Only when you see no obstructions will there be none

words & photo by Brian Thompson.

I’m having one of those days where I find myself unable to properly express the idea I want to convey. The more I write, the more my thoughts are muddled by obtuse words that lack any comprehension or sense of direction.

Normally, the contents of my mind are properly exorcised by the flow of pen onto paper, and by letting my thinking and the actual writing itself become one, without any separation. But today, the harder I try to sort through my scrambled mess of words, the more confusing it becomes.

This is how it is for everything though, not just writing. The harder you try, the more you seem to screw up.

The more over-eager you are, the more nervous you become. In such a way, a normally steady hand will begin to shake. The more rushed you become, the more mistakes you make. The faster you walk, the more apt you are to stumble and fall. The more desperate you are to achieve something, the further out of reach it becomes.

When we strive only for the sake of obtaining, we fail.

The mind is jinxed by its desires. Its wanting is tainted by the very actions through which it hopes to realize its fulfillment. It’s a paradox that befuddles even our best attempts to break free from it.

A distracted mind is an ineffective mind, regardless of skill. Only when the mind falls away and you become one with your task will your obstacles disappear. Only when you see no obstructions in your way will there be none.

The more we think, ponder, and question ourselves, the more we perpetuate our inability to decisively act. True knowledge is spontaneous and instinctual. It shows itself only through the act of pure doing, unhindered by any second-guessing or doubt.

You must rest easy and trust in the intuitive sense of your own understandings. Your mind must fall away so that you can find your flow. Only then, with a calm and clear Zen mind of no-mind, will you be able to effortlessly realize the true potential of your ability.

Do not interfere with the spontaneity of your actions.

When something is forced, it breaks. Don't think. Just do what needs to be done.

This is wu wei. This is what it means to be aligned with the Tao.