Balancing life or Skillful Wobbling in Zen and Tao

We don’t find a balance point, we seek to become skilled in balancing.

It’s perhaps one of the most important things I’ve learned in studying Zen. The expectation of being perfectly in balance is one of a constant static state of being. There are no perfect states of being. Only the constant wobbling, ebb, and flow in the sea of transience.

There are no permanent states. We all experience life’s pulse and ebb and flow. As all sentient beings experience life. So being in practice means to know that we are becoming skilled at returning to balance during the wobbling. Lets call practice a skillful wobbling. We lean out too far and return to balance. We miss footing but return to balance. That’s what practice and life are, skillful returns back over the point of balance. They are not the static balance itself. It’s why I seriously doubt those that present that they have achieved a perfect life balance. It doesn’t happen in this part of the universe. (Perhaps aliens are perfectly balanced.)

When we start living without conclusions and expectations we begin to focus on what’s in front of us. We wobble less. Still wobble, but less.

Know what? After spending some time with this frame of reference, I realized I am starting to develop more trust in my ability to survive wobbling. There is much less panic or depression when I and the universe are not in balance. I’m not. It’s not. In fact, I suspect that universe won’t work without wobbling. But trusting that the balance point is there, when in the depths of wobbling, has given me some joy and trust in my own life. Something that I cannot say was there for the first few decades.

Nothing goes in a straight line. Expectations that anything exists outside of “what is” moves us from focusing on our balance. I’m starting to acclimate to balancing but I think that’s because it’s one of the more truthful things I have realized. There is nothing else besides coming back to balance, again and yet again.

Keep going,


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