In the pursuit of knowledge, everyday something is added. In the practice of the Tao, everyday something is dropped. Tao Te Ching 48
What can I drop today?
What shall I drop today?
Rain drops. Snow falls.
As winter comes, leaves yellow and orange and brown… and drop.
When summer comes, fruits ripen on the tree or vine, and drop.
When I am an old man, I will likely stumble and fall and drop to the ground like a stone.
Fortunes rise and fall, and empires.
Drop something, drop something.
Whoever you are, whatever your hoardings and burdens, drop with me. Lay them down.
The great teachers say that I am to be seeking the falling off of my self so as to return to my original face, my thou art that, the imago dei or the great man that is the real me. The self with no self.
All my accoutrements, my senses of who I am and what I am, encumbrances and snares as opposed to civilizations buried under mounds of civilizations, precious jewels.
Is this the meaning of practicing the Tao? I am dropping “things” but more importantly, I am dropping the self?
When I have pursued knowledge, I have sought it as precious jewels. My craving to be Solomonic has been like an endless river rolling.
We are boring you and me. We are everyman, we are everywoman, we are everyone. But what of May Sarton and Henri Nouwen? What we have loved most of them is their confessionality. But what we ultimately love is not them. Rather it is their transparency and vulnerability resulting in showing us us. And we do love them for this. Like family.
To pursue knowledge is to gain and gain and gain.
To practice the Tao is to drop and drop and drop.
What do we drop and how do we drop it?
Begin with dropping the self. See what is before you with full awareness and do by not doing.
This what life comes to. Dropping the self. Thou art that, not this. If you would save your life lose your life. Die.
When the wolf corners there are no qualms. When the lion kills there are no qualms. When the rattlesnake bites there are no qualms. It is creature doing what creature was designed to do. Predator’ing with no self-awareness or second thoughts.
How do I drop?
I drop by doing not focusing on the dropping. To be thinking drop, drop, drop is to be clutching and possessed. To be fully preoccupied with what is before me is to have dropped without dropping.
Oh to be possessed with the present today.
Be here now. Just do it. Practice the Tao. Just breathe.