Soft as Water
Today I went out in a chilly Norwegian autumn to meditate. Wind, a bit rain, dark skies and yeallow leaves from the birches landing softly in my hair. To meditate out in the nature always is different experience than meditating inside the house. And it is a meditation more close to the Tao.
While I sat there, listeting to the wind, and watching the lake in front of me, I remembered the words of Lao Tzu in the famous Tao te Ching:
Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.
Years after years the soft waves had washed over the stony beach, making deep impressions into the hard granite. I touch the cold water. It felt soft, and the waves seemed to have no strength. Meeting the hard with the hard, the strong with strength, can be destructive. Meeting strength with wisdom, softness and patience, can be rewarding. We only need to look around to se the truth of this returning argument in Tao te Ching.
Wisdom and harmony yield ultimately good results, while victory through use of power often only leads to new conflicts. Tao, whatever that is, creates and uphold everything by the action of no-action, letting everything flow its natural ways. But the results never cease to to unfold.
What coud that tell us about how we should behave? I am not in the right to tell others about their lives, but to me the thought of the soft overcoming the strong from time to time is useful i tense situations, where conflict otherwise would have been he alternative.