Constancy

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Clear sunlight on falling snow; fire and ice.
Bare boned trees stark to the horizon,
Cold marshes, havens to ducks and geese.
A groundhog sits motionless on a post.

Wherever we are, the constant flow of Tao is ever present. We see the cycles of opposites, such as the juxtaposition of sunlight and snow. We notice the ongoing rhythms of life: waterfowl carrying on their lives even as spring is slow to warm and leafless trees stand in anticipation of warmer weather. All things change, all things move constantly. The world is like the ongoing turning of a magnificent wheel. All things come in their own time.

Just as a groundhog sits motionless in the moving of the seasons, so too should we look within and slowly absorb the time. Within all the movement, the groundhog takes time to be still. Within all the changing of spring, we must take time to notice the constancy of inner devotion.

No matter how much is going on outside of oneself, one still reaffirms what is on one’s heart, taking comfort in the regular pulse. What works in the shelter of home or temple works everywhere. Only when we know such constancy will we know that our quest is succeeding.

Deng Ming-Dao, 365 Tao