Each sound of
the temple bell is different
in the wind
Within a Zen Garden
A Taoist temple is centered upon where you are now.
Be welcomed to search.
I am happy now.
Evening temple bell
stopped in the sky
by cherry blossoms
Finding a Temple
We have a saying in the Taoist tradition:
The hermit lives in a cave
The great hermit lives in the city.
The temple is our life, is how we find peace and acceptance in how we live. Now, no matter where we might be.
The place to start is where you are: practice in a garden, state park or any spot that gives an edge of clarity within.
Our Taoist Temple has just started, I use it for teaching retreats and small Taoist circles. But our temple is also our home, and we practice living out of it. It will take decades to build it out fully. Any Westerner would look at the temple room, be unimpressed and mutter “That’s a sunroom” Yet for us: it’s the wonder-filled start of a new temple, the very center of our home. Since to have a temple: is to hold space that teaches a person how to hold the spirit. To have spirit is to move with your life…
Any temple is whole when filled by heart.
It’s not about structure, it’s the spirit and accepting wholeness we each have in being one…
In a sense, seekers go to famous temples or places where people have deposited parts of their heart over generations, to share in that heart. So again it’s not the structure but how a heart is “held” in that place which is the magic we call “temple”.
So the first challenge for any seeker is to embrace the sense of place and acceptance. All temples are one; all places are of spirit: we are all one in connection.
However: know this if you are seeking a “true” Taoist temple… it isn’t a place to discover in google maps. It’s a process of a quest to find and release into the spirit of being whole.
Most seekers don’t have the patience to let go into themselves to touch their own heart. Most seekers search for the heart in another place or teacher first. To try and capture that essence they find. The quest is always the truth of turning that search around completely to end in one’s own heart.
So that brings this discussion around full circle.
The great Hermit lives in the city.
Trust your heart, don’t chase answers, make sure to trust to a smile and the laughter of fellow travelers to point one truly. It isn’t about how hard, long or beautiful the journey is. Nor about what temple is discovered as being “the one”. It’s about embracing the joy of life itself, with kindness and your flare that makes the difference.
Peace in your journey.