Ralph Waldo Emerson stated that “It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life… We can never help another without helping ourselves”, and is inescapably true that every good we do for another–or the world as a whole–can not help but benefit us individually as well.
Most of us have a daily ritual. That is, we rise, pee, wash, and set the coffee or tea to brew, and begin our day in a more-or-less consistent way.
My ritual is fairly consistent as well: I rise, attend to my ablutions, head downstairs to start my coffee, etc…
Stage two each a.m. is my meditation time. A key component to this is the Tao Te Ching. This 2500 year old owner’s manual for living as your highest self has been translated from its long-dead dialect and interpreted into modern language more times than can easily be counted. Of those I’ve encountered, easily my favorite is “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life”, by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. Dr. Dyer didn’t translate it himself, but he combed through hundreds of english language versions of the text and composed an individual essay on each of its 81 verses, providing a layman’s guide to living the Tao and its essentially simple but surprisingly complex and dichotomous teachings.
I pick up this book, close my eyes, and allow it to fall open to a random page, and re-read that verse and its essay. It is on this lesson that my morning meditation is focused.
Today, I studied once again the 27th verse, which Dr. Dyer has titled “Living By Your Inner Light”. In the essay which accompanies this profound verse, Dyer makes the following suggestions, which truly clarify what I pray to accomplish with my life, possibly in part through these pages:
“Try on the view that you’re here to teach yourself and others in some way, and that the work is to raise the collective energy of our entire universe.”
“Virtually every translation of the Tao Te Ching I’ve examined refers to us all being one, and all of us needing to be there for each other.”
“When you see the world as full of opportunities to help, one thought and one action at a time, you’ll be living by your inner light.”
This is my goal, my hope, and my calling.