Archives for category: Culture

“Fogwaves surge updown

Sunlight and mountainsnow vie

Which wins? Motion does”

I enjoy Haikus and I write one almost every day.  Their form and function, though they are of Japanese origin, reflect the simplicity of Taoist observation as we  move through our lives, in all of its moments, on a mundane basis.  In fact, at their very roots, before so many different schools of Buddhism and Taoism emerged, Zen and Tao were very much at one with each other in philosophy and practice.  I highly recommend the book, The Tao of Zen, by Ray Grigg, who gives an historical account of the very close relationships between pure Zen and pure Tao before they became indoctrinated into all sorts of cultural ritual permutations.

I wrote this Haiku at sunset after a day and a morning of heavy snow breaking into a clear sky afternoon and, eventually, a stunning sunset inside of which I found myself struck in silence by the ethereal movement of fog rhythmically descending and ascending a mountain slope as the thermals changed and ebbed and flowed.  Their intimate, dancing dynamic was reflected in the oceanic movements of the fog.

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th-6Based on the philosophical and practice principles of the Tao I laid out in my last post, I am offering here just some simple exercises of play I discovered over the years, born out of my own, daily, mundane activities.

The first I developed while still living and pursuing a highly successful professional life in Boston, where I studied with my SiFu in the Taoist meditative, martial and medicinal arts.  He was just one of many I knew there, but he stood prominently at the core of my studies for over 10 years.

The second was born out of my explorations in an environment in which I chose to live at a more humble, simple and naturally-oriented way long after I left the confining perks and financial contrivances of my “professional” life.  Trade-offs always occur in our choices and I gave away the prestige of position for a more authentically personal one.  Yes, I now live at an economic level far below the one I left, but I inhabit a place and time whose riches I have not even begun to mine fully.  The thrill of a larger reward of experience now is far and away worth the “sacrifice” I made to do so.

th-2Like the children depicted here, play is spontaneous and individually invented.  Here, a group of boys has decided to play a game of cricket in between abandoned railroad tracks.  Who knows why they chose this venue over any others – that’s just the serendipity of humanity and that serendipity should be honored and appreciated.  It is what makes us all human: whose core base I assume to be curiosity, inventiveness and enthusiasm for being in the world to our fullest extent.  These boys are obviously, completely, inside their game and should be applauded for all of the originality that led them to this moment, in this captured photo.

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Yes, I have been quiet for a while.  That is the Taoist way – do not speak until the urge moves you.

I have done so over there, at my other website:  sistertongue.wordpress.com.

See you if you choose to fly over.

I’ll be here with you soon.

amelia

I met a woman this morning with whom I had a very long, interesting conversation – the kind that drifts in and around and through many subjects, has no boundaries regarding strict schedules and no need to rush off somewhere else and which leaves us with an internal sense of renewed creativity and curiosity about our own small worlds.  Such talks inspire our positive sense of light and excitement and an expanded state of possibilities.

This is why I don’t spend much time with busy, “heavily-scheduled” people.  Their busyness is, ultimately, a bore, engaged in by superficial boors.  I’d rather spend time with something and/or someone outside of time constraints, a bit nutty and allowing for things to naturally unfold, just like this woman and the man (the fabulous Jackie Chan, master of both the ridiculously slapstick and the beautiful martial artistry of life) here in the photo.  These are my people.

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As we begin to approach the idea and physical event of December 12, 2012, I find a need to address the increasing anxieties, terrors, ecstatic blisses and stories of the alleged arrival of the next messiah that are exponentially growing out of this much-anticipated event.

All orientations to The Event, whether of fear and doom and gloom or silly notions proposed by New Agers that we are all going to transform into a new level of abundance and kindergarten levels of “happy happy joy joy” nonsense, are born out of an externally-oriented locus of control.  Some are “prepping” for the impending disaster and hiding out in underground bunkers.  Others are holding sharing circles meditating on and believing that our planet is going to morph into a purple star.  All attempts to put forth theories of what will happen are simply left-brained attempts to control the future, which none of us can do.  That is up to the Great Divine herself, whether embodied in her larger self as the ever-changing cosmos, or here in her smaller earthly manifestation within the creative, transformative wombs of all women.

Our work is to enter into the unknown.

The Unknown, that which cannot be named but which we know as true, lies at the heart of the study of the Tao.  It is our acceptance of the Unknown, the Inexplicable Wonder, that divides the children from the adults,  the kindergartners from the truly aware,  the boys and girls from the men and women of life.  In every case, the latter are the spiritual warriors/sages of our times and it would behoove us all to discern and look to the latter for guidance as we proceed forward in our adventures of the mysteries of life.

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I seem to be stumbling across a number of articles these days that express, far more beautifully than I can, my own philosophical orientation to life and the need to return to a very vital, sacred part of human nature which has been lost to the commodifying, consumerist culture that has, over time, impoverished our spiritual selves. This is what I wish we all could do for our children and ourselves. It is called:  Remember Your Song http://www.earth-heal.com/index.php/news/news-for-an-earth-in-tranition/64-the-joy-of-being/494-song.html

I posted this on my other website:  sistertongue.wordpress.com and decided to re-post it here because it captures so much of what the Tao is all about.  There is, indeed, a song that sings within everyone of us.  Or a dance, which is what the Tai Chi, Chi Gung, Ba Gua are.  Whether song or dance, preferably a combination of the two, they are about rhythm and cadence and patterning – the yin, right-brain wisdoms of the human brain that have been so over-ridden by the fearful, yang qualities of the linear, concrete and hierarchical machinations of the left-brain.

Without the holy, sacred union of the two, humanity will never achieve it’s Higher Mind.

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When conducted correctly, with honor and respect, the Tao allows us to come together in a sense of belonging to something far larger than our individual selves.  This is the essence of building a “family” of dedication that encompasses many different individuals, lifestyles and orientations to the world.  At it’s best, it inspires joy, movement, laughter, a sense of shared involvement and the lifting up and building of our collective and individual chi energies.

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