November 4, 2014 at 4:26 am #43267
What is Taoism?
It is a vast subject so this will only be an introduction. Essentially and originally Taoism is not a religion but as the years passed Taoist monks found they needed financial support and the public would pay for rituals, prayers etc. Taoism is about each persons relationship with the Tao, the All. It is often called the watercourse way because it emphasizes softness, receptivity and relationships and is thus feminine. The Taoist Internal Arts have in their repertoire, Tai Chi, Dayan Chi Kung, Hsing I, Lok Hup Ba Fa, Pa Qua, Chi Kung, Internal Alchemy etc.
In order to find ones proper place in the Universe (relationship with the Tao) one must first find a proper relationship with oneself. In Taoist Health, disease often comes from a wrong relationship between the internal organs. One organ has either too much or too little energy; their yin and yang are not in balance. Taoist exercises aim at stretching the fascia that surrounds the organs so they can move. Then, by doing the form (Tai Chi etc) properly you massage the organs.
Each organ is connected with a meridian, a pathway for chi, energy. If these are blocked chi doesnt flow properly. There are exercises Taoism teaches and healing sounds and movements that open the meridians.
In a proper relationship with yourself your attitudes are important. How you think about yourself and how you think about others will affect the health of your body and how energy moves. If you always want to be the best in the class so you can shine you are out of balance for your ego is too heavy for right balance. If you always think of yourself first and wish to win you are out of balance in your relationships and this will affect your health.
You have to acquire compassion, love, humility and patience. These allow your body to acquire the energy of De, virtue.
Master Moy, my teacher, said that every move you make paints your state of consciousness. Your biography is reflected in your biology, your bodys health is and how you move. So, in Tai Chi, a change in your attitude will affect how you do a move. Changing your attitude will open up energy flow. This is something you dont hear in an exercise gym!
Therefore, to work on your body, it is not just enough to do exercise but you must work on your attitudes, to yourself and others.
To practise Taoism is to concern yourself with the world around you; not just the people, but all the animals, insects and plants that make up our world. Being concerned with relationships means just that.
So you become a lover of nature.
To work on attitude you also have to consider the structures in your mental body because there you will find the rigidity of concept that often determines an attitude. Structures in the mental body are determined often by heritage, family issues and cultural restraints.
You learn that to actually be yourself is extremely difficult, for you have all these voices from your parents, teachers, priests or cultural authorities telling you who you are and how to behave.
So if you want to get into a proper relationship with the Tao you have first of all to discover who the I really is that is coming to that relationship. If you dont do that, you will bring a whole truck load of not I with you and therefore there is no possibility of a proper relationship.
Internal Alchemy includes meditation which allows the mind to become quiet. It is a quiet and open mind that can focus on the internal energy processes and discover where you are blocked. As we are a holistic and unified energy system any block of energy anywhere in that system affects the energy flow throughout the system. There is no such thing as something that is just local. Everything is related. Any rigidity here affects flow elsewhere.
Taoism gives you a philosophical construction around which you can build a system of action. You do something because you expect results from that action. It gets you up in the morning and motivates you.
However as you progress it all becomes more open ended and the constructions you held so dearly in the beginning (beliefs etc) start to become flexible just as your body is becoming flexible. Finally all supportive conceptual constructs collapse and you accept the Mystery of life and allow that Mystery to live your life.
You have surrendered to the Tao.
Thus, ultimately, the path of Taoism is a path of gradually increasingly surrender, a discarding of all you thought you were, to which you egoistically clung and which, in fact, separated you from the All. The drop becomes the Ocean and you live the Peace that passeth Understanding.
It is a path of increasing energy, increasing Power and finally total surrender.
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