. Heaven takes its proper, its only place: on earth.

- Chuang Tzu, translation and commentary by Stephen Mitchell, The Second Book of the Tao

If you have the opportunity to do so, I highly recommend going to see Stephen Mitchell on his reading tour of this book.

3/2/09 Santa Barbara, CA Lobero Theatre
3/3/09 San Francisco, CA First Congregational Church of Berkeley
3/4/09 San Francisco, CA Book Passage, Corte Madera
3/5/09 Sonoma, CA Reader's Books
3/6/09 Denver, CO Tattered Cover
3/7/09 Boulder, CO Boulder Bookstore
3/9/09 Santa Fe, NM Garcia Street Bookshop
3/11/09 New York, NY Rubin Museum of Art
3/12/09 Philadelphia, PA Free Library of Philadelphia
3/18/09 Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles Public Library
3/19/09 Los Angeles, CA Barnes & Noble 1201 3rd Street, Santa Monica
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