39: Temporary Obstacles
General Meaning: Have temporary obstacles been blocking your way? In the course of trying to reach a goal or to fulfill a personal ambition, obstructions inevitably present themselves. This is not always a bad thing. Obstacles, difficulties and even setbacks that are eventually overcome often turn into assets. Without irritating grains of sand, oysters would never make pearls.
The obstacles pointed to here are not permanent, yet they are in the way. As when a large boulder falls in the road, the best course of action is usually to go around it, rather than to try to move it out of the way. Temporary obstacles must be seen for what they are — temporary — and should not be allowed to take on too much significance.
A positive aspect of even the most difficult obstacle is that it may cause a person to turn inward, and gain greater depth and character. While the ignorant bemoan their fate and seek to blame their problems on others, the wise seek the cause of the problem within themselves. Through this type of introspection, obstacles become a means for personal growth and self-discovery.
Without air resistance, no plane would ever fly.
If you are facing temporary obstacles, try not to be overly concerned. Obstacles are a part of achieving every goal and furthering every undertaking. Setbacks and reverses can affect morale, but keeping up your self-confidence in the face of challenges is part of a successful solution to many of life’s problems. Obstacles of short duration are best handled with a yielding attitude. Go around the rock, don’t put your shoulder to it.
52: Keeping Still
General Meaning: Regular periods of keeping still are an important aspect of personal development and forward motion. The most restful person may not be the one who sleeps twelve hours a day, but the one able to grab catnaps while cruising 600 miles-per-hour at 35,000 ft. Learning to act when it is time to act, and to keep still when it is time to keep still, is the key to obtaining the peace of mind which helps you stay focused 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 always 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 innate spark of energetic vitality like a candle in the wind you are protecting, as your only light in a dark forest on a moonless night. Avoid external conditions that threaten to snuff out the flame, and be careful not to suffocate it with your own ambitions of worries.
Time out. Relax now, take your shoes off and sit a spell. Let go of thinking. Breathe and meditate on the breathing.
General Meaning: Humility is often rewarded in human affairs, just as the erosion of a great mountain fills the valley. It is the way of nature to fill the empty cup. Regardless of your position, humility is a positive and deceptively powerful attribute. If you are in a high position but are still humble, people will be drawn to you and the causes you espouse. If your position is lowly, humility will endear you to those of higher status. True humility is a virtue to which all should aspire.
The most successful and happiest people are those who know how to bring each situation into balance by reducing that which is too great, and adding to that which is too little. Such a person craves not power, but balanced and stable relationships. Humility is the virtue that supplies the balancing power, as humble people are not prey to the many illusions that grow out of self-importance. If humility is not natural to your disposition, make a conscious effort to develop a strain of self-effacing humor.
General Meaning: Overview is a time for composure and contemplation. As a result of profound introspection, a hidden force reveals itself, and may influence others without their being aware of it. Do not underestimate the power of such a subtle force. Like the wind blowing across the treetops, its presence is perceived through the effect it has on everything it touches.
Shallow wells rarely strike water and shallow minds often come up empty. The ability to keep still and simply observe deepens resolve and attracts good fortune. Discern the difference between what is deep and what is surface within yourself — and you will be able to distinguish between the two in the world as well.
During a period between events, the practice of stillness with awareness is fruitful. Only by observing and absorbing the true nature of things — by apprehending the rhythms and cycles that guide all creation — can we discover the laws that apply to our own individual lives. Examine yourself and the overall situation — not just with the thought of discovering truth, but with the vision of concentrating your personal power