Wayne Dyer's 26th Verse Exercise

Living CalmlyBy Dr. Wayne W. Dyer26th VerseThe heavy is the root of the light.The still is the master of unrest.Realizing this,the successful person ispoised and centeredin the midst of all activities;although surrounded by opulence,he is not swayed.Why should the lord of the countryflit about like a fool?If you let yourself be blown to and fro,you lose touch with your root.To be restless is to lose one's self-mastery.

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  • Living Calmly continues...

    Living Calmly

    In this chapter of the Tao Te Ching, you're being advised to maintain a sense of serenity regardless of what you may see taking place around you. Moreover, you're being told that the true master knows that the ability to stay calm is always located within. From this perspective, there's no need to assign responsibility to others for how you feel. Even though you may live in a world where blame and faultfinding are endemic, you will own your feelings and actions. You will know that circumstances don't determine your state of mind, for that power rests with you. When you maintain a peaceful inner posture, even in the midst of chaos, you change your life.

    The wisdom of this verse of the Tao Te Ching prompts you to know that you have a choice. Do you want to be in a state of confusion or to have a tranquil inner landscape? It's up to you! Armed with this insight, the Tao master doesn't allow an external event to be a disturbance. Lao-tzu tells you that assigning blame for your lack of calmness will never bring you to the state of being that you're striving to attain. Self-mastery only blossoms when you practice being aware of, and responsible for, what you're feeling.

    This particular part of the Tao Te Ching is one that you'll probably want to immerse yourself in repeatedly. After all, what could be better than the freedom of going through life without feeling that people and circumstances control you without your permission? Are you depressed? Irritated? Frustrated? Exhilarated? Ecstatically in love? Whatever your current state, if you believe that a changing economic picture or a tapestry of events taking place around you is responsible—and you then use these external factors to explain your inner state of mind—you've lost touch with your root. Why? Because you're allowing yourself to be "blown to and fro" by the shifting winds of circumstance.

    The solution for a life of unrest is choosing stillness. The quiet of the Tao is oblivious to any turmoil in the world of the 10,000 things. Be like the Tao, advises Lao-tzu: "The still is the master of unrest." You have a choice in every moment, so you can decide to be a host to God and carry around with you the calmness that is the Tao, or you can be a hostage to your ego, which insists that you can't really help feeling disorderly when you're in circumstances that resemble pandemonium.
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      Here's what Lao-tzu offers to you in this profoundly simple passage, from the profoundly simple life he chose 2,500 years before yours:

      Vow to seek a calm inner response to the circumstances of your life.

      In the midst of any kind of unrest—be it an argument, a traffic jam, a monetary crisis, or anything at all—make the immediate decision that you will find the calm center of yourself. By not thinking of what is taking place, and instead taking a few deep breaths in which you opt to empty your mind of judgments, it becomes impossible to mentally "flit about like a fool." You have the innate ability to choose calmness in the face of situations that drive others to madness. Your willingness to do so, especially when chaos and anger have been your previous choices, puts you in touch with "the master of unrest." There was a time when I thought this was impossible. Now I know that even in the most troublesome of times, my reaction is to choose stillness … the way of the Tao.

      Don't lose touch with your root.

      With a written declaration or picture placed strategically in your home and workplace, remind yourself that no one can make you lose touch with your root without your consent. Affirm the following often: I have the ability to stay poised and centered, regardless of what goes before me. Then vow to put this new way of being into practice the next time a situation of unrest crops up. Do the mental work in advance and you'll achieve the self-mastery that Lao-tzu refers to in this verse. More significantly, you'll be in harmony with the Tao, which is your ultimate calling.
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      Do the Tao Now

      Sit in a quiet place and picture the one person with whom you have some kind of long-standing conflict sitting there before you. Now say out loud, directly to him or her, "I forgive you. I surround you with love and light, and I do the same for myself." This will put the message of the 26th verse of the Tao Te Ching to work for you by bringing about a sense of calm.
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