✨ Wellness Wisdom vol.40: bit by bit, then all at once

a poem

Welcome to Wellness Wisdom - A newsletter for the thoughtful by Patricia Mou. A medley of resources and thoughts on wellness start-ups, personal development, mental health and philosophy.

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Hello thoughtful humans!

Today marks the 40th issue 🙌

All I can say is thank you. i’m not sure why you stuck around to go down so many rabbit holes with a rando person on the internet, but I appreciate it.

I wanted to share a poem I wrote recently - my 1st one ever actually.

It’s the culmination, or rather a checkpoint, of a deeper spiritual journey i’m on to understand wtheck consciousness is and the point of it all. Ya know, like why we’re here, what is even real, etc etc. CASUAL.

(lol) but honestly, it’s a bit scary sharing this and I have no idea why. Maybe because it’s so “out there” and right-brained?

But yolo. In the spirit of Wellness Wisdom being my safe authentic place, I think future me will appreciate this digital artifact of a curious former self.

bit by bit, then all at once

Patricia Mou

What if finding what is true
Is just dissolving everything
that is untrue
Until all we’re left with is
a vast purified space

And so it goes
We cocoon ourselves
with all types of egoic outfits
Ideas, stories, identities, beliefs
Some our own, most of them others
Each replacing the next
In an insatiable quest around
the gaping black hole
that sits at the core

Candles we light
to ward off the ensuing darkness

Afraid of our nothingness
We grasp for anything
Naked at the bottom of the pit
we seek comfort in company
The blind lead the blind
in group transcendence, at self’s expense
Meaning over absurdity, purchased and borrowed

We substitute one untruth for another
In quicksand, we struggle
Until the burden is too immense to go on
Collapsing inwards
Bit by bit
Then all at once

A jolt pierces through the seams
of our carefully spun tapestry
The blackest despair
Becomes our most honest moment
A thread is unraveled
as Truth peeks in

We awake from the slumber
As it’s still ongoing
Lucid dreaming in reverse
We peer across the vast landscape
and see
for the first time
what’s been in plain sight
Talking heads and hero journeys
Realized, yet alone
We retreat to safety

But the tattered fabric can’t be mended
The struken bell can’t be unrung
When our clothes stop fitting
We realize the journey
can only be taken alone

Until finally the day comes
We quietly place our clothes by the water
And walk away from the desert mirage
Returning to our world
To be in it
But not of it

Naked yet one
The seam effacing itself
Into a vast purified space

Bit by bit

Then all at once

I was dreaming that I was a butterfly
fluttering happily.

Suddenly, I awoke—

Now, I wonder who I am—
A man who dreamed he was a butterfly,
or a butterfly dreaming it is a man.

Chuang Tzu

Too lazy to be ambitious,
I let the world take care of itself.
Ten days worth of rice in my bag;
a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.

Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
Listening to the night rain on my roof,
I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.


When the mind is at peace,
the world too is at peace.

Nothing real,
nothing absent.

Not holding on to reality,
not getting stuck in the void,

You are neither holy nor wise,
just an ordinary fellow
who has completed his work.

Layman P’ang

Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise.

Seek what they sought.


The great path has no gates, thousands of roads enter it.
When you pass through this gateless gate
you walk the universe alone.


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I’m Patricia and have a full-time job but curate this newsletter in my free time as a labor of love.

This newsletter is free because I believe everyone deserves to have access to wellness resources. If you want to support this publication, join me down the rabbit hole 🕳🐇.