The 3 Treasures of Taoism That Lead to a Happy Life
Originally published on the Love 4 Life web page.
In Taoism, there are three qualities of life and self that Lao Tzu has called treasures. I’m not talking about jing, qi, and shen, which are treasures in themselves but are different types of energy. The three treasures I am referring to are simplicity, patience, and compassion.
As Lao Tzu said in the Tao Te Ching, “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being. Patient with both friends and enemies, you align with the way things are. Compassionate toward yourself, you strengthen your connection with all beings in the world.”
Let’s break this down and look at each treasure individually.
Do you have a busy mind? Are you overburdening yourself with loads of “negative” emotions like shame, fear, anger, and hatred? Are you being your authentic self, following your passion and purpose, and being guided by your inner vision? By living in simplicity, you discard and shed all that which has hidden away your true Self-realized nature, and you get to see Reality clearly, as it truly is.
An easy way to practice simplicity is to practice being silent. Not only can you sit in meditation to do this but you can also be more sparing with your words. Avoid talking just for the sake of talking or attempting to fill “awkward silence” with superficial hot air. You will find the sound of silence brings a deeper richness thanks to experiencing greater inner peace.
Simplifying your actions may prove to be more challenging. After all, you may have an extensive to-do list that you believe has to get done. However, reconsider whether that is actually true. You can even gamify it by identifying every single thing on your to-do list, be it a mental or written list, and carefully consider whether you can remove it. You could place it on a secondary back-burner list and keep it off of your list of priorities. For the tasks, errands, and activities left on your list, become fully focused on them while accomplishing them, and doing so with joy and precision.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” -Lao Tzu
Thanks to simplifying life, you will find it easier to be patient. The less pressure you feel and fewer distractions you have, the easier it is to be patient. You also get more connected with your inner being and are not getting so caught up in your ego-mind. You become open to receiving and understand that it is all for your highest good because you have become in conscious control of your mind.
Our minds are quite interesting because they usually make us feel like there is a rush to do everything. This stems from the inability of the ego to trust and surrender to the unknown. As a defense mechanism, it feels to must protect us from the unknown by doing anything it can to accomplish that. The ego-mind cannot understand the spirit mind of your true Self because it is something too abstract and intangible for it to comprehend. This means your ego-mind will distract you from connecting with your higher Self due to it being an unknown. Taking control instead of trusting means your higher Self will have a more challenging time guiding you. Universal laws like the Law of Attraction will also not be wielded that effectively.
Your ego isn’t evil or out to sabotage you; it’s just trying to protect you. However, its way of trying to keep you safe occurs without understanding the nature of your soul consciousness. That is why it will try to rush you through things in life so you can get back into old patterns and habits. It doesn’t like unknowns, and expanding consciousness by default is an unknown to it.
When you are feeling that you are rushing through something in life, you may want to take a seat, close your eyes, and meditate for a few minutes. Get your internal GPS activated so that your inner being can steer a better course for you. I suggest sitting for at least 10 minutes. Take those long, deep breaths and cultivate silence, stillness, and peace. You will find patience returns to you.
When you think of having compassion, you probably are thinking about having it for others. However, you should, first and foremost, have compassion for yourself. If you don’t, you will have a much harder time having compassion for others. Negative looping thoughts and doubts can be replaced with acceptance of your state or situation. Nobody is “perfect” in their own eyes or the eyes of others, but you actually are perfect in your inherent nature and state.
When you have compassion for yourself, you are looking at yourself through a wider lens and a universal perspective. This scaled-out view also encompasses others, showing you how they are inherently perfect the way they are, no matter where they are on their paths and what terrible or wonderful deeds they have performed.
Everyone deserves compassion because this experiential existence in 3D reality inevitably leads to suffering. That suffering leads to people responding in various ways. Some go on to mirror that suffering onto others, causing further suffering. Others rise above the suffering and release the suffering of others. Everyone is responding from their level of consciousness, wherever they are at. It doesn’t make them “evil” no matter how far removed from the Source spark within them they have become.
We are all connected to one another through the Web of Life, no matter who or what we are. There’s no way of getting out of that, and understanding this fundamental universal law of interconnectedness will completely change the way we engage with life and others.
You have the profound power to help others regain inner peace through compassion. The more you allow yourself to be compassionate, especially to your perceived enemies, the more enlightened you become.