The Tao Te Ching for Everyday Living

Tao Te Ching Verse 40: Going with the Ebb and Flow

June 26, 2020 Dan Casas-Murray Season 1 Episode 40
The Tao Te Ching for Everyday Living
Tao Te Ching Verse 40: Going with the Ebb and Flow
Chapters
The Tao Te Ching for Everyday Living
Tao Te Ching Verse 40: Going with the Ebb and Flow
Jun 26, 2020 Season 1 Episode 40
Dan Casas-Murray

Tao Te Ching Verse 40

translated by Tao Huang

Tao moves by returning.
Tao functions by weakness.
All things under heaven are born of being.
Being is born of nonbeing.

Photo by Michael Glass on Unsplash

Ebb

The tide rolling out seems like kind of a letdown, doesn’t it?  At least it does for me, at first glance.  I mean the raw energy of the sea just isn’t there.  In other aspects of my life, there are similar situations.  I read a book, and after it’s done, I feel a little empty.  Same with a good series that I’ve binge-watched.

I feel these little letdowns at the end of every week - I know I need rest, but making the transition from working to restful seems to take effort.  ‘Winding down’ is a term I’ve heard before to describe this.

And with my wife - sometimes there are really happy moments and sometimes there are just calm moments.  Times when we’re just coexisting and nothing too much is going on.

And of course with friends, there’s a party or an event, and it’s great, and everyone has a great time.  The following day, when things are getting cleaned up, we tell each other stories about what happened and who said what and how funny things got.  And the excitement just doesn’t feel the same as it did in the moment.

So yeah, we’re talking about the Ebb part of things.  The Tao’s reversion.  The weakness that overcomes strength.  The non-being that births the being.

Until recently, I have mentally and emotionally resisted the ebb, kind of with the attitude that it is something that is necessary but to be endured, not welcomed or even grown into.  I mean, once I get into a relaxed state on the weekend, I do enjoy it, since there is not a lot going on and I am ok with sitting still - it feels good, even.  It’s the same with a creative project that I’ve been working on.  Many times, the vision in my head is screaming to get out, and every thing I write, every video I create, every book I read, or every little piece of progress I make on the model I’m building says, ‘yes, more, more, we’re not done yet, we must keep going. Taking a break now will only delay the gift that is waiting to reveal itself to us!’  

When I’m in flow, I want to stay there, and I don’t want to make the transition to ebb.  It feels like a loss of energy, of momentum, of excitement.  Only i don’t think it’s really a loss.  I think it’s more of a state-change that involves less energy.  You know, like going from action to non-action.

But I’d like to work on appreciating the ebb.  Until now, I’d seen it as a nuisance.  But - when I’ve been able to embrace it and take it as an equally beautiful part of the journey, my perspective changes a little.  

It turns out for me, that the more I practice appreciating being in the ebb of things, the more I realize that a lower state of energy doesn’t mean it’s a letdown.  It’s actually an opportunity to notice even more things, subtle things, things that are always there but are covered up by a higher volume of energy when in the flow state.  The ebb, it would seem, is an equally beautiful state of lower energy.


Show Notes

Tao Te Ching Verse 40

translated by Tao Huang

Tao moves by returning.
Tao functions by weakness.
All things under heaven are born of being.
Being is born of nonbeing.

Photo by Michael Glass on Unsplash

Ebb

The tide rolling out seems like kind of a letdown, doesn’t it?  At least it does for me, at first glance.  I mean the raw energy of the sea just isn’t there.  In other aspects of my life, there are similar situations.  I read a book, and after it’s done, I feel a little empty.  Same with a good series that I’ve binge-watched.

I feel these little letdowns at the end of every week - I know I need rest, but making the transition from working to restful seems to take effort.  ‘Winding down’ is a term I’ve heard before to describe this.

And with my wife - sometimes there are really happy moments and sometimes there are just calm moments.  Times when we’re just coexisting and nothing too much is going on.

And of course with friends, there’s a party or an event, and it’s great, and everyone has a great time.  The following day, when things are getting cleaned up, we tell each other stories about what happened and who said what and how funny things got.  And the excitement just doesn’t feel the same as it did in the moment.

So yeah, we’re talking about the Ebb part of things.  The Tao’s reversion.  The weakness that overcomes strength.  The non-being that births the being.

Until recently, I have mentally and emotionally resisted the ebb, kind of with the attitude that it is something that is necessary but to be endured, not welcomed or even grown into.  I mean, once I get into a relaxed state on the weekend, I do enjoy it, since there is not a lot going on and I am ok with sitting still - it feels good, even.  It’s the same with a creative project that I’ve been working on.  Many times, the vision in my head is screaming to get out, and every thing I write, every video I create, every book I read, or every little piece of progress I make on the model I’m building says, ‘yes, more, more, we’re not done yet, we must keep going. Taking a break now will only delay the gift that is waiting to reveal itself to us!’  

When I’m in flow, I want to stay there, and I don’t want to make the transition to ebb.  It feels like a loss of energy, of momentum, of excitement.  Only i don’t think it’s really a loss.  I think it’s more of a state-change that involves less energy.  You know, like going from action to non-action.

But I’d like to work on appreciating the ebb.  Until now, I’d seen it as a nuisance.  But - when I’ve been able to embrace it and take it as an equally beautiful part of the journey, my perspective changes a little.  

It turns out for me, that the more I practice appreciating being in the ebb of things, the more I realize that a lower state of energy doesn’t mean it’s a letdown.  It’s actually an opportunity to notice even more things, subtle things, things that are always there but are covered up by a higher volume of energy when in the flow state.  The ebb, it would seem, is an equally beautiful state of lower energy.