The master stays behind (Bali, Indonesia)

We are in Sanur (Bali, Indonesia). We walk beside the ocean.

From the Tao te Ching (Chapter 7):

“The master stays behind;

that is why she is ahead.

She is detached from all things;

Because she has let go of herself,

She is perfectly fulfilled.”

We walk in the wind — how can the master get ahead by staying behind?


Lao tsu stays behind figuratively – practicing non-doing. Of course, when you practice “non-doing,” you will find that your mind is still active — so this is a type of meditation.


Most people focus on doing. Lao tsu suggests “non-doing” —  staying behind.

What is non-doing? Sitting, doing nothing — yet, thoughts, sensations, emotions come up.

We eat lunch.

Getting ahead means focusing on the future. Meditation means being in the present moment.

Focus on the breath, for example.

I look at images of guardian spirits — beings who drive away evil spirits.

If you look inside yourself, you notice thoughts, sensations, emotions. Some are positive, some negative, some neutral. You can take note of this and return your awareness to your breath.

Bring your awareness to a focus of attention — such as the breath.

The mind has the quality of restlessness. Flags wave in the wind. I look at the beach on the right….and see a temple on the left. Bali is interesting in the way tourism is mingled with local Hindu practices.

Most tourists take tours that involve riding in a car or bus to the large temples.

A street vendor prepares food.



I walk past souvenir vendors.


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