Principle 12 Accumulating action 2 – 2021

Principle 12. The Principle of Accumulating Action. Second Week:
“Contradictory and unifying acts accumulate within you. If you repeat your acts of internal unity then nothing can detain you.”
Last time: From Small Seeds.
This time: Words of Wisdom From the ancient child
Important Note:
It is here amid all the little joys, and daily crap that we can actually create a discipline that can be practiced at every moment and in every circumstance. This is a dynamic meditation, requiring neither particular postures, nor special conditions. With time and application these efforts give all my activities a particular tone, mood, and mental direction.
Illustration By Rafael Edwards
This Week:
This week we’ll turn to considering how we applied, or could have applied, this idea in the past. Can I notice how even small steps accumulated and formed a direction in my life? For example, can I recognize how developing a new or a different habit could have changed a later outcome? Among other things, our weekly meetings give us an opportunity to compare notes, discoveries, questions, etc. about the principles. If you are unable to join us you might find it worthwhile to find, or create, situations where you can engage others in conversation about these themes.
Keeping  Your Focus Simple:
Everyone has their own way of approaching these principles. Keeping in mind what I’ve said previously about keeping these works very brief I for one will spend some time in this second week focusing on at least one situation in the past where I allowed small failures to accumulate and demoralize me. Then I will, just as briefly, consider at least one past situation where I can see that my small efforts added up, resulting in my being able to do something larger.
Personal Reflections:
Here’s a few thoughts related to this month’s principle. I hope you find them of some use in your own reflections.  Please consider sharing your ideas with us at the meeting this Wednesday, on our Facebook page or by email.
I mentioned in an earlier post how, while I was thinking about the principle of accumulating action, I received an email. The writer questioned the wisdom of countries allowing in a flood of refugees which might harbour some individuals bearing ill will, and even some willing to use violence against random strangers to advance their cause.
With these things going around in my head I found myself reflecting on the big problems in the world (and sometimes in my life) and how my small actions — even if they were positive or felt unitive— weren’t even close to being on the same scale as the these destructive events occurring all around. But I kept coming back to the same idea, that while a drop of water doesn’t amount to much in isolation over time many such drops wear away at even the strongest rock. In this way the relentless drips of water produce what is at first the slightest of grooves but which eventually might become a great canyon. 
As that famous verse has it:
Under heaven nothing is more soft and yielding than water.
Yet for attacking the solid and strong, nothing is better;
It has no equal.
The weak can overcome the strong;
The supple can overcome the stiff.
Under heaven everyone knows this,
Yet no one puts it into practice.
Therefore the sage says:
     Only those who bear the people’s stain
 Are fit to rule them.
     Only those who can bear the people’s pain 
deserve to be rulers of the universe.
Often straight talk seems like foolishness.
Here’s another of his verses on water:
True good is like water.
Water gives life to all thousand things.
Yet it does not strive.
It flows in places that humans scorn.
In living dwell close to the land.
In meditation seek the depths.
With others it is kindness that matters.
In speaking, be true.
In ruling be just.
In business be competent.
In your actions watch the timing.
There is no room for conflict. There is no room for blame.


chapters 78  and 8 
Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching
(Laozi’s Dao de jing)
Anyway this is the conclusion of my response to the email I mentioned:
“…The question remains then: “what’s to be done?” On a political level I’ve got no clue. However, personally I think the first step in the war against terrorism is to end the violence and discrimination in myself, and to work for peace in my world, i.e the world of my friends, family, co-workers, etc. That includes speaking up against intolerance, and hate but mostly means dealing with my own fears and seeing how they distort my vision, ideas and behaviour. I believe it’s necessary to cultivate peace in ourselves, and the world around us. Just as it is necessary to find the vital force to embrace life, and the joy that comes with having an open future. From my perspective that is not an alternative to, or the result of not finding, a political answer — rather it is the only real way forward”.
Immediately after stating this principle of cumulative action the chapter on the principles of valid action (Inner Look XIII, Silo)  concludes. Among those final remarks with is this: 
You will be like a force of Nature when it finds no resistance in its path. Learn to distinguish a difficulty, a problem, an obstacle, from a contradiction. While those may move you or spur you on, contradiction traps you in a closed circle with no way out.
Worth Repeating:
 The Principles are the framework for a dynamic meditation, and the rudiments of a discipline that you can practice in every moment of your life. 

These notes have been posted on Facebook and sent to our email list, and thanks to Fernando Aranguiz on my website 

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