Balancing life, Chan 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 in balance is one of a perfect state of being. There are no perfect states of being. Only the constant ebb and flow of the sea of transience.

There are no permanent states. We pulse and ebb and flow. Like all sentient beings. So practice means to know that we are being skilled at returning to balance during the wobbling. Lets call it skillful wobbling. We learn out too far and return to balance. We miss footing but return to balance. That’s what practice and life are, skillful returns.

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 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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