Resolution of conflicting interests within each of us-the desire to fulfill a personal purpose versus the desire to forget about it and just go have fun, for example-takes time and focus and application of a lot of qualities, like playing a difficult piece of music with two hands on the piano. Many people are looking for a simple pill to make that apparent dichotomy go away. Once they discover it doesn’t exist, it’s very frustrating.

Appreciation, affection, focus and intention fill up the space of self-reflection, and one loses oneself in the engagement. And what a relief it is when you get there.

When I speak of good hearing, I do not mean listening to others; I mean simply listening to yourself. When I speak of good eyesight, I do not mean looking at others; I mean simply looking at yourself. He who does not look at himself but looks at others, who does not get hold of himself but gets hold of others, is getting what other men have got and failing to get what he himself has got. He finds joy in what brings joy to other men, but finds no joy in what would bring joy to himself.

Of course, the self-righteous demand and expectation for love, and exactly how it should be expressed, is not the most streamlined method for producing it in another for you. That is, it does not compel or create the love itself. You’re neither loving nor producing that which would compel the love toward you. You’re compressed between them both and incapable of accepting either. And rightly so. Which then accelerates the accumulating suffering.

This pace and rhythm I speak of is constantly adjusting through discernment and sensitivity to all aspects of our life and being. As you notice more joy and resolution in your life through the movement toward what you yearn for, you naturally adjust in such a way that you invest more in that direction. If the idea of yearning and acting on what you yearn for causes more aggravation and suffering, you’re not looking at the elements accurately, or the idler is fighting against it.

The typical image of a depressed, lazy and tired person is someone hunched over and inert. Often, the assumption is that if one had more enthusiasm and inspiration, he would then stand up straight and move. In many cases, this equation is backward. But, as with everything related to one’s physicality, balance is the key. An overly erect and rigid posture may convey confidence and power to some, but it also causes a subtle accumulation of tension and rigidity on various levels, including psychological and emotional.

It is fundamental to both Taoist and Confucian thought that the natural man is to be trusted, and from their standpoint it appears that the Western mistrust of human nature-whether theological or technological-is a kind of schizophrenia. It would be impossible, in their view, to believe oneself innately evil without discrediting the very belief, since all the notions of a perverted mind would be perverted notions.

The subjective experience of intense pain (“That’s all I can take

The transitory and random quality of emotions (“Well, that’s just the way I feel about it

In terms of achieving what I call “being in the right place at the right time,

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