In this episode, we explore the wisdom of Laozi and the Tao Te Ching and how this philosophy influenced Carl Jung. We discuss:
- Who was the Chinese Philosopher Laozi?
- Main concepts taught in Taoism and how it applies to modern society
- How being in nature is healing and balancing
- The symbolism and meaning of the Ying Yang
- Teachings of Taoism and how it applied to Jungian Psychology
Debra Maldonado 00:28
Hello, welcome to another great episode of Soul Sessions. I’m Debra Maldonado, here with Dr. Rob. Today we are going to be talking about the wonderful and insightful Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopher. We’re continuing our series on the great minds of philosophy. We’re going to talk about the Dao De Xing and some of the wonderful lessons in Daoism. Before we begin, I do want to remind you that if you want to make sure you get every session, if you’re listening to us on Spotify, iTunes, and other podcast hosting services, don’t forget to subscribe, we’re going to be continuing this series. You want to check previous series and also our previous series on the great minds of psychology. Hope to see you in those other episodes. But today, let’s talk about the Dao.
Robert Maldonado 01:27
The great Dao. We want to dedicate this to our friends from China, also people that trace their origins back to China. It’s a great, beautiful culture, we really appreciate their people.
Debra Maldonado 01:44
Many of our graduates are Chinese or Chinese descent.
Robert Maldonado 01:48
The great philosophies that came out of China are just incredible. This is just a sample. But Dao for me personally was one of those books and one of those philosophies that I always held on to. I always keep a copy of the Dao De Xing in my book collection. It’s a great book for those of you that hike and go out into nature to take along with you because the teachings go very well with the observation of nature, the experience of nature.
Debra Maldonado 02:25
I’d also like to talk about the importance of philosophy and having a philosophy, why we’re talking about philosophy. When I was growing in my personal development journey, in my 20s and 30s, I was doing a do-it-yourself personal growth path, I didn’t have a guide, I didn’t have a coach, I was reading books, maybe going to workshops every once in a while, trying to figure everything out in my life out for myself, being in charge of my own growth and not asking for help. What I found is I was picking different techniques, different philosophies, trying to mix them all together. Plus, I have my own unconscious bias around my own religious background competing with all these ideas. It was when I started practicing non-dualism, having a foundation, everything started to fall together. Then the things that didn’t match the philosophy fell to the side. But for those of you who are a lifelong learner, collecting lots of teachings, you can’t get enough of it, it’s great, but you have to ask yourself: What is the underlying philosophy that ties us all together? If you can’t answer that question, you’re going to feel confused.
Robert Maldonado 03:38
There’s a great book called The Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley, where he compiled a lot of different spiritual traditions. He’s trying to get at the idea that underlying all these different cultures and traditions, there’s a perennial philosophy. It’s very similar to Dao, he mentions a lot of Lao Tzu’s work.
Debra Maldonado 04:05
A lot of the Eastern philosophy is core, it gets complicated the more we tied into our Western culture, then it gets diluted. Reading the source is always the best. What I learned meeting you, you were like “I never read any of those books, I read the source.” That really helped. Let’s talk about who he was.
Robert Maldonado 04:27
There’s some controversy, Lao Tzu, the old guy, Chinese philosopher, 6-8th century BC. Still up for debate, we’ll let the scholars debate that. He was known as a Daoist philosopher entrenched in the natural world. Some of the drawings and paintings that depict him, he’s always in nature, always in harmony with nature, always laughing, very joyful, like a trickster figure, always making fun of us.
Debra Maldonado 05:08
Nature is really a part of us. It’s like the egoless part of us. When we’re in nature, we experience the egoless part of us, our natural rhythms, and the natural aspect of us that gets clouded by the ego.
Robert Maldonado 05:24
One of the main stories around him is that after spending some time in the city, being an advisor to city elders, Lao Tzu decided to leave and retire into nature, up into the mountains. As he was leaving the city, one of the guards at the gate stopped him and asked him “Lao Tzu, I know you. Being a great citizen, a great philosopher, will you please before you leave write your philosophy down so that we can have it as you retire and leave us?” That’s the story around the Dao De Xing. He sat down and wrote Dao De Xing as a departing gift, then left the city for good.
Debra Maldonado 06:16
We’re going to talk about some of the main principles that you can apply in your life. If you’re not a Daoist, that’s fine. But it’s still timeless wisdom that we can apply.
Robert Maldonado 06:26
It’s what we need to counterbalance our technology, our over reliance on rationalism and scientism. We need that connection to nature because we can deny it until we’re blue in the face, but we are part of nature. Our biology insists that we’re nature itself, there’s no getting around it. Isolating ourselves and thinking we’re different, or we’re apart from it, we can dominate it, we can master it is an illusion, there’s no escaping it. Even outer space is nature. It’s everywhere we go, it’s everything we do. We need water and air to be alive. Therefore, we always need to be in contact, in harmony with nature. Carl Jung was very influenced by Daoism. The yin and yang, of course, mirrors his idea of the Anima and the Animus.
Debra Maldonado 07:33
Many people might have heard these terms. It’s nice to hear where they come from, then tie it back to its origins. One of his quotes I like, which is very Jungian, is “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” I love that quote because for me, when I was doing my own personal growth journey, it was all about fixing the past. Of course, you want to process, you want to understand your conditioning, but there’s a time we have to let that go. There’s a time where you got to put it down, you have to let go of that past self so you can become who you were meant to be. Your past doesn’t have to dictate, your past doesn’t have to limit you. I found that very powerful.
Robert Maldonado 08:19
Here what he means is not a pushing away, denial of who we are, but letting go of that attachment to our persona, our personality, or ego, like Jung would say.
Debra Maldonado 08:34
The judgments we have, the regrets we have, shame and guilt over what we did or what happened to us. There’s only so much you can carry and really live fully. There isn’t room for anything else.
Robert Maldonado 08:48
To be present in the moment in your time, in your situation, in your environment. It’s a very Daoist practice, being in your natural environment, being genuine, being spontaneous, not trying to appear a certain way. That is the Dao.
Debra Maldonado 09:11
I saw a cartoon this week that had three booths. One was past life readings, there was a long line. Another booth said future telling, another long line. The middle was meditation, there was no one online. It’s like, present moment anyone? That speaks to it. We’re always looking for the future, processing the past, but we’re never really in the moment, and that’s all we really have.
Robert Maldonado 09:36
Here’s another quote. “Knowing others is intelligence, knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power.” Lao Tzu, from the Dao De Xing. Again, not focusing on mastering nature or the external, but looking inward, mastering yourself.
Debra Maldonado 10:03
When he says mastering others, it’s not controlling others but dealing with others.
Robert Maldonado 10:08
He was a philosopher, just like Socrates. The philosopher acts as a social commentator, social critic in a sense, almost like a satirist as well. Criticizing, but in a creative way in order to help people become better, help society become better. It’s not a tearing down for the sake of tearing down but a way of asking questions and posing questions that can improve situations.
Debra Maldonado 10:40
Where they’re out of alignment with the truth, or having a misperception about your life.
Robert Maldonado 10:47
I’m sure in his time he’s saw cruelty, he saw armies being marched off to war. This idea of trying to master others, being a soldier, or trying to control others through powerful armies and governments, this was his criticism of that. When you see those injustices, you want to turn inward. Not to ignore those injustices, but to master yourself first, to make sure you are not acting out of those impulses.
Debra Maldonado 11:30
Responding at the same level as the perpetrators and the people you disagree with. If you’re responding on their level, you’re still in conflict. It’s mastering yourself so you can have that impact on someone. A lot of our clients and people that listen to our podcasts often ask “How can I change the world? What about the injustice in the world? What can we do?” Mastering yourself comes first. Then you could still take action in your work, but you have to master yourself so you can do the work in the most effective way, you can influence people in an effective way, not at the same level they’re operating on. Like Gandhi did in India, he mastered himself so he can lead his people out of the tyranny of the British Empire taking over India. That’s a great point of looking at it as this is how the typical human being is defaulted to respond to life. He’s saying “What about doing it this way?” It’s not saying it’s wrong, but it’s saying this is the default and this is a higher level of being.
Robert Maldonado 12:38
It’s a good point. He’s not making it wrong. He’s saying “Knowing others is intelligence.” It’s a good thing to know others. But knowing yourself is true wisdom. There’s a higher level of intelligence.
Debra Maldonado 12:53
There’s a lot of people trying to identify the people in their lives with some personality disorder like the narcissist or this or that. They feel like that intelligence is “I understand that person’s default, I can work with them.” But understanding yourself is actually more important. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to understand those things. But you can’t stop there.
Debra Maldonado 14:12
Let’s go into some of the practices of worthy ideas. We should start with the yin and yang because I think that’s really close to our heart as Jungians. We love the Anima Animus which is the feminine and masculine. When we talk about feminine and masculine, a lot of people are like “That’s outdated, those labels”, but we’re not talking about sexual orientation. We’re talking about energies. Yin and yang is a great way to look at it that way.
Robert Maldonado 14:38
It often makes sense to people when we mentioned the yin and yang because they get that these are bigger, universal concepts of archetypes as Jung would say.
Debra Maldonado 14:50
We have both these energies, regardless of what sex we present, we have both the masculine and feminine, or the yin and the yang within us. All of life does.
Robert Maldonado 14:59
Balancing these opposites is one of the integral parts of Daoism. Daoism recognizes the complementary forces of yin and yang, representing opposing but interconnected qualities such as light and dark, soft and hard, passive and active. The harmony and balance between these opposites are essential for a harmonious life. There’s an interesting quote in the Dao De Xing where it says “When people define beauty, they automatically define ugliness.” Opposites are tied to each other. Anytime you make something good or desirable, light, you’re creating its opposing element as well. Whenever you prefer something, whenever you desire something, whenever you hold something up as an ideal, you’re instantly automatically implying that there is something that is the opposite of that.
Debra Maldonado 16:09
Of course, we think about positive thinking, we’re going to get rid of our negative thoughts, but you can’t really get rid of it. If you’re thinking positive, you’re automatically rejecting the negative. You have to bring both parts with you. I love that. I think with shadow work, we do the shadow integration, it’s that persona is one way and the shadow’s the opposite is a great way to think of people that are interested in exploring their shadow. It’s the yin and yang, it’s accepting both parts of ourself. We’re not just this persona, we’re not this half of a person. The more extreme that persona is, the more extreme the shadow is. It doesn’t mean we have to be milquetoast personalities but we have to accept the opposite. It’s a hard thing for people because we’re conditioned to only want to be good, only want to be kind, only want to present as successful. We forget the opposite.
Robert Maldonado 17:03
I love the yin and yang sign. It’s known through the martial arts, martial arts schools have this sign. But if we notice the dark element has the white circle in it, and the opposing is also true. They complement each other because they’re elements of each other in each other. Let’s explore the yang first.
Debra Maldonado 17:35
The interconnected duality, yin and yang are not separate, but rather two aspects of a whole. They are interdependent and exist in relation to one another. Yin can’t exist without yang, and vice versa. These are seen as complementary forces that create harmony and balance. Now my question is: Can anger and peace serve each other? Can they both exist in the same way? Can good and bad both be the same? Yin represents the feminine, receptive, passive aspects, it’s associated with the qualities of darkness, coldness, rest, introspection, and the moon. Yin energy is calm, nurturing, and introspective. It is symbolized by the color black, and is often depicted as the shaded area in the yin yang symbol.
Robert Maldonado 18:30
The wonderful feminine principle. In Daoism the feminine is revered as a powerful force in nature, it’s equated with water. If you notice water often seeks the lowest places, it’s passive, it’s not a hard forceful thing, or it can be and it’s powerful because it’s seeking the lowest places in nature. It serves everything. That’s why it’s so powerful. Water is the element of life because it takes a subservient role. Yet it can cut through stone with its patience, with its consistent force, its flow. It can cut through stone, it carves out valleys. That’s the power of nature. We want to be like water in our yin quality. We want to be subservient to others, but in this powerful way.
Debra Maldonado 19:38
Yang represents the masculine, active, assertive aspects. It’s associated with qualities such as light, warmth, activity, extraversion, and the sun. Yang energy is energized, dynamic, and outgoing. It’s symbolized by the color white and is depicted in the unshaded area of the symbol. A really good example of this would be, imagine the sun being the yang, which is the active force, shining down, it’s moving, it’s light. The yin is the Earth, receiving the sun, then cultivating and creating beautiful animals, species, plants, bugs, mountains that act like people. Everything flows from that one, the active force, but the feminine is more creative, receiving and moving it into various ways, a beautiful balance. It’s interesting that the feminine is the introvert and the masculine is the extrovert. Maybe hundreds of thousands years ago, those were our roles we played as feminine and masculine, where the woman stayed behind, she nurtured the garden, she had the patience, she wasn’t forcing the garden to work, she was more like an introverted place in the tribe. Then the men were going out hunting. But now everything’s changed. We are in a new reality, where women actually many times are more educated and make more money than men or their partner. There’s an extraversion to them too. We have to drop these standard assumptions of what is a woman and what is a man, and look at ourselves as more of a yin yang, more of a balance between the two, noticing within ourselves what forces are too extreme. We’ve got to pull back and receive more. I noticed this in business when I started as a coach. In the beginning I got into too much of active energy and not receiving energy. You can look at the yin and yang that way in your life. How are you creating in your life? Not waiting for the sugar daddy to come and bring you money, and you don’t have to force it to go out there and get it. It’s about that balance. That’s where the creativity happens. When it’s too passive, there’s not enough. When you’re too active, you get stress. You want to have that balance and harmony.
Robert Maldonado 22:19
We see that balance in Jung’s work. He saw this dynamic between the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. What he noticed is that the unconscious will adapt itself to whatever attitude the conscious mind takes. If the conscious mind is passive, then the unconscious becomes active.
Debra Maldonado 22:42
You have lots of wild dreams, you’re fighting wars in your dreams. Then in the waking life, you’re just hanging out. It’s almost a symbol of you needing to step up because dreams would tell you.
Robert Maldonado 22:57
But again, it’s the balancing principle. Whatever is required of us individually, we’re always moving towards that balance. The homeostasis of the psyche is operating just like the body operates on that principle as well. It’s always seeking that balance between opposing principles.
Debra Maldonado 23:20
When we’re going through individuation, in Jung’s work, you start off by survival mode, you make these conditionings that are not really fully imbalanced, they hold you together. But we get to a point in our 30s, where we start to feel constricted by those things. It’s the force of the psyche seeking back its balance, seeking its wholeness. That’s what’s beautiful about this work. I understand how Jung was very influenced by it because a lot of his work mirrors the yin and yang, the Anima Animus, the persona shadow, the duality, the conscious unconscious.
Robert Maldonado 24:02
This dynamic balance of the yin and yang are not static, fixed entities but are in constant state of flux and change. They are mutually transforming and contain the seed of their opposite within them. As one aspect grows, the other diminishes and vice versa. The interplay and balance between yin and yang are vital for harmony and equilibrium. That’s a principle in the psyche as well, this balance is essential. Now what does the balance mean for us as human beings? It’s essential that we pay attention to our unconscious mind because if we disconnect from half of our psyche, which is the unconscious, there can be no balance. We’re lopsided, we’re forever isolated in our conscious rationality. That’s really what Jung saw as the main fault with modern society. He saw that it’s too much focused on the external materialism, rationality. He said that’s a lopsidedness that needs to be corrected by paying attention to the unconscious mind.
Debra Maldonado 25:30
Another principle, we talked about balancing the opposites, that duality in the psyche being active, I love the idea that it’s not a static, we’re not static beings. We feel like we’re fixed in our conditioning and we feel like living Groundhog Day every day, getting the same results. But our psyche is constantly trying to find balance. I think when we feel this dissatisfaction, we feel frustrated, that’s a clue of your psyche seeking balance. There isn’t anything wrong, it means there’s something that you need to fill up within you. There’s an off balance, like an alarm system.
Robert Maldonado 26:12
Another principle is simplicity and spontaneity. In Daoism simplicity and spontaneity is a way to align with a natural order. By embracing simplicity and avoiding unnecessary complexity, individuals can find inner peace and live in harmony with Dao. Where do we find it? In nature, of course, by observing nature, by harmonizing with it, by observing and being in it, we restore ourselves. Traditionally, many spas and what they used to call asylums, or retreat centers were places where people were sent with neurotic or mental health issues. They’d send them to these places where they were spa like, they could be in nature and be in contact with nature.
Debra Maldonado 27:15
Now everyone, because we’re all feeling neurotic about our lives, people crave the spa treatments. But it’s that urge, we’re looking for a balance. When I get a massage, it’s like “This is so nice.” I don’t get them enough, I’m probably gonna go today. But it’s about not just getting a massage. It’s about finding that balance. Because our world is so hurried, we have all this technology, all these apps, social media, we’re always connected to something. Getting back in nature or getting away from the noise, shutting down the phone, shutting down the TV, shutting down the laptop, just being with ourselves in nature is very powerful. We need to do it more.
Robert Maldonado 28:03
Jung notices this principle as well. He recommended, of course, that you don’t necessarily have to go off to a spa or go for a hike every time you feel out of balance. He says if you think about the psyche as our internal nature, nature that is inside of us, it’s always there, we have our own nature. Many Eastern philosophies speak in this terms: what we’re doing is we’re acknowledging, paying attention to, cultivating our true nature, going to a happy place, visualizing, meditating.
Debra Maldonado 28:46
As powerful even to the brain, it feels like you’re there. You get the same type of endorphins flowing when you’re visualizing nature as if you’re in there.
Robert Maldonado 28:55
Because we are nature. We can deny it till we’re blue in the face, but our bodies, our biology is nature and expression of nature.
Debra Maldonado 29:07
I like the next one which we teach a lot to our students as well. The detachment and acceptance. If you’re dealing with the opposites, it creates an attachment to one, going towards something, pushing something away. The antidote to that and conditioning is to be unattached. It doesn’t mean you don’t care, but you’re not so needing and forcing something to happen. Daoism encourages detachment from desires and outcomes and acceptance of the present moment because we’re always thinking: What is this going to get me, when am I going to get there? We’re constantly out of the moment. By letting go of attachments and expectations, individuals can experience greater tranquility and embrace life as it unfolds and be non-attached, caring about the result but not worrying about it. Worrying is like ego, you are attached to it in some way, that result is going to give you something, you’re out of the moment, it just ruins the whole experience. When you’re detached and accept whatever comes, “I’m going to try this, I’m going to accept it.” When we create art, we’re drafting a book, creating paintings, or sculptures, or music, we’re in that moment of just being with the creativity and the rhythm of everything, beautiful things come out. That’s non-attachment. But we’re worried about whether people are going to like it, am I doing it right? We get caught up in it. We don’t accept, we have this expectation of what it should be.
Robert Maldonado 30:51
Dao influenced calligraphy, archery, all the aesthetic arts, because of acceptance and non-attachment to outcome. It was a way of training of doing art and sports. Martial arts were greatly influenced by this principle as well. It’s a principle they call wee wei or something like that, effortless action, which is a contradiction. But again, it’s the balancing of the two opposing forces. Jung talks about it as being able to hold the tension between the two opposing elements, ideas, forces, and not being uncomfortable with it, being okay with it, accepting that things are not black or white. It’s a principle applied in cognitive science as well. If your thinking is too black or white, it’s a misrepresentation of situations.
Debra Maldonado 32:02
A quick judgment based on your past experience, which is coming from the ego, not really what it truly is. We look at things, we immediately have those judgments. In martial arts, what you’re doing is you’re using your opponent’s force in the battle. Instead of you forcing, like in boxing, the person swings at you, you take that energy, you’re transmitting it and changing it into something else. They’re doing the same for you. It’s almost like a dance. You notice when you dance with a partner, you are moving in, you’re using each other’s energy. There’s a balance. When there’s no balance, you step on each other’s toes. It really is that effortless synchronicity. When you look at nature, the water doesn’t fight to go down the hill, it just glides down the hill. The rocks don’t fight the water, they just take on the water and get smoothed out by the water. There’s all this balance, everything has its purpose, even the balance in the hierarchy of nature, there is the predator and predator’s food. There’s always balance, there’s enough back and forth. If we look at nature, animals don’t make stories up, like we do as human beings, about what’s happening. They’re accepting the nature of life and connected to a deeper rhythm and balance.
Robert Maldonado 33:30
There’s actually a scientific movement now, it’s called biomimicry, where engineers observe biological insects and animals and try to replicate them in their machines and their work. You have a pattern that’s observed in nature that you can use to create things in a scientific engineering manner.
Debra Maldonado 34:01
When you’re working, let’s say you have a goal, effortless action is about taking action without attachment. That is effortless action, because you’re not attached, you’re not forcing things to happen. A lot of people don’t do what they love, so they’re working hard. When you do what you love, it is that effortless action, you’re in love with the experience of the action versus looking for the result. That’s that effortless action, it just feels more aligned.
Robert Maldonado 34:31
A couple more quotes. “The Dao that can be told is not the eternal Dao, the name that can be named is not the eternal name.” This is a very famous quote, most of you have heard it somewhere. But what he means here is that if you can explain it, that’s not it. It’s pointing to it. It’s like the finger pointing at the moon, you need the finger to show you where the moon is or to point you in the right direction. But it’s not the actual experience of seeing the moon. Experiencing the experience is a direct experience that we have to find for ourselves. The Dao can’t be taught in a classroom.
Debra Maldonado 35:24
You get the intellectual framework, but to be in the Dao, it’s ineffable, you can’t really label it. It’s beingness that doesn’t have any edges to it. We’ve all felt those moments where we felt that we can’t explain. Sometimes for me, it’s just watching the sunset, seeing the different colors, you’re just in awe. It’s that effortless action, you’re in there appreciating, not labeling, you’re in a zen feeling of calm. Not calm because I’m naming it again. But there’s a deeper level of feeling connected.
Robert Maldonado 36:04
It goes back to the understanding of consciousness. What the Dao is, it’s another name for the ineffable principle of consciousness, of awareness. It’s not the objects we’re looking at or experiencing, not the feelings, not the ideas, but the ground where these ideas, the objects of the world and people of the world, our experience. Anytime you name it a thing or a form, you’re mislabeling it because it’s not the name or the form. It is the ground of those things, the ground of being, therefore it is not the real Dao.
Debra Maldonado 37:01
Another thing is that the yin yang symbol is a symbolism of the Dao, visually representing the concept of the yin yang, features a circle divided into two halves, one black, one white, and a smaller circle, the opposite, in between. It symbolizes the interconnectedness and interdependence of yin and yang. By understanding and embracing the principles, it helps you strive for balance, adaptability, harmony in all aspects of life, including personal well-being, relationships, the natural world. I feel that in relationships, so nice. There’s always a balance that we’re seeking with our partners, with our friends, with our family. You hear this story “I do everything for you, no one does anything for me.” Or you’re withholding because that person isn’t giving you something. How do we get into that rhythm where it’s a constant flow? I remember a couple years ago, probably 10 years ago, I asked you “What is this?” He’s always thinking of me, I’m always thinking of him, we’re always making sure we’re both happy. What is that? You said “That’s called love.” But it’s the Dao, it’s sensing your partner, what they need, being there for them when they need to receive and you need to receive. There’s harmony, it’s very unconscious, it’s not something on the checklist, like they used to teach in the couples therapy: you did five things, your partner needs to get points for taking out the garbage. No, you have to find that within yourself. When you find the balance within yourself and find a partner who’s found that balance within themselves, is able to receive and able to give in a very equal way, that’s where the beautiful relationship has that rhythm. Also in business, with clients and your team giving back, giving and sharing, being able to receive. There’s a balance Dao to business, Dao to our life and health, what we’re doing, what we’re eating, just our time, we’re spending our time for, how we balance that. I think we need an outer life, but we also need the inner life. If you’re pulled out too much externally, you get sick sometimes. You get a cold, you get run down, you’re forced to retreat. It’s that balance, always seeking within ourselves.
Robert Maldonado 39:27
Highly recommended book, Dao De Xing, we’ll post some links to some recommendations on books and videos. We see in this philosophy that influenced Carl Jung’s work tremendously, the need for balance, seeking of harmony, which is so missing in today’s world. We invite you to think about it, to practice it, to explore these ideas, to give us some feedback, let us know how it goes. Carl Jung used kau chim a lot in his personal life. When he had to make big decisions, he’d use the kau chim, which is a divinatory practice where you can either throw some sticks or some coins and get some feedback on your current state.
Debra Maldonado 40:22
It’s not fortune telling, it’s more reflective of the energies surrounding you right now unconsciously.
Robert Maldonado 40:31
Maybe we’ll post some links to that too. It’s an interesting practice. But one of the last quotes we want to leave you with is “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” This is the idea. If we trust in our true nature, if we cultivate that sense of awareness of our true mind, everything is accomplished. We don’t have to worry, we don’t have to be anxious about it, we stay focused, we pay attention. But we are not attached to results, we’re letting go of the rational need to understand everything or to control everything, which is a weird concept for most of us in modern society. In modern society, it’s all about control, it’s all about prediction. Here, we can use those tools, but in a creative way, that’s the key to practicing the Dao in this modern world.
Debra Maldonado 41:34
You could start today by thinking about what you’re anxious about. When you get up in the morning, there is an urgent thing, you need to check your phone, you got to work out, you got to talk to your boss, you have all this work to do today, there’s conditioning we get in the West of “Do, do, do.” Just take a moment and set the intention that everything is accomplished, you’re just going to be patient, everything will be accomplished. Take the time to balance yourself. Of course, not too much where you are just hanging out, being like “I’m not going to do anything.” Everything in balance. Active force has to be balanced with patience. You’ll find that you’re less stressed throughout the day. Most of the stress I talked about in one of my Weekly Wisdom videos that you can see here on YouTube. It says that when we’re so attached and anxious, it means we’re pushing away something. With the yin and yang, we’re rejecting half of the energy. It’s like holding a beach ball under the water, that pressure of it wanting to come up, it doesn’t feel comfortable. You want to feel a flow, you want to feel that balance. It’s not to say that you have that all the time, or when you’re out of balance, it’s a bad thing. It’s just to know when you are out of balance. Like you said, the little alarm system going off, saying to check back in. It’s fine, don’t judge it, don’t judge yourself when you’re in those moments. The more you can find that inner rhythm, the outer life will reflect the inner rhythm. Join us next week for another great philosopher. We have more to come. But in the meantime, before you go, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel on Spotify, iTunes, or all other wonderful podcast services. Before you end today, make sure you subscribe so we can deliver you more of these episodes to inspire your mind and lighten your life.