In Living Stay Close To The Ground And To Your Roots In The Biosphere


“The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.
Thus it is like the Tao.

In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don’t try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.

When you are content to be simply yourself
and don’t compare or compete,
everybody will respect you.”

Tao te Ching’ by Lao-tzu, translation by Steven Mitchell

Hi folks,

Chez Ollie View from our hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii. We have found somewhere closer to the ground for the rest of our stay, even though the people here have been very nice.

I often wonder about our existence, and how in geological time we kind of popped out of the Biosphere, from the sea and/or the ground, to run around for our brief lives that seem so important to us, which of course they are to us, and then to disappear back where we came from. It must look odd from the earth’s perspective, but from the earth we come and back to the earth we go, which is reflected in the advice of Lao-tzu, in the Tao te Ching, the one book that has helped me the most in my life, via the translation by Steven Mitchell.

This translation of the large original volume, into eighty-one pithy poems, provides compact guidance on life.

Tao te ching translation by Steven Mitchell

My favorite book of all books because it has helped me with my life so much.

Take, for instance, the advice on family life, where you are instructed to be completely present. So simple, but so difficult, with all the distractions of one’s job, entertainment systems, and the thoughts and worries of a busy life, plus outside interests and relationship challenges. Just remember this and read to your children or whatever it takes to be completely present.

In sports, or when undertaking safe exercise for better health, being completely present is also good advice. Don’t think about the outcome, just live the current swim stroke, pedal spin or run stride. I don’t mean analyze them all the time, live them! I have found that this works quite well when I can quieten my mind, and what better place to calm oneself than surrounded by nature.  Knowing your place in the universe is actually great solace, making sense of many things, including death itself. No death, no life! Letting old ideas die is another critical path to learning and living, without which you stay stuck in the past. Not a place that I want to spend my life.


-k @FitOldDog



  1. “For whatever lives in time
    that present proceeds from past into the future
    and nothing is established in time
    which could embrace the entire space of its life
    but in fact it does not yet apprehend tomorrow
    while it has already lost yesterday;
    in life today you do not live more fully
    than in that passing and transitory moment…”

    Severus Boethius; “The Consolation of Philosophy”

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.