Balanced on the Tightrope
"The Master maintains his balance
no matter which opposite he enters.
He lets things go through their changes
and stays focused on what is real.
He is like an ocean:
though there are waves on it's surface,
in it's depth there is perfect calm."
The high-wire artist knows that he must stay completely focused on the step he is taking or he will lose his balance and fall to his death. In the same way, each of us is walking a tightrope called Life, doing the best we can to maintain our balance in the midst's of life's twists and turns. We all know what it feels like to lose our balance - that moment of exhaustion when we feel depleted of joy and enthusiasm for life as we needlessly worry about a future event or regret something that happened in the past. Perhaps we aren't getting enough sleep (or sleeping too much), working too many hours, eating to much junk food or not getting enough exercise. If we look closely, every area of our life has a tipping point where we feel harmony within, and with the world around us, and conversely, there is also a tipping point where we lose this balance and begin to experience stress, anxiety and unease.
In those moments when we feel we have lost our inner-equilibrium, all that is required to bring ourselves back into harmony with the current of Life (the Tao), is to first admit that we are out of balance, and then spend some time doing the practices that return us to a state of alignment with the Flow (i.e. meditation, yoga, spending time in nature, Qigong). The most powerful of these practices is meditation. By sitting still and coming home to our mindful breathing (or a mantra), we slow down enough to see clearly where we are, and what we need to do - or not do - in order to return to a state of balance and joy in our lives.
Through regular meditation we are able to be honest with ourselves about those areas of our lives that need our attention, and take the necessary steps to return to a state of harmony with the Present Moment, and thus radiant health and abundant energy. One of the most empowering gifts of practicing the path of balance, is that we realize that our well-being is our own responsibility, and we naturally begin to make choices that bring greater aliveness and joy to our lives. As we move into greater harmony with the Flow of the Tao, we naturally avoid those activities and relationships that drain our vital energy (Qi), and instead choose to spend our energy on that which uplifts and inspires us. We also see that, by avoiding the extremes in any situation, and living with inner-balance, we find ourselves right in the center of a powerful Flow (the Tao), that is always unfolding our lives with effortless ease, and for our highest benefit.