The Tao of Lao Tzu

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past, if you are anxious, you are living in the future, if you are at peace, you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu

I love this, except I don’t agree that living in the present is necessarily peaceful. When I am paying attention to these moments, I can deflect attention from all the stories about the present that ego loves to spin. So, even if I’m in an anxiety producing situation, I can see what needs to be done in a clearer way, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to feel the anxiety or pressure, I’m cutting off the stories about anxiety and pressure. All things that rise in these moments are how I am, peaceful, anxious, happy, sad, or perhaps feeling flat. All those dynamics rise without any conscious assist, I can’t image cutting off feelings and emotions before they rise. I can only experience them as clearly as possible, stay in proximity to breath and body, and see what needs to be done.

Love everything you possibly can today.

Bryan Wagner

6 thoughts on “The Tao of Lao Tzu

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    1. Dear Bryan and Ananda,

      I agree with both of you and would like to commend Bryan for the insights shared in this worthy post.

      To give us an opportunity to appreciate and discuss about these issues even more deeply and from multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, I would like to refer you to my detailed analyses and extended discussions in the concluding section called “Conclusion: Change Rules and Moment Matters” of my very long post entitled “SoundEagle in Best Moment Award from Moment Matters” at

      Both of you are very welcome to join the discussion at the said post and offer your insight, doubt, opinion or the like.

      Happy August to you very soon! May you find the rest of 2021 very much to your liking and highly conducive to your writing, reading, thinking, studying and composing whatever posts that take your intellectual fancy and show off your spiritual flight!

      Yours sincerely,

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes. Exactly so! I find it interesting, that when present and attending, there is no sense of anyone being present and attending. It’s only in retrospect, as afterthought, that the “I” starts to apply labels to experience. For me, experience has no labels, presence has no labels, only engagement. Labels are helpful though, as long as I know they are only metaphor. Take care of you my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I loved this quote too before but I agree more with your post. It’s in the moment that we can even become aware of anxiety and depression. The quote is helpful to let us know that maybe we are having these emotions in the present because of our attachment to the past or future.
    Thank you for this.🙏🏿

    Liked by 1 person

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