Awakening Dragon Taoism is about how to live gracefully.
So this means
- Using ideals found in Taoism as the baseline on how to approach a day. Kindness, compassion, modesty, nonjudgement (striving not to be first), pu, wu wei, open awareness, working with our stories, etc.
- The actual framework & core for Awakening Dragon Taoism is to let each person strive and use their essence (our heart) as the guiding principle for their life. Awakening Dragon Taoism is geared to give tools, community, and ideals to assist each person to grow with their heart.
This is confusing since in many religions people think there is a common single core practice that has to be met or held, as a common belief or set of actions or way to see things. This isn’t the case in awakening dragon. The common core is we respect each person’s essence, including our own essence.
- Coming together as a collective of teachers (since we all have something to offer). Nonjudgement is critical for this. Since with judgment, people force their teachings on each other. Using nonjudgement means teachings become “mixed plate” in nature, and people can pick and choose freely from what we each have to offer, without feeling disappointed or feeling like there is something to prove in teaching.
- We offer practices such as Qi Gong, Meditation, and similar practices.
The practices in many religions are confused to be the religion itself. This is not the case, rather practices exist to support each practitioner have healthy lives. To support the heart/core essence to continue to grow. Since spirit represents the Movement of life. it means these practice are often considered to spiritual practices because they focus on helping a person move more gracefully thru life.
- Using modern terms to better work with older terms. For instance, I re-translate “Striving not to be first” to be “Non-Judgement”, OR Being a “true human” as being “working with our stories.”
Awakening Dragon Taoism and Other Taoist Lineages
I am honored to be working with everyone here in the Awakening Dragon Community to explore life and watch it evolve as a framework for growth, as a community and helping each other explore our lives.
The reason I write this is to help clarify what Awakening Dragon Taoism is as Taoism grows in the west. You see there is going to be confusion about Taoism since Taoism is changing and evolving. Here is a wonderful article talking about Taoism in Hawaii as an example
This article is an excellent example of how Taoism is evolving. It also shows the differences between Taoism as integrated into Chinese culture compared to how Taoism gets practice in new places outside of China. For example, I do teach Taoism with minimal Chinese Cultural aspects on purpose. I have done this since the West isn’t China. Taoism is changing and evolving to fit into new cultures, and in that, we will get new variations of Taoism. It does mean we can pick and choose to use the best of what Taoism has to offer to help live a more graceful life.
The article referenced above is also correct about there being all too many new age offshoots. Yes, some will consider what I am doing as new age only because Awakening Dragon Taoism is different: different doesn’t make a practice new age.. The problem with new age is that new age doesn’t take into account practical day to day truths of our stories and references. New Age tries to leap beyond and ahead what people consider as their normal life. Taoism embraces exploring human life as the baseline. In reflection Old Age Traditional practices have the reverse problem they focus too much in the past and don’t take into account new changes in society and current events. New Age looks too much ahead, and Old Age looks too much behind. Awakening Dragon focuses in the here and now but also teaches about how to explore your potential. It is this teaching about the potential we have that will confuse people into thinking this might be a new age practice.
Awakening Dragon Taoism is neither New Age Taoism nor Old Age Traditional Taoism. It has a balanced approach to give us a chance to better adjust to the realities of our times while mixing in the Graceful parts of older wisdom. This also explains why I am putting together Awakening Dragon very slowly and not getting too out there or vocal about it. Things become new age when you push them too fast that it grows beyond reasonable words. As a result, we are building Awakening Dragon Taoism slowly and modestly, to Taoist ideals, so it doesn’t lose it’s core ideals. Awakening Dragon has been growing slowly for over 14 years and it will continue to slowly evolve for decades to come.
Patience is a guiding principle within Awakening Dragon Taoism. We are not in a rush to get to any one destination fast, because the destination is to live our lives fully. The process of growing Awakening Dragon out gracefully, is part of the fun of being a practitioner in Awakening Dragon. We all shape it equally, patiently and with our hearts. It’s a very democratic philosophy/religion: not in voting but by our actions shaping it as a community and yet encouraging each person to be freely themselves.
I started awakening dragon with various baselines from Taoism, but the cultural aspects are added in later by how we practice and explore it. It gets added in by everyone over time, a pinch here and a pinch there as people figure out bits that work for their life. It’s a dynamic process you can’t out think or write down on paper, but rather live in our collective actions.
I have lived my entire life to Taoist ideals, and I have lived in the west. I have had to adapt and use the best of what Taoism has to offer and use it live a graceful and amazing life. I started to teach this because other people started coming to me to get help. Over time the teachings grew and became optimize to work even better. From there it has continued to grow into Awakening Dragon Taoism and a new community itself.
It is a step at a time, learning how to live to our essence and for us, that is our Taoist practice.