Posted by: darien7743 | August 15, 2016

My Evolving Journey……on The Crooked Path of the Tao

Taoist or Not, read on. This is short……….or at least it’s short for me.

Recently I had the privilege of taking a Taoist class with Bill Martin, author, translator, teacher and founder of, “Taoist Living, with William Martin,” a website. Yup, He’s on Facebook also. The class  was called “Walking the Tao.”

Just as I finished, Bill published the class teachings in book form by the same name. It is a contemporary version, easy to understand, profound in it’s application and amazingly pertinent for 2016. I am a new student, Bill is the author of 11 books on the Tao and it’s application to modern life.

I first read a few verses in a copy of the Tao many years ago. It was a scholarly edition but spoke to my soul. I was skimming the book and was called away before looking at the title. I laid it down on a stool intending to read it again the next day. It wasn’t there when I returned and I never knew the name. I looked for that book with diligence for the next umpteen years and only found it again in 2012. It took me decades to learn the title and find a teacher. True Taoist teachers are few and far between. Usually scholars, teaching secular students is rare. Bill doesn’t approach the Tao as a religion or a philosophy so much as an active experience of life.

This Thursday he is hosting a Chat on Facebook at 4:30 PST, 1:30 EST, expected to last a short 2 hours. Anyone there can ask questions and he will respond. I will be there and I urge anyone curious to be there also. It will be the most easily understood approximation of Taoism with the most practical application. It too is a rare opportunity for those interested, to ask questions and hear clear answers about how it works. Taoism is an individual walk but expert guidance is very helpful.

The Tao is my chosen path for living. It is simple, direct and engaging……..but not easy. It calls for me to rethink my conditioned and cultural understanding of life. That, is what interferes with the simple and easy parts and keeps me from a complete and contented way of life. But I’m learning, and it allows me the grace to do so without judgement, shame or guilt when I falter. It offered me a chance to see life on it’s own terms, react or respond, depending on where I was, what I understood and what I was able or unable to apply. The Tao is not Buddhism. It is not Zen, although a part of it is included in the Zen religion. It is the Tao, all on it’s own.

In Buddhism there is a way of speaking about mistakes that is different from our own, but applies to Taoism, as well. Instead of saying that someone or something is wrong or bad, they refer to such situations as being skilled or unskilled. That is how the Tao teaches me to look at my mistakes, foibles and errors. I am learning to, “Walk the Tao,” one step at a time. Bill is my teacher………a very patient teacher. Sometimes I am skilled, often I am not. The Tao doesn’t care. And contentment grows as I walk the crooked Path, that step at a time. Two steps forward. One step back. It’s all good………and it’s never a mistake as long as I, “keep on keepin on.”

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