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Centering Your Self August 27, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Less IS More, Meditation, Mindfulness.


From Lao Tzu:

The ego is a monkey catapulting through the jungle:

Totally fascinated by the realm of the senses,
it swings from one desire to the next,
one conflict to the next,
one self-centered idea to the next.
If you threaten it, it actually fears for its life.

LE3502Let this monkey go.
Let the senses go.
Let desires go.
Let conflicts go.
Let ideas go.
Let the fiction of life and death go.
Just remain in the center, watching.

And then forget that you are there.

~ Lao Tzu (c.604 – 531 B.C.)

Related: Quotes by Lao Tzo (Gaiam Life) * Hua Hu Ching: The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu

* * * * *

Artwork: Roderick MacIver Arts.  The beauty of Rod’s art lies in his ability NOT to control all aspects of the water ~ he allows it latitude to do its thing while he paints. The result speaks for itself.



1. Ruth - August 27, 2015

Rod’s artwork is lovely.

nrhatch - August 27, 2015


2. suzicate - August 27, 2015

Love this monkey business…my new mantra shall be “Let this monkey go!” It will not only remind me but bring a smile to my face in the process.

nrhatch - August 27, 2015

Monkeys make me smile too.
I’m reading “Bad Monkey” right now . . . the title drew me in.

Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - August 27, 2015

And what a great mantra that would make! Love it!

nrhatch - August 27, 2015

Enjoy letting go of your monkeys!

3. Hariod Brawn - August 27, 2015

Very beautiful Nancy. I am currently reading Thomas Merton’s The Way of Chuang Tzu, which is similarly wonderful.

nrhatch - August 27, 2015

Enjoy wading through the Way to empty your boat.

“Who can free himself from achievement
And from fame, descend and be lost
Amid the masses of men?
He will flow like Tao, unseen,
He will go about like Life itself
With no name and no home.
Simple is he, without distinction.
To all appearances he is a fool.
His steps leave no trace. He has no power.
He achieves nothing, has no reputation.
Since he judges no one
No one judges him.
Such is the perfect man:
His boat is empty.”
― Thomas Merton, The Way of Chuang Tzu

Val Boyko - August 27, 2015

Love this! 💛

nrhatch - August 27, 2015

Here’s to emptying our boat!

4. anotherday2paradise - August 27, 2015

Gorgeous artwork, and I like the idea of just staying centred. Thanks for sharing this quote.

nrhatch - August 27, 2015

It’s so easy to be pulled off center when we have monkeys tugging on our thoughts and demanding attention.

anotherday2paradise - August 27, 2015

Yes, those darn monkeys; so persistent too. 😦

5. Val Boyko - August 27, 2015

A great reminder Nancy. I love the Ron’s watercolors too. Allowing the water and paint to find their own expression inspires my non-mind 🙂

nrhatch - August 27, 2015

Instead of pushing, we allow “it” to flow!

6. Pix Under the Oaks - August 27, 2015

Beautiful artwork and yes to letting go!

nrhatch - August 27, 2015

Morning, Pix! Here’s to letting go . . . to flow!

7. NancyTex - August 27, 2015

My monkey brain is quite entertaining. 🙂

nrhatch - August 27, 2015

As long as we don’t get tangled up in its constant finagling for a bigger piece of the pie.

NancyTex - August 27, 2015

That’s the challenge!

nrhatch - August 27, 2015

It’s great when we learn to push away from the table and say, “No thanks. I’m full.”

8. Eileen - August 27, 2015

Breathes there a man with pride so dead, who never to himself has said, “I am not a common man?”

I think the monkey image for ego is excellent. And ego is the monkey on our back, the root of all orders of addiction.

nrhatch - August 27, 2015

In reality there is perhaps not one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. For even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Ego can make us feel taller than tall . . . and smaller than small.
Spirit just smiles.

9. Carol Ferenc - August 27, 2015

Off, off with you monkeys, off!! Ah, that’s better 🙂

nrhatch - August 27, 2015

Fly, my pretties! Fly! :mrgreen:

10. L. Marie - August 27, 2015

Beautiful artwork!!!
I needed this post today. So much of my stress has to do with being so worried what others think of my life. Sigh.

nrhatch - August 27, 2015

We are brainwashed to care what “they” think about us ~> so we polish our “gold stars” and hold them up for approval.

Switching to an internal compass ~> FREEDOM! It helps me to take a G~I~A~N~T step back so I’m not blinded by the trees.

11. Julianna - August 28, 2015

“Just remain at the Center, watching.” Allowing. Witnessing. Truer words have not been spoken!

nrhatch - August 28, 2015

Glad it spoke to you, Julianna. Stepping out of “our selves” allows us to feel connected to the source.

Julianna - August 28, 2015

I think of it as stepping into ourselves, but I believe that’s just different explanations/stories for the same concept! 😉

nrhatch - August 28, 2015

Yes! Exactly ~> we go within to step outside our Ego.

12. sufilight - August 28, 2015

Just staying in the moment frees us from the monkey mind. I can’t say I have achieved this yet, but get little glimpses of this freedom. Sharing in Pinterest!

nrhatch - August 28, 2015

Same here. It’s not a constant, but there are moments when we feel that connection . . . as we plug in to the NOW.

13. Tiny - August 28, 2015

Yes! Very good reminder…and easy to remember. Beautiful art too!

nrhatch - August 28, 2015

Thanks, Tiny. It’s so easy to get pulled out of the NOW by our thoughts, worries, and fear.

14. reocochran - August 29, 2015

Nancy, so profound and one to ponder on. Releasing the “ego” is at the top of Maslowe’s hierarchy, the pinnacle of being, I think. Way to get my mind going with a “jump start.”

nrhatch - August 29, 2015

Maslow places self-actualization, including peak experiences, at the pinnacle. “It is important to note that self-actualization is a continual process of becoming rather than a perfect state one reaches of a ‘happy ever after’ (Hoffman, 1988).”


We only live happily-ever-after on a moment by moment basis.

Have lots of happy moments today!

15. Debra - August 30, 2015

I immediately recognized Rod MacIver’s art! He’s incredible, isn’t he? Lao Tzu is always worth contemplating. Seeing ego as a monkey is a valuable visual. A monkey is hard to tame, I think–and ego can get us into a lot of trouble as well!

Speaking of trouble…my Internet has been a bit like that monkey, too! I’m playing catch-up. Tonight is the first in a week that I didn’t get “booted off.” 🙂

nrhatch - August 30, 2015

Maybe the NSA is stealing your bandwidth? :/

I watched CITIZENFOUR last night ~> the government’s capture of everyone’s digital communications (conversations and key strokes) might be the monkey in the middle.

16. Behind the Story - August 30, 2015

Lao Tzu’s way of commenting on life by referring back to nature is beautiful. It’s easy to imagine the monkey swinging through the jungle, bumping from one desire to the next, and contrast that with the consciousness watching, watching and forgetting self.

nrhatch - August 31, 2015

Yes! Moving from an Ego-orientation (with all its frantic pulling and tugging) to the peace and calm of Consciousness (where the what is, is).

17. What Does Green Mean? | Spirit Lights The Way - December 15, 2015

[…] shift back to pure awareness, we might follow Lao Tzu’s thread […]

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