While I take a break from my writing schedule, I offer something from Everyday Tao by Deng Ming-Dao: Ability—“To possess ability is to be self-reliant.”
“Tao is a person walking along a path. No one is carrying that person. There is no vehicle pictured. Following Tao is something each of us must do by ourselves.”
“But the path is difficult. It will test you. Walking in the mountains is hard enough. Rain and snow fall on you. Storms wash away the mountainside. Earthquakes shake the ground. Steepness wears at your legs. In life, the spiritual path is even more difficult. Although everything you want out of life is on that path, there are people who will hinder you and situations that will oppress you.”
“What do you do when life is difficult? You could call for help, but that is not always reliable. Sooner or later, life will catch you with no one around.”
“You might be without food or shelter during a time of natural disaster. You might be alone at a time when help cannot come quickly enough. You may even suffer the tragedy of having all your friends abandon you. That is why those who follow Tao emphasize the importance of having many abilities. If you have the self-reliance that comes with having many skills, you will not lose your equanimity. This cannot be emphasized enough. You cannot truly walk the whole path of Tao until you can cope with any unknown.”
“People say that those who follow Tao are serene, but that serenity is not because of some meditative trancelike state. It comes from the confidence of one who has ability.”
May you all find your way with great ability and always face the unknown with confidence.