52: Keeping Still

Regular periods of rest are an important aspect of personal development and evolution. The most relaxed person may not be the one who sleeps twelve hours a day but the one who knows how to grab a nap while cruising at 600 miles per hour at 35,000 feet. Learning to act when it is time to act and to be still when it is wise to be still is the key to obtaining the peace of mind that helps you stay alert when clear focus is needed.

Consider the spine, which serves as a switchboard for all the nerves of the body that mediate movement. When the spine is kept flexible and healthy through proper rest and relaxation, active movement can be undertaken without strain. When the spine is held erect in a balanced sitting posture, the inner balancing of meditation can take place.

Treat your vitality as if it were a candle in the wind: protect it as though it were the only light in a dark forest on a moonless night. Avoid external conditions that threaten to snuff out this precious flame, and be careful not to suffocate it with your ambitions or worries.

Call time out. Relax, take your shoes off, and sit a spell. Let go of thinking. Meditate on just being.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

At the beginning of a major undertaking, reserve energy by pausing for rest and reflection at the start. Taking a moment to chart your course before setting out on an adventure supports good timing and brings good fortune. This is the point in your undertaking when few mistakes have been made and innocence is untainted by ulterior motives. Persevere in staying balanced, and you will be able to establish a firm, lasting foundation.

Line 2

If you find yourself being led by someone going down a misguided path, leave them to their fate or you may well become lost along with them. When the road leads nowhere, slow down to a standstill. In a case like this, stopping to sit by the side of the road brings good fortune.

Line 3

Trying to induce rest through forced rigidity is like expecting a computer to write poetry. An essential contradiction makes such efforts useless. When you are bone tired, a good sleep is more rejuvenating than a strict form of meditation.

Line 4

Letting go of the ego’s agenda facilitates a deeper kind of rest, though sometimes, the easiest way to let go is to satisfy the ego’s desires first (if they are harmless). They who are able to move through the world with indifference to the ego’s agendas are most free. Letting your heart rest in calmness is a part of this process and will help you achieve your desired outcomes. A deeper and more satisfying level of consciousness awaits those who can let themselves be still as needed.

Line 5

Lighthearted or foolish chatter about problems can make things worse. If you lack inner calm, your words will reflect fears, doubts, desires, impatience, and other restless forces; and this can cause harm in subtle ways. For example, if you constantly babble about travel difficulties while on vacation, you may put others off, and thereby miss the good times and new companionship you were seeking in the first place. In addition, you may inadvertently say things that allow others to take advantage of you, particularly when you find yourself dependent on others for essential needs. If you pause to govern your speech, when you do speak, your words will carry greater power, without remorse.

Line 6 (top line)

This line points to the ability to maintain stillness and composure in the midst of a chaotic world, which is a noble achievement. When positive acceptance of all of life has been achieved, what harm can follow? Peace and good fortune will await you.