Act in Response to the Situation

Today is known as the Day of Awakening of Insects in the lunar calendar.

In Winter, animals hibernate in the soil and dormant without eating or drinking. Now, during the Awakening of Insects season, as the weather gets warmer, the soil becomes soft, and the hibernating insects feel the yang energy of Spring, break the original dormant state, and come out of the soil to move around with bursts of Spring thunder.

We are not insects. As practitioners of life cultivation (holistic wellness) we are in one with Nature, and we learn from Nature.

For us, the Awakening of Insects contains a deeper meaning – to move with the times, to act in response to the situation; to break through obstacles and awaken life. These are the two major practices in life that we follow to bring life enlightenment into our life for health and happiness.

01 Move with the times and respond to the situation

As a human being, we should be able to bend and stretch. When the fortune is bad, we will be silently dormant and accumulate strength. When the environment improves, we will follow the trend and forge ahead.

The Book of Changes says:

A gentleman hides his weapon on his body and uses it when the time comes.

When the timing is unclear, we do not act rashly. However we cannot wait passively and waste time in vain. Otherwise, when the time comes, there is no possibility of taking off.

Zhang Liang helped the emperor of the Han Dynasty to succeed in establishing the dynasty. He hibernated for nine years before the chaos at the end of the Qin Dynasty, cultivating his mind and accumulating knowledge. It is these accumulations that led to his subsequent strategizing and decisive victory for the Han Dynasty.

King Zhuang of Chu once said:

The purpose of not spreading your wings for three years is to grow your wings; not flying or singing is to observe the attitude of the people. Although you have not yet flown, once you fly, you will surely soar into the sky; Although you have not emitted a sound, once you sing, you will amaze the people.

Silently dormant in order to soar into the sky one day.

In the long Winter, everything accumulates its own strength in the cold. As soon as Spring comes, the snakes and insects wake up, the vegetation sprouts, and the energy accumulated all Winter will burst out immediately. The bleak Winter day turned into a vibrant Spring within a few days.

It is the same with people. Only when we calm down and study silently, can we have the opportunity to accumulate knowledge.

02 Breaking the barriers and awakening life

Awakening of Insects is from deep sleep to awakening. Life also needs to move from obsession to awakening. Behind this awakening is a big turn-around called the Wang Yangming Moment.

Wang Yangming aspired to become a saint when he was a child, and he studied hard all his life and never slack off so that he could achieve his goal.

After being demoted by the Emperor to a remote place called Longchang, he still studied the Book of Changes hard, hoping that God could give him some inspiration. Later, while in the sarcophagus, he suddenly understood that self-sufficiency, not seeking externality is the Way. He became a saint immediately.

This is the awakening of life.

Somehow in our lives, we are always seeking outward, seeking fame, fortune, and status, but human hearts are infinite and desires are infinite. These things often do not bring long-term satisfaction, but more easily lead to deep emptiness.

Sakyamuni was born in a noble family and was the prince of a country with a beautiful wife, a beautiful palace, and supreme status. But he resolutely became a monk, enlightened under the bodhi tree, and founded Buddhism.

After enlightenment, Sakyamuni said:

All living beings have the wisdom and virtue of the Tathagata, but they cannot be proved because of delusion and persistence.

It is exactly the same as Wang Yangming’s enlightenment.

Whether it is the wisdom of Buddhism or the wisdom of mind learning, they all emphasize inner seeking.

Yang Jiang said in his later years:

The world is our own and has nothing to do with others.

People in this world are obsessed, always looking for fame and fortune outside, hoping to fill the emptiness inside. As everyone knows, the human heart is self-sufficient. One thought is heaven, and another thought is hell. As long as there is no disturbance in our heart, it is natural for us to be calm and peaceful.

If it is said that “moving with the times and acting according to the situation” is the wisdom of entering the world; then “breaking the obstacles and awakening life” is the true meaning of being out of the world.

The ancients said:

Do the things of entering the world with the heart of being out of the world.

Thus, we can achieve a career in this world, but we must maintain a detached state of mind without being too entangled.

These are two great practices in life, and they are also wisdom worth learning for a lifetime.

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