This is a great excerpt from one of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s many fantastic books:
The Tao and water are synonymous according to the teachings of Lao-tzu. You are water; water is you. Think about the first nine months of your life after conception: You lived in, and were nourished by, amniotic fluid, which is truly unconditional love flowing into you… flowing as you. You are now 75 percent water (and your brain is 85 percent), and the rest is simply muscled water.
Think about the mysterious magical nature of this liquid energy that we take for granted. Try to squeeze it, and it eludes us; relax our hands into it, and we experience it readily. If it stays stationary, it will become stagnant; if it is allowed to flow, it will stay pure. It does not seek the high spots to be above it all, but settles for the lowest places. It gathers into rivers, lakes, and streams; courses to the sea; and then evaporates to fall again as rain. It maps out nothing and it plays no favorites: It doesn’tintend to provide sustenance to the animals and plants. It has no plans to irrigate the fields; to slake our thirst; or to provide the opportunity to swim, sail, ski, and scuba dive. These are some of the benefits that come naturally from water simply doing what it does and being what it is.
The Tao asks you to clearly see the parallels between you and this naturally flowing substance that allows life to sustain itself. Live as water lives, since you are water. Become as contented as the fluid that animates and supports you. Let your thoughts and behaviors move smoothly in accordance with the nature of all things.
It is natural for you to be gentle, to allow others to be free to go where they’re inclined to go, and to be as they need to be without interference from you. It is natural to trust in the eternal flow, be true to your inner inclinations, and stick to your word. It is natural to treat everyone as an equal. All of these lessons can be derived by observing how water, which sustains all life, behaves. It simply moves, and the benefits it provides occur from it being what it is, in harmony with the present moment and knowing the truth of precisely how to behave.
What follows is what Lao-tzu might say to you, based upon his writing of the 8th verse of the Tao Te Ching: When you’re free to flow as water, you’re free to communicate naturally—information is exchanged, and knowledge advances in a way that benefits everyone.
Be careful not to assign yourself a place of importance above anyone else. Be receptive to everyone, particularly those who may not routinely receive respect, such as the uneducated, homeless, or troubled members of our society. Go to the “low places loathed by all men,” and have an open mind when you’re there. Look for the Tao in everyone you encounter; and make a special effort to have acceptance, gentleness, and kindness course through you to others.
By not being irritating, you’ll be received with respect. By making every effort to avoid controlling the lives of others, you’ll be in peaceful harmony with the natural order of the Tao. This is the way you nourish others without trying. Be like water—which creates opportunities for swimming, fishing, surfing, drinking, wading, sprinkling, floating, and an endless list of benefits—by not trying to do
anything other than simply flow.
Do the Tao Now
Drink water silently today, while reminding yourself with each sip to nourish others in the same life-flourishing way that streams give to the animals and rain delivers to the plants. Note how many places water is there for you—serving you by flowing naturally. Say a prayer of
gratitude for this life-sustaining, always-flowing substance.
By Wayne W. Dyer, Ph.D.