The Thought for the Day/Deng Ming-Dao

Whether we remain ash or become the phoenix is up to us.
Deng Ming-Dao
365 Tao

Deng Ming-Dao is an American writer and, though he might well disdain the term, philosopher, of Chinese descent and is a regular contributor to this feature. 365 Tao is a book of daily meditations that has been a part of our lives for many years that – and this might surprise you – talks about following your path, putting nature and circumstance to work for you and making your time serve you. We have read other books of Mr Deng’s, however we keep coming back to this splendid work and we’ve always thought anyone, regardless of religious beliefs or spiritual path, will find this book useful.

Bad things, from the inconvenient to the tragic, happen to all of us. You have them, I have them, the beautiful, exploited people on red carpets have them, your aunt in Leadville has them. There is no avoiding them. Even those who are on their path every minute of every day have failure and setbacks. It’s the way the world is built.

Usually, we have no control over these setbacks and they aren’t dictated by the fates, either. Nature is too random, and there are billions of people on this planet all leading random lives for tragedy itself to be anything other than random.

Whether we remain ash…

What we do have control over is how misfortune affects us. This can range from a blown tire ruining our day to letting natural disaster, death or other tragedy affect the rest of our lives. While some sadness is inevitable, it is incumbent on us to come back strong from misfortune, both for us and for those who love and depend on us.

…or become the phoenix

Despite the disorientation that attends times like these, returning to our path is the quickest way to shedding negative emotions. When tragedy strikes, it’s important to get back to us. Some time back on our path, some time spent following our hearts and trusting our instincts, and before you know it nature and circumstance are showing you their usual fresh prospects and you are on your way to being a phoenix.

Quotes are from Gaylon’s personal quote book, begun in 1988 in a hotel room in Berkeley, California.


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