Be a guest of the universe.
In the 20th verse of the Tao Te Ching, you’re encouraged to experience your life free of worldly striving. Lao-tzu advises you to slow down your incessant demands for more, and to relax your efforts to fill up every moment in anticipation of being somewhere else. You’re invited to experience life in a way that can be summarized in the title of Ram Dass’s book Be Here Now.
Be here in your mind as well as in your body, in a state of appreciation and an absence of longing. Let go of wondering about doing the right thing. Release the what-ifs and all of your goals for the future, replacing them with the power of this instant.
Be here, and remember to do it now, for thinking about being someplace else uses up your precious present moments. The enlightened sage makes a practice of immersing himself completely in the current “nowness” of his life.
Being here now is accomplished by adopting an acceptance of life as it is presented by the great Mother, or the Tao. It’s a surrendering process, if you will—simply allowing this great all-creating, all-nourishing Source to take you where it will. You give up the idea of having to get more or to be in another place in the future, and instead see yourself as whole and complete just as you are. This surrendering process allows you to bear witness to the unlimited abundance and eternal light that is always present. You retrain yourself to give up your beliefs about lacks and shortages; you instead trust in the great Source to provide what you need, as it has always done for all beings.
When you live by the tenets explained in this verse, you begin to have a worry-free existence. Imagine that! No concerns or fears—only a sense of being connected to the Source of all, knowing that all will be handled for you by the same force that’s always handling everything. Lao-tzu is teaching you to free your mind from its persistent nagging. The world and everything in it are already taken care of by the Tao . . . it has always done so and always will.
Your mind continually urges you to strive in spite of the all-providing perfection of the Tao; it prompts you to pursue fame, to look for a groove or purpose. Lao-tzu encourages you to do precisely the opposite: Stay outside the rat race and let your mind be in peaceful harmony with the Tao rather than worrying and fighting.
Practice letting go of thoughts about what’s not here now. Just allow yourself to meld into the perfection of the universe you live in. You don’t need another thing to be happy; it’s all being provided for you right here, right now. Be in this moment, and free yourself of striving for something more or someone else. This is a mind exercise that will put you in touch with the peace of the Tao. Affirm: It is all perfect. God’s love is everywhere and forgets no one. I trust in this force to guide me, and I am not allowing ego to enter now. Notice how free you feel when you relax into this no-fears, no-worries attitude. Take time to “let go and let God,” every single day.
Wayne W. Dyer, Ph.D., is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. Wayne holds a doctorate in educational counseling from Wayne State University and was an associate professor at St. John’s University in New York.