Have you ever had a dream in which the answers to your life were so clear? The feeling of relief was so palpable? The joy and wonder had you saying, “of course?” Some version of this dream comes my way occasionally, and I used to wake up frustrated that what seemed so clear in my dream state had totally escaped me upon waking.
For a few years I had a dream that I had THE ANSWER – it was exhilarating – and then I would wake up with no idea what it was. I finally recognized that there was no such thing as THE ANSWER – the one thing that will always and forever more resolve all of our issues. When I realized that issues come and go and life is all about taking responsibility and making decisions over and over again, I stopped having the dream.
Balance is a goal that most of us strive for in our lives. We tend to view balance as a sort of see-saw or scale by which we put some fun and relaxation on one side, some work and stress on the other, and hope to keep the sides fairly even. For years, I have been trying to maintain this balancing act, and couldn’t figure out why it didn’t seem to be working for me. I felt overwhelmed, stressed out, tired, lacking and lonely often. I had less money than I needed, more bills than I could handle and too many balls in the air most of the time.
Then I discovered the Buddhist principle of the middle way. Walking the middle way doesn’t entail a balancing act of first this, then that, or some of this to counteract some of that. Rather, it is a concept that invites holding two opposing ideas in min...