Tao 34/Day 256 “It nourishes infinite worlds, yet it doesn’t hold on to them.”

“It nourishes infinite worlds, yet it doesn’t hold on to them.”  How often have I lived my life in the exact opposite fashion — capable of only one or two world-views at most, and holding on to them for dear life even after they’ve proven lifeless?  As I begin today’s run in the afternoon sun, I quickly realize that my first order of business will be to open myself anew to the wonders of the present moment, to see if I can detect a few more of the ‘worlds’ being nourished by the Tao, without prematurely choosing which ones I prefer to participate in.

The physical trail immediately comes alive as I follow this simple strategy.  The world of ‘that’ rock, and ‘that’ exposed tree root, and ‘this’ view of the placid lake on my right – each place I turn my undivided, unprejudiced attention toward instantly ‘wakes up’ as a world unto itself being nourished by the Tao.  I allow my awareness to flow from the smallest particular all the way to the notion of ‘world’ itself and back again — and notice that the only way to ‘keep up’ is to not hold on in my mind to anything I encounter.  To the extent that I succeed at this practice, one experience flows into another like an unending beautiful string of pearls.

What wonders await each of us the moment we are able to let go of what the Tao has already released!  What self-definitions are aching to be reformatted into alignment with the energies that affirm life as it is NOW as opposed to our ideas about it from long ago.  I think of my beautiful mother, and how she is choosing to live her ‘golden’ years so richly.  Whether it’s celebrating the occasion of her seventieth birthday by going skydiving, celebrating her commitment to her community by teaching illiterate adults how to read for the first time, or celebrating her creativity by taking up violin lessons (the mastery of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” is eminent), she is an inspiring example to me of a life remaining vibrant by refusing to be restricted to goals and ghosts gone by.

“It nourishes infinite worlds.”  – As I continue to put one foot in front of the other, this is the phrase that becomes my mantra.  After I’ve let go of what the Tao has let go of, what is it that comes forward?  What world exactly is it that the Tao is capable of nourishing in me, right now?  And for how long?

For non-attachment, or not holding on, to a particular world doesn’t mean that that world isn’t worthy of being nourished.  It just means – like these towering, two-hundred-year-old trees now surrounding me – that I’m not afraid of the day when a strong wind topples what took so long to achieve.  It is only when I’m not holding on that I am able to fully express what the Tao is capable of nourishing in me.

For today, that expression looks and feels like a long run.  Without stopping for water or an energy bar, I cover the distance of a half-marathon, with ease.  Only sunset and suppertime keep me from going further.  The contented smile plastered across my face has less to do with how far or how fast, and much more to do with how I traveled on my way to arriving at the accomplishment.  I am one of the places where the Tao is nourishing infinite worlds.  As I let go once more of how that looked today, I can’t wait to see what those worlds will look like tomorrow.


7 Responses to “Tao 34/Day 256 “It nourishes infinite worlds, yet it doesn’t hold on to them.””

  1. Christopher Allen Says:

    An absolutely beautiful post. Thank you.

  2. Greg Webb Says:

    Thanks Chris!

  3. Rosemary Alexander Says:

    I love this whole process you’re sharing. I remember so many delicious moments with you – especially you as Woody Guthrie. You totally channelled that performance. In the moment. Not holding on. Plunging forward. Beautiful.

    • gregwebb Says:

      Rosemary — You are an inspiration to me. Thank you. That time together remains a high point of anything I’ve ever been part of. 🙂

  4. Dee Newman Says:

    As always you take me to where I should have been . . . or where I desire to be.

  5. Rebecca Gose Enghauser Says:

    Ahhh,….yet throughout reading this post, my clutch to past and gritting of teeth about future dig deeper for a hiding spot, as they are found out yet again…..sadly, I realize the strength of my grip. Thanks for this.

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