Taoism

"The Tao Does Not Command" by Raymond M. Smullyan (excerpt) THE TAO IS SILENT



That is another thing so nice about the Tao; it is not bossy! It loves and nourishes all things but does not lord it over them. Thus the Tao is something purely helpful—never coersive!

In the Judeo-Christian notion of God, one thing which is so rigidly stressed is
obedience to God! The great sins are “disobedience, rebellion against God, pride, self-will”, etc. The Christians are constantly stressing the infinite importance of “total surrender of one’s will to God”. They say, “Let thy will, not mine, be done”…

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"The Dao of Chinese Insight Calligraphy" by Bio Sattva

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"The fundamental philosophical principle of yin and yang is reflected in every aspect of Chinese calligraphy. [...] The study of Chinese calligraphy is not only a study of Chinese writing. In many ways, it is also a study of Chinese philosophy and the Chinese worldview. Aesthetic principles and standards are rooted in cultural and philosophical tenets, and Confucianism and Daoism form the basis of Chinese culture. Of the two Daoism has the stronger influence on art. It is no exaggeration to say that Daoism, from its place at the core of Chinese culture, is the spirit of Chinese art. Many characteristics of Chinese calligraphy reflect Daoist principles." - Wendan Li, Chinese Writing & Calligraphy (University of Hawai‘i Press. 2009), p175

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"You can buy the ink, the rice paper, the brush, but if you don't cultivate the art of calligraphy, you can't do calligraphy." - Vietenamese Zen teacher and mindful calligrapher, Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power (2007), p81

"The Zen way of calligraphy is to write in the most straightforward, simple way as if you were a beginner, not trying to make something skillful or beautiful, but simply writing with full attention as if you were discovering what you were writing for the first time; then your full nature will be in your writing. This is the way of practice moment after moment." - Richard Baker Roshi, Introduction,
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (1995), p14.

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"PHILOSOPHY OF THE TAO" by Alan Watts

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The subject of this seminar is going to be Taoism as contained in the teachings of Lao-Tzu and Chuang Tzu who lived approximately 400 years or more before Christ, separated probably by 100 years from each other. And as is often repeated, Lao-Tzu started out by explaining that "The Tao which can be explained is not the eternal Tao," and then went on to write a book about it, also saying "Those who say do not know; those who know do not say." Because there's nothing to be explained. You must remember that the word "explain" means to lay out in a plane. That is, to put it on a flat sheet of paper…

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"Abiding in the Tao" (excerpt) THE TAO IS SILENT by Raymond M. Smullyan

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In the Judeo-Christian religions, one hears much of “fear of God” and “love of God”—also “obedience to God”. In early Chinese Taoism, one speaks not so much in terms of “love of Tao”—and certainly not “fear of Tao”!—but rather of “being in harmony with the Tao”.

Fear of Tao is completely ludicrous! Tao loves and nourishes all things, but does not lord it over them! Tao is something totally friendly and benevolent—friendly to
all beings, not just those who believe in it or “accept it as their Savior!” …

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Dialogue Between God and a Mortal (excerpt) THE TAO IS SILENT by Raymond M. Smullyan

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Mortal:
   And therefore, O God, I pray thee, if thou hast one ounce of mercy for this thy suffering creature, absolve me of having to have free will!
God:
   You reject the greatest gift I have given thee?
Mortal:
   How can you call that which was forced on me a gift? I have free will, but not of my own choice. I have never freely chosen to have free will. I have to have free will, whether I like it or not!
God:
   Why would you wish not to have free will?
Mortal:
   Because free will means moral responsibility, and moral responsibility is more than I can bear!
God:
   Why do you find moral responsibility so unbearable?…

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"Private "I," Private Property" (excerpt) THE TAO OF ABUNDANCE by Laurence Boldt

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The primary or original consciousness, the Tao—the innate intelligence of the universe—is there all the while, whether we are aware of it or not. The man who has amnesia has not become someone else—he has simply forgot-1 ten who he is. In the Western world, which is today (in a cultural sense) ] most of the world, we have a collective amnesia regarding the unnameable Tao—we have lost touch with a consciousness that is prior to the ego. It is j not only that we have failed to open the Wisdom Eye; we have forgotten that it even exists. As a result, the field of consciousness available to us is limited to that defined by the ego…

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The Tao of Forgiveness (excerpt) Story 5- "Benefit or Harm?" by William Martin

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Once, long ago in ancient China, a drought of many years' duration was bringing great misery to a small province. Year after year the people of the province waited for the rainy season to come and bring the needed nurture for the rice crop. Each year the season produced very little rain and the rice crop dwindled. Many were on the verge of starvation. Indeed, some elderly people had died of illnesses brought on by their hunger-weakened condition.
The people turned to the superstitions of their ancestors in an attempt to influence the rain…
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"Myth of Myself" (excerpt) The Tao of Philosophy by Alan Watts

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...Generally speaking, we have two kinds of consciousness. One I will call the "spotlight," and the other the "floodlight." The spotlight is what we call conscious attention, and we are trained from childhood that it is the most valuable form of perception. When the teacher in class says, "Pay attention!" everybody stares, and looks right at the teacher. That is spotlight consciousness; fixing your mind on one thing at a time…

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The Opposite of Taoism is Fascism (excerpt) by the Barefoot Doctor's Guide to the Tao

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Taoism essentially means to follow the path of least resistance while always maintaining respect and consideration for the welfare and freedom of all other beings. Fascism means to control the behavior of others and manipulate them to comply with your particular model of reality, by force if necessary. If you're particularly charismatic or plausible you can gather a following fairly easily because, perversely, many people like to be controlled by someone else. It makes them feel safe and for a while gives the illusion of having no responsibility for their lives. These unfortunates are the anti-warriors…

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CHENG-TAO-KO [Zhengdaoge] (C.); (J. Shodoka (J.); Song of Enlightenment, Song of Immediate Satori, Song of Realization, Song of the Realization of the Way, Odes on Enlightenment

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Verse 1 - There is the leisurely one ...

There is the leisurely one,
Walking the Tao, beyond philosophy,
Not avoiding fantasy, not seeking truth.
The real nature of ignorance is the Buddha-nature itself;
The empty delusory body is the very body of the Dharma….

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Wouldn’t It Be Nice if Christians Became Taoists?
"Hope for the Emerging Christian Church" By Bruce Epperly and Jay McDaniel

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The
emerging church in the West – the church of spiritual seekers who seek to share in the journey of Jesus but not impose it on others -- is already Taoist in tone.  What remains is for participants in this new and emerging church to turn eastward, learning from Asian Christians and the cultural traditions they bring with them, and thus learning to gentle their enthusiasm with the humility of stardust.  What remains is for them to realize that one of the best ways to “proclaim the gospel” is not to proclaim at all, but rather to travel a path of gentleness, which is its own proclamation, its own good news…

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Christ The Eternal Tao - (excerpt) by Hieromonk Damascene

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In modern Western society, many people turn away from the Christianity of their formative years because they find its truths smothered under an unreal kind of religiosity. They see that the people in the churches are not changing and becoming better, but rather are comforting themselves and each other la their unregenerate state. They find that the Spirit of the Western churches is, at its Core, little different from that of the world around them. Having removed from Christianity the Cross of inward purification, these churches have replaced a direct, intuitive apprehension of Reality and a true experience of God with intellectualism on the one hand and emotionalism on the other…

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"Introduction to Taoism" — (from EVERYDAY TAO) by Deng Ming Dao

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Following Tao means following a living path. It is a way of life that sustains you, guides you, and leads you to innumerable rich experiences. It is a spiritual path of joy and insight, freedom and profundity.
Tao is everywhere. It is literally the movement of all life. It is endless and flows in all directions. Since Tao is the total ongoing process of the universe, it makes sense to go along with it. If we swim in a river, we should make use of its current.
The study of Tao originated in China; its history spans thousands of years. Its methods, doctrines, and practices…

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"Yin-Yang Polarity" (excerpt) — Tao: The Watercourse Way by Alan Watts

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At the very roots of Chinese thinking and feeling there lies the principle of polarity, which is not to be confused with the ideas of opposition or conflict. In the metaphors of other cultures, light is at war with darkness, life with death, good with evil, and the positive with the negative, and thus an idealism to cultivate the former and be rid of the latter flourishes throughout much of the world. To the traditional way of Chinese thinking, this is as incomprehensible as an electric current without both positive and negative poles, for polarity is the principle that + and —, north and south, are different aspects of one and the same system, and that the disappearance of either one of them would be the disappearance of the system…

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"What, then, is the Tao, the Way that is its own goal?" (excerpt) THE WISDOM OF THE ZEN MASTERS by Irmgard Schloegl

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What, then, is the Tao, the Way that is its own goal? A ‘true man of the Way’ is another way of describing the ‘man who has nothing further to seek’, the ‘independent man of the Way’ who leans on nothing and who has the ‘single eye’ or has come to see clearly.

The classic Taoist text is the
Tao Te Ching, ‘The Way and its Virtue’ also translated as ‘The Way and its Power’. It is a short text, and perhaps no other of comparative length has been translated so often and so variously…

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"It Is a Direct Path" (excerpt) A Path and a Practice — William Martin

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Lao-tzu was neither a priest nor a follower of any religious belief system. He was a patient observer of the flow of life. He watched the wind move the clouds across the sky and the rain soak the earth. He watched rivers flow through wide valleys and tumble down mountain canyons. He watched the crane stand patiently by the lakeside, waiting on one leg until the water cleared to reveal a fish. He considered the contentment of the turtle sitting in the mud. He observed crops flourish one year and fail the next. He watched the seasons come and go. He saw the wonder of all things rising and falling, coming and going, living and dying. He came to understand that this wonder cannot be captured by words and concepts. It can be talked about, yet never captured. It can be thought about, yet never fathomed. It can only be experienced…

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"Introduction to Taoism" — (from 'SCHOLAR WARRIOR' ) by Deng Ming Dao

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Every generation seeks to define itself and to find a new way through life. Among people of each era, some have heard of the Tao and have sought to make it the basis for their path. The flexibility of Tao and the fact that it has served its adherents for centuries makes it an excellent precedent. Taoism provides a complete way of life that can be tailored to suit any individual. It incorporates an entire spectrum of techniques from the physical to the meditative. The Taoists want a comprehensive way of life that will help them survive, keep them vital and healthy, and provide an understanding of all the unknowns that haunt human existence…

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Mastering the Present Era of Private Property (excerpt from THE TAO OF ABUNDANCE) by Laurence G. Boldt

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In our modern commercial culture, we have effectively done away with all of this. The world of symbols is no longer the realm of artists yearning to lead us to transcendence, but of advertisers yearning to make a buck. The symbols they employ refer us back to the ego, not beyond it. The symbolic images of our daily lives are those supplied by the commercial media, which most recently have taken to employing even traditional symbols of transcendence in their efforts to promote consumption. Their purpose is to excite us to buy, and in order to do so, they must stimulate the feeling that we are lacking something, which ownership of the products being promoted will give us. As a consequence, our imaginative lives are filled with images that reinforce the illusion of ego, and are nearly devoid of those that ' point toward its transcendence.

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"TAO - Two Insights" — Alan Watts (TAO:THE WATERCOURSE WAY) and commentary by Bei Kuan-tu

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"Gender & Tao" by THETAO.COM

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"The Eternal Tao of the Transcendent Mystery" (excerpt) THE TAO OF ABUNDANCE) by Laurence Boldt

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In its eternal aspect, the Tao cannot be spoken of. Eternal means transcendent to time and space and, therefore, beyond the reach of the physical senses and the intellections of the mind. The Eternal Tao cannot be seen, tasted, or touched. It cannot be spoken of or reasoned about. It is a transcendent mystery. If we try to speak of it, we get jumbled up in words, and it comes out sounding like a paradox. We could say that the Eternal Tao exists, quite apart from existence, that It lives beyond life and death, or that It is and yet, both is and is not. Yet statements such as this communicate nothing unless one has experience of the transcendent, and if one has the experience, what point is there in talking about it?
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"Inexhaustible Source" (excerpt) THE CAREGIVER'S TAO TE CHING by William Martin

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