Heron stands in the blue estuary,
Solitary, white, unmoving for hours.
A fish! Quick avian darting;
The prey is captured.
People always ask how to follow Tao. It is as easy and natural
as the heron standing in the water. The bird moves when it
must; it does not move when stillness is appropriate.
The secret of its serenity is a type of vigilance, a contemplative
state. The heron is not in mere dumbness or sleep. It knows
a lucid stillness. It stands unmoving in the flow of the water.
It gazes unperturbed and is aware. When Tao brings it something
that it needs, it seizes the opportunity without hesitation
or deliberation. Then it goes back to its quiescence without
disturbing itself or its surroundings. Unless it found the
right position in the water's flow and remained patient, it
would not have succeeded.
Actions in life can be reduced to two factors; positioning
and timing. If we are not in the right place at the right
time, we cannot possibly take advantage of what life has to
Almost anything is appropriate if an action is in accord
with the time and place. But we must be vigilant and prepared.
Even if the time and the place are right, we can still miss
our chance if we do not notice the moment, if we act inadequately,
or if we hamper ourselves with doubts and second thoughts.
When life presents an opportunity, we must be ready to sieze
it without hesitation or inhibition. Position is useless without
awareness. If we have both, we make no mistakes.