The middle way is very simple. Keep it simple, and you will find the balance you have been yearning for. All extremes are fear-based and destructive. Should you eat all the time? Well no, that would not be good for you. Should you stop eating all together? No, that would not be good for you. I could ask you the same questions around exercise, work, play, relationships and on and on. From science, we know that if you pull a pendulum 30 degrees to the right it will swing 30 degrees to the left. You do not need a philosopher to understand this.
Sometimes an extreme solution feels like a good idea. For example; if you are always alone, eat alone, go to movies alone, watch TV alone, and work alone, being in a relationship where you are together all the time may sound good to you. The reason it seems like a good idea is that you are living in the opposite extreme. However, if you then entered into that relationship, it would not be long until you needed your space. Learning to swing your pendulum less to the left or to the right is the middle way. The middle way is that place where you are not forcing or pushing against anything.
The energy is balanced. You must first realize that everything has its opposite. This means everything has a middle point as well. Awareness of this makes the middle way possible. When you stop swinging between the opposites, you will discover far more energy than you ever imagined. What takes others hours will start to take you minutes. The things that wear other people out will not even phase you. You will learn how to manage your energy efficiently.
I am saying that most of us waste tremendous energy on extremes. The inefficiency of your actions are determined by how off-center you are. When you spend lots of time trying to maintain an extreme, nothing moves forward. You get stuck in a rut. You become stuck working too hard or too little, eating too much, not sleeping, being depressed.
How do you find the middle way? How do you stop the pendulum from swinging back and forth so violently? Amazingly enough, you do this by leaving the pendulum alone. It will not keep swinging to extremes unless you feed the extremes with energy. Stop participating in the extremes, and your pendulum will come to center. You will be filled with energy because you have stopped wasting it on extremes.
This is quite different from how most people live. Someone cuts you off in traffic and you could be upset for an hour or more! If you are operating it the middle way, things happen and they pass. You do not get pulled into upset easily. Someone cuts you off in traffic and you feel pulled towards upset…then being aware, you open your heart, release and move on. Continuous upset is a signal that you are operating in an extreme. We all get out of balance. It can actually be a great way to discover the middle way.
Awareness of your emotions will keep you from being stuck. The middle way is blind. You cannot see where you are going – instead, you use your cane to feel where you shouldn’t go, thus finding your path.