life as i know it

"...everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." -Sylvia Plath

Saturday, December 10, 2005

the only path to serenity

“Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval
and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.”

-An excerpt from Lao Tzu’s “Tao Te Ching” –

Today, the frustration has become unbearable, the stress rising to its height and refusing to fall. I have stared at this computer screen for endless hours, struggling to complete a task that is beyond my motivation or desire. And yet I have continued to force myself forward, trying to will myself to complete this necessary assignment. During yet another of my frequent breaks, I caught sight of this book lying on the floor and felt compelled to pick it up, in a desperate attempt to find solace. Lo and behold, I read this passage and my own feelings were put to words through the beauty of Chinese philosophy. From the words of Lao Tzu come the words to myself…

I shall fill my bowl
but not allow it to overflow.
I shall allow my knife
to become dull from time to time.
I shall just be
rather than chasing anything.
I shall care about all
and not judge nor be judged.

I shall do my work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.


At 6:19 AM, Blogger Sky said...

Isn't the Tao Te Ching wonderfully refreshing? I am glad you are enjoying this special gift.

I am glad you found the passage which applies to your life at the moment. Sending my love through the wires and all the space which separates our view...

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Jessie said...

Lao Tzu was a rockin' smart guy. I relate best to the first half, but most need to learn from the 2nd half. Thanks for sharing your find.

And good luck finishing your paper. Just think, once it's done, you can relax. Well...that's what I keep telling myself anyway! :)-

the recently crowned queen of procrastination.

At 1:58 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

Thanks for stopping by! I hope your boyfriend's father continues to thrive and inspire. I really liked this passage, thank you for sharing. I hope you get this project done soon so you can share some more.


At 7:37 PM, Blogger Natasjia said...

This is just what I need to fitting, I think, for many of us in the rat race of academia.

At 5:28 AM, Blogger georgiacoast said...

Somehow, I think you will make it Lapinski! Although Lao Tzu’s motivation couldn’t hurt….Stay the course and celebrate in a few days when it is over. Less than a week!


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