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Squirrels, Attention, The Tao


A line from yesterday's daily_tao reading is: "He who stays where he is endures." Tao Te Ching: 33:8

I really need to near these words.  As physical restrictions accumulate, i forget that this lack of mobility is a gift which allows me to turn inward, to learn the things what will make  me wise rather than smart.

We don't like this kind of advice in our modern world.  We believe in progress, change, evolution.  We have almost  come to assume that what is newer will be better, not just different.  But my conservative friends (who seem to want the same novelties that my liberal friends want) remind me that every thing has costs attached.  I have felt that these costs are hidden from us, that  they are largely unacknowledged, and that they bear most heavily on  those least able to bear them.

I think of Emily Dickinson who did not get out of the house much, who never married, who was regarded as a lonely recluse, but whose inner life was so rich that she is considered one of the great poets, a wise woman, a mystic.

If i pay attention, the whole world comes to me in various forms.  Most recently the form has been that of the red ground squirrels who use our yard as their playground and cafeteria and perhaps their home.  There is a zen quality to their behavior.  When they look they look, when they eat they eat, when they play they play.  Last week i was watching a squirrel watch me (Well, i did look out the window, but i did not go outside.  I was looking at it with my eyes; it seemed to look at me with its whole being -- with complete attention.  When it had looked long  enough it stopped, shifted gears, and played enthusiastically with another squirrel.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
cathy_edgett
Oct. 14th, 2015 07:45 pm (UTC)
I love this. Squirrel Zen. I'll pay more attention to my teachers, the squirrels.
bobby1933
Oct. 14th, 2015 09:03 pm (UTC)
{:-) Earlier i read Animal Wisdom: Learning from the Spiritual Lives of Animals, by Linda Bender, DVM. Her view of animals is a little too anthropomorphic for my sake, but she attends to animals much more carefully than i do. A dying gray squirrel taught her to "see God." The Chiung Txu says that nature is the "Great Teacher."
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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