Beware of stupid white men, crafting commentaries of commentaries, without ever having marinated in the eight-one chapters of the Tao Te Ching! For like blind guides, the very method with which they teach the Tao, ignores its tenants. Lao Tzu’s opus magus is a love letter to the path of yin; warning us of its opposite. That yang’s way of rigidity, fear, controlling tendencies, elitism, competition, and cruelty will (eventually) foil our fondest dreams, while making a reality
How could the Dao allow Covid to globally proliferate, mutate, kill, and disable? Simple, it is not a celestial Santa Clause come to lavish us with every goody. It’s simply Yin’s path of centered spontaneity; the middle point between Yang’s two extremes of being scattered or controlling. Like most plagues Covid 19 is a zoonotic disease, spreading from animal hosts to humans. As such it is a screaming indictment against the exploitive tendencies of yang’s rigidity, fear, contr
The air is crisp, daylight savings time has come to an end, and a number of men across the globe have chosen celibacy for the entirety of November. Proponents of this practice claim it enhances longevity, health, vitality, charisma, as well as good fortune. But they fail to mention how it fuels neurosis. A thorough reading of the Tao Te Ching reminds us that the rigidity, fear, and controlling tendencies of yang’s path is neither beneficial nor sustainable. If you want your s
Purveyors of “the Secret” exhort us to set intention, sculpt imagination, and bend the universe to our will; all in contrast to Lao Tzu’s advice. The sage does not actively visualize, and his only intention is to master the path of going with the flow. With each inhalation his sympathetic nervous system is wired to vulnerably, passively, viscerally, and spontaneously NOTICE whatever “comes up” in the present moment; be it perception, emotion, intention, cognition, recollectio
The Tao Te Ching is rather insistent about going with the flow, but what is that? When we are in the zone, our choices, utterances, and deeds could feel as if they are flowing in a centered and spontaneous manner (as if, as Stephen Mitchell translates in the 22nd chapter, we’re being “lived BY the Tao”). How is this other than clinical disassociation? Mindfulness! We still perceive sensations, flavors, scents, sounds, sights, emotions, intentions, cognitions, recollections, a
In the 1990’s I stumbled upon Fritjof Capra’s “The Tao of Physics.” Could there also be a Tao of Romance, for it, too, is mysterious and puzzling? A reoccurring theme in the Tao Te Ching is that the web of life, with all its needs, desires, complications, and complexities could best be navigated by neither indulging our controlling tendencies, nor by scattered bumbling, but rather by allowing our choices, utterances, and deeds to lovingly flow from through centered spontaneit
A Zen Roshi explained “You cannot change your company, but you can make things a little better.” and in that statement we see three errors that have wreaked havoc in our spiritual communities. LINGUISTICES – many communicate, NOT to ensure that the listener understands their message, BUT to seem wiser than they really are, by being unnecessarily enigmatic. This is often done by blending metaphoric and literal statements without clearly indicating that they’re changing gears.