What is Tao?
Let’s get to a fast start: here are two definitions for Tao.
- Way, path, a style of living and even the flow of the universe.
- Each unknown element that we face in life.
Taoism as a practice teaches a person ways of growing stronger against the unknown.
Embracing Tao is all about learning to extend your awareness with a wandering style of approach. So wander to explore the hundreds of teaching articles here on our site. Discover that Taoism is never about the destination, rather it’s about experiencing life within a journey.
Exploring Taoism is also learning to understand your own heart and see all the connections of life. As you explore a Personal Tao use the materials here to help you understand these connections around you. I take time to rest within our online Zen Garden when needing a moment of peace.
The starting point in understanding Tao is accepting yourself.
What is A Personal Tao?
Taoism is more than a philosophy or religion. A Personal Tao is defined by how you flow with your essence. Essence is about how you live fully to your style and not let outside stories limit you.
These teachings will reinforce your faith and steps towards living to your inner nature rather than a premade shape society tries to impress upon your form. Learn to be strong and flexible. Please be an active participant in your own life, to experience life with a richness of actions and to Always Dream Even When Awake. If you need help, we are here to help. Julie, Mina and I have helped thousands of people already, and we will be around if you need some guidance overcoming challenges in your own life.
Heaven and Hell are not after life
Heaven and Hell are within life.
It’s in movement we create joy.
It’s in despair we cement walls.
Leap beyond judgment.
Reveal, peel apart & feel poetry
Moving around every barrier
Overflowing to your own nature.
Never regret action
as the past lies
in fleeting memories.
To live, eternally, now
within the way… in Tao…
of exploring possibility.
The secret to life is…
Simply being true to yourself
Within a smile
Looking upon each day,
with the new wonder it deserves.
The Tao’s definition always slips around words because how we see life is also constantly shifting. This means the Tao is both indefinable and yet by living our life fully we can then discover our own Personal Tao.
The Tao is about 10,000 things and is truly about being yourself.
The practice of Taoism is to flow with life.
Chapter 3 - Tao
Science is fact
Religion is faith
Magic is perception
Know these boundaries to discover what lies beyond.
What is Tao?
The Tao cannot be described, yet a person will express it simply by being alive.
It is possible to list definitions from the dictionary, from various documents. Each definition: a set of words echoing reality. Living to the Tao is not a summarization found within the mathematics of word play. Poetry, philosophy, literature all offer only helpful guidance but never the actual Tao. A simple analogy would be swimming under the water. It’s possible to read about snorkeling or diving, but until diving under the water, feeling the pressure, experiencing undersea life, having lungs squeeze outside-in yet feeling inside-out from pushing down as deeply as you can dive, only to resurface to feel a sudden gasp of wet air… all of this is an idea approximated by a reader but only grasped by the experiencer. When the last line was read by a friend of mine, she said: “but when you snorkel the pressure doesn’t feel like that”. Surprised, I asked her if she ever dove to about 25 feet while snorkeling, she said no, at which moment we both realized how personal the experience becomes due to differences in the path taken. This example touches why discovering the Tao is a personal, living experience.
The key to writing and reading this comes down to the following chain of thought: Words are never about the Tao, words are always about us. Sometimes to understand ourselves, we need to write aloud a personal truth as it is human nature and hence the Tao to do so. Reflections in this document become one possible outline to help myself be… myself while giving others a chance to comment and contemplate their own personal situation. This then becomes a circular process between author, reader, and everyone involved to help define and discover their own Personal Tao.
Move, tumble, stumble, spin poetry, swirl, dance.
The Personal Tao is about self-discovery.
To learn Tao-ism: is to listen to the world itself.
Zen isn’t Tao-ism but the two traditions walk along a similar path. The lessons for Tao-ism are all around you. Yes at times a teacher like myself will help a person when they stumble or are confused. Always remember, teachers are optional, the world is always present for us to work against. All too often people get lost within teachings simply because they allow the teachings of the “ism” to override the connection to the world itself. All too often in being literal, a person will let ancient disconnected and dusty words obscure the realities of what might be happening in the here and now. All too often seekers get disconnected from the living world in the chase of ideas and goals. Tao-ism is very clear on this trap and reminds us to keep personal awareness open to the flows of life.
Words have the power to remind us of hidden traps, but we must use our awareness to move with the actively shifting landscape of life also gracefully.
Study the lessons, but live in the world
A Taoist path is paved with awareness in how you step and then is smoothed out by working with the flow of life around us.
The sound of your footsteps is never captured by a book so do look around to see, listen and feel how your steps touch life around you.
Tao is the way and the “ism” are your steps…
Tao–ism: The way of your steps. What book ever captures your life? (except maybe only in retrospect)
When people ask me how I learned Tao-ism, I laugh and always say:
“The river was my teacher”.
And I am still dancing with her today with every movement I make.
Look into the morning dew
Finding a soul’s shape
Reflected in your footsteps