A Year of the Tao – Day Three

Boling water in colour

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Today’s Quote:   

“Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.  Ever desiring, one sees only the manifestations. The mystery itself is the doorway to all understanding.” (From A New Way of Thinking, A New Way of Being)    

A watched pot never boils. Well, as long as there is heat beneath it and water in the pan, it will eventually boil.  She says presumptuously.  Who knows.  Maybe it won’t.  I assume here that the laws of nature never change.  But what if they did?  That would be a mystery… or science fiction.   

The mystery of this verse for me is the concept of being ever desireless.  The state of complete contentment… to cease striving…to be still…to want for nothing.  Let’s take a quick spot-check desire inventory.  Right now I want: to write an interesting, meaningful, coherent, clever blog that may bless the reader; for my fingers to find the right keys so I don’t have to stop and make corrections; to have just a few more minutes of solitude in which to write; to be physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually fit; and to understand the meaning of this verse.   

When I walk away from the pot it mysteriously boils.  Any activity on my part, beyond filling the pan with water and turning on the heating element, does nothing to accomplish this task.  So why fret about it?  Ever desiring, all I see is the result.  Finally!  Now I can have my corn on the cob.  What?  I have to wait for the water to boil again?  Ugh!   

On a recent trip to the coast, I was feeling particularly fatigued and had slept most of the day.  I finally dragged my sorry ass to the beach at around 5PM, placed my chair in a certain spot, sat down, and waited for the ocean to come to me.  Yes, according to my weather channel app, the tide was coming in, but there was nothing I had to want or desire to make it do so.  I simply waited for the mystery to unfold.  And so it did.   

At the dawn of this new day, I’m letting go of what I think I know about boiling water and the tides and am instead cultivating a state of awe.  Will you please join me?    


About Karen Nicholson

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” ~ John Milton Writing about these moments of awe has been a driving force of my life for, well, as long as I can remember. Coupled with a devotion to sunrises and sunsets that defies explanation, a combination of the two seemed like the right thing to do. I welcome you to my world. May it be a blessing to yours.
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4 Responses to A Year of the Tao – Day Three

  1. Bob Trost says:

    I gotta think on this one for awhile…. seems to make sense, but not sure of the state of desirelessness……..

  2. Betsy Lewis says:

    Instead of waiting for the tides of the Ocean to come to you. How exciting to go to her and embrace her splendor and be in “awe” of the moment.

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