Whether or not we name it, we all seek a balance between the moving parts of our lives. We strive for agreement between our physical and spiritual worlds. Yet, too often we find ourselves incapable of summoning this state of being. Why?
There is a place whose people have been on a never-ending quest to achieve a concord between life’s jagged puzzle pieces. And some believe they have found its secrets.
Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong: three pearls in one exquisite setting. Each distinct, yet bound together by a cultural veneration of harmony. Just as a wick needs a flame, some of us can’t live without exploring our existence, and I inevitably find myself turning to the East and the wisdom of the Ancients in search of the roots of the human desire for harmony.
Harmony implies balance and the ability to integrate different elements into a pleasing unity. It incorporates the Chinese concept of Yin and Yang, opposite forces that come together to form a whole.
Chinese philosophers and religious leaders have long honored harmony as an ideal. Confucius, the great Chinese thinker, spoke of “harmony without uniformity.” He taught that the world is full of differences and contradictions, but that righteous people should try to balance them to achieve a vital equilibrium.
Taoists believe that by following practices that achieve balance in daily life, they gain harmony with the universe. And the Buddha said that for the enlightened one, harmony is his joy, his delight and his love.
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Watch the new PBS special, “Richard Bangs’ Adventures with Purpose: The Pearl River Delta-Quest for Harmony” airing now nationally. Check local listings.