Constancy - 恆定 - Héngdìng
Sunlight passing through falling snow;
the illusion of fire, hidden in ice.
Bare trees on the horizon, stark reminders
of a cold winter ahead.
A skinny fox darts across the ice
in search of prey, or play.
~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao
Wherever we are, the flow of Tao is constantly present. We see the natural cycles of the world, the juxtaposition of sunlight and snow. We witness the ongoing rhythm of life: the waterfowl begin their trek south, the squirrels prepare a stockpile for a long winter, and the fox finds both kinds of prey quite appetizing. Spring is still a ways off, but the leafless trees stand in anticipation of warmer weather. All things are subject to change, all things move constantly. The world is like a mighty wheel, turning since the beginning of time, and continuing irrespective to our current position. All things will come to be, in their own time.
Just as a groundhog sits motionless, in the moving of the seasons, we too should try to look inside our souls and absorb time. Within all movement, the groundhog takes the time to be still. Within the changing of spring, we must take time to realize the constancy of devotion.
No matter how much is going on outside of the self, one must still reaffirm what is in the heart, taking comfort in the regularity of one's pulse. What works in the shelter of the home, or temple, works everywhere. Only when we possess such constancy, can we know that our quest is successful.