Morning Meditations #96: A Return to Focus

MM 96 AI know it is late for an MM, but since I make the rules for this series, I suppose that I can release these anytime I want, and I have released a few evening MM. Therefore, I believe the precedent has been established previous. Outside a couple of dark days over the weekend, the move to no longer hide from my feelings has been quite liberating and seems to have brought me a great deal of focus. Or perhaps I should say, I have been able to focus more easily without a self-deception hanging me up.

I have allowed myself the freedom to express my love in a form of affirmation before sleep, and when I invoke her name during a Lovingkindness meditation, it is no longer in a frame of forgiveness or difficulty, but rather, I am able to hear her name with peace. Then when it comes time to let her go, I find my breath again, tearless. This is a huge “W” for me.

The process is all about me after all. If I never speak to her again, this will remain the route to my own peace of mind. And while I have that peace, words flow out and research flows in more easily. I am reading and note taking with passion, writing more often, and crystal-clear vision for up coming projects fills me with motivation. My yoga practice is daily again, and meditations feel complete and safe. I feel like myself as a daily observation.

I haven’t been at my weights much in the last few weeks. I suppose it’s a small disappointment, but there are bigger fish to fry than large muscles. Maintaining joint, muscle, and mental health is a much more valuable investment. Which is precisely what all that I have mentioned seems to be doing. This focus has brought a project to the forefront I wish to discuss.

I am currently in the process of researching the Tao Te Ching. There is an easy answer to why, but the more provocative question is “what?” For what am I researching this ancient text?

The why is basic. I have been reading the book since the age of sixteen, and recently a friend suggested I make “The Atheist Tao” as a writing project. I thought the idea grand, so I pulled out my copy and read the first two passages weeks ago; I then stopped until last week. My process became completely hijacked by the “what” question.

What is “The Atheist Tao?” Was that even the best use of this research, or could there be a more valuable and compelling volume or work generated? I toiled with these questions for weeks. With my new rediscovered focus, I decided that the questioning reasons was itself overrated, so I began to transcribe my copy and reread it cover to cover. Author’s notes, preface, post analysis, everything. Once finished (over this last weekend), I was able to step back and once again address the larger questions. The answer I have come up with is very anticlimactic.

I need to do more research.

This is good news to someone who thrives in research, but I admit, it doesn’t do much for theatrics. This is when you know your research is sound. Questions leading to more questions will often frame a work more effectively than the original idea one had going in, as well as opening the door for learning more about something in which I felt I possessed a reasonable understanding. Which may remain true, but I realized that the variations in translations need to analyzed as well, before I attempt to answer the prime question of, “what to do with all this research?”

I suppose it would be wise to expect some of this research to make it into MM, as I already have thoughts about many of the proverbs, and yes, thus far I have a favorite, which I will now share here.

MM 96 B

There are others I enjoy nearly as much, but this one speaks to me currently. As I hope this evening MM will to you, Gentle Reader.


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