To be a Taoist means many things to many people. To be a practitioner of Contemporary Taoism simply means to have realised that we are all minute parts of an indescribably large Whole (the Tao), and to choose therefore to 'Flow Like Water' and live in a spontaneous, natural manner. This blog is about: Personal Growth / Spiritual Development as guided by the principles of Eastern Philosophy, particularly modern philosophical Taoism; Developing constructive habits and achieving success with minimal effort; Meditation - Taoist, Zen or otherwise. See 'What In Lao Tzu's Name is a Contemporary Taoist?'

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Tao of Phew!

Crisis averted - I had to stick the Wandering Daoist web ring down the bottom of the page - which is a shame - but I am just not enough of a computer geek to figure it out just yet so too bad - I suppose I should download all the other browsers now to see how they are working with this site .... I'll leave this for another time (when I'm real bored!)

Just whacked in my funny new logo for Abstract Umbrella Productions - which is the umbrella company under which I am releasing all kinds of stuff - music, meditation classes/website/book, other books, who knows what else.

So I'd better get back to it. Meditation site and book and classes very nearly at 'Go!' stage - And new CD nearly finished too. Not that there's any hurry...

Meanwhile if you came here looking for taoist/zen/meditation stuff please scroll down and click away - stacks here to keep you going on your Path.

Flow Like Water....

Tao of Whoops!

I just downloaded firefox to my computer only to discover that the site is a bit mashed up when viewed on this browser by the Wandering Daoist webring thing - which is a bugger cos I thought I had that problem licked (and I hate wasting time on bloody HTML crap)

So Apologies to those who have been regularly viewing on Firefox - you should have said something - I know your'e out there y'know ;)

Right so I'd better try fix it then .... sigh .....

In other captivating news I am currently doing the anti-candida diet for six weeks. Four days in and it feels like four weeks. Try eating no bread, no grains, no alcohol, no sugar, no carbs no nothing but veges and meat for even two days and tell me how you feel - like a bad acid trip taken on an empty stomach!

But this is a small sacrifice for a bit of healthy longevity eh?

Meditation Gives Brain a Charge, Study Finds

So get back on your cushion!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Dwell in the Angst - Diffuse the Pain!

Meditation Notes By Raymond

Raymond uses some big old words here but the gist of what he is saying is an extremely important point. It is best to 'dwell in the Angst' - this was an extremely vital part of my self-transformation - meditating on how bad I felt. It sounds dopey but it treally works because you find yourself realising all kinds of important things about yourself, your emotions and the choices you have in terms of your reaction to events.

Personally I believe that if you feel bad - then really feel it. If you need to have a temper tantrum - then do it. Go with the Flow - don't bottle shit up - that's mightly unhealthy.

But the more we practice, the better we feel, and the less we feel the need to lose our grip on the calm centre of Universal Mind.


N.B. see also Nina's excellent Walking Meditation notes - highly tangible stuff.

By being more sensual, we find it easier to be in the moment.

Feel your feet,

Free your mind!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Moon reflection

"Why must I meditate in order to achieve enlightenment?" demanded the prince of his teacher. " I can study. I can pray. I can think on issues clearly. Why this silly emptying of the mind?" "I will show you," said the teacher, taking a bucket of water into the garden under the full moon. "Now I stir the surface and what do you see?" "Ribbons of light," answered the prince. "Now wait," said the teacher setting the bucket down. Both teacher and boy watched the calming surface of the water in the bamboo bucket for many minutes. "now what do you see?" asked the teacher. "The moon," replied the prince. "so, too, young master, the only way to grasp enlightenment is through a calm and settled mind." (from Zen Fables)

On Environmental Ethics of the Two Tao and the Ch'I

On Environmental Ethics of the Two Tao and the Ch'I

Taoist Timeline

Taoist Timeline

Monday, January 24, 2005

Drunken Kung Fu

I could potentially be a master at this!

After all, I have had a lot of practice!

At being drunk that is!

Is the Tao something to be understood?

Kungfu Magazine: E-Zine Feature Article

Kind of an ok article but I don't know about the title - to claim to 'understand' the Tao is a bit out there in my opinion.

How can you understand something which is unfathomable? I believe it is more a matter of 'being at one with' the Tao, rather than pretending to fully 'know' Tao.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Three Vinegar Tasters

The Taoist Perspective

'the basic Taoism that we are concerned with here is simply a particular way of appreciating, learning from, and working with whatever happens in everyday life.'

Yijing Dao

A good site on the I-Ching

'Not doing' can also be regarded as spontaneous non-purposeful action, simply following an urge without any preconceived plan in mind and certainly without any agonising of the should I?/shouldn't I? variety. Such action maintains clarity from stillness to movement and does not become confused. Much confusion arises from the desire to act too soon, one fears opportunities are slipping away, chances being lost, and so the Yijing teaches how to recognise the nature of the moment, the closing and opening of possibilities.'

Interesting to note that The Book of Changes is pronounced 'ee-jing' not 'eye-ching'!

To be a little more 'contemporary' I should probably change the name of the website to read 'Daoist' which is the modern (and far more sensible) romanised spelling of Tao. The trouble is that - once you are aware of its correct pronunciation, Tao with a 'T' (in my opinion) just looks really cool!

N.B. Although this will probably make any purists who read this gnash there teeth in anger - go here for a really easy to use I Ching online. I sometimes use it when I can't be bothered with too much fuss. But I have a good book that I read the interpretations and changing hexagrams etc. from.

Or try here - it looks pretty good, although I haven't yet used it. Of course, one really should show a little reverence and get some coins out right?

I don't know really - I think reverence is a little over-rated myself.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Jade Celestial High

The Dao of Dope?

"It is recorded that the Chinese Taoist recommended the
addition of cannabis to their incense burners in the 1st
century as a means of achieving immortality."

Whoa man, like total Double Happiness, Dude....


Hemp was so highly regarded in ancient China that the Chinese
called their country "the land of mulberry and hemp". Hemp was a
symbol of power over evil and in emperor Shen Nung's pharmacopoeia
was known as the "liberator of sin". The Chinese believed that the
legendary Shen Nung first taught the cultivation of hemp in the
28th century B.C. Shen Nung is credited with developing the
sciences of medicine from the curative power of plants. So highly
regarded was Shen Nung that he was deified and today he is regarded
as the Father of Chinese medicine. Shen Nung was also regarded as
the Lord of fire. He sacrificed on T'ai Shan, a mountain of hoary

A statement in the Pen-ts'ao Ching of some significance is
that Cannabis "grows along rivers and valleys at T'ai-shan, but it
is now common everywhere." Mount T'ai is in Shangtung Privince,
where the cultivation of the hemp plant is still intensive to this
day. Whether or not this early attribution indicates the actual
geographic origin of the cultivation of the Cannabis plant remains
to be seen. (An Archeological and Historical Account of Cannabis
in China by Hui-Lin Li)

A chines Taoist priest wrote in the fifth century B.C. that
cannabis was used in combination with Ginseng to set forward time
in order to reveal future events. It is recorded that the Taoist
recommended the addition of cannabis to their incense burners in
the 1st century A.D. and that the effects thus produced were highly
regarded as a means of achieving immortality. In the early Chinese
Taoist ritual the fumes and odors of incense burners were said to
have produced a mystic exaltation and contribution to well-being.

Webster's New Riverside Dictionary defines marijuana: 1. Hemp
2. The dried flower clusters and leaves of the hemp plant, esp.
when taken to induce euphoria. Euphoria is defined as a strong
feeling of elation or well-being.

Like the practice of medicine around the world, early Chinese
doctoring was based on the concept of demons. The only way to cure
the sick was to drive out the demons. The early priest doctors
used marijuana stalks into which snake-like figures were carved.
Standing over the body of the stricken patient, his cannabis stalk
poised to strike, the priest pounded the bed and commanded the
demon to be gone. The cannabis stalk with the snake carved on it
was the forerunner to the sign of modern medicine (the staff with
the entwined serpents."

Got to love the old internet. I have no idea how reliable this source is - after all, as this article constantly states, dope makes you see and believe crazy shit right? I mean, not that I would know!

Gut Feelings

I have been thinking about efficiency of decision making. It would seem apparent that the wisest way to make decisions is also the most expedient.

Simply ask the question and listen for the first response that your body/mind gives you. End of story.

For example, today I was wondering what the most important thing for me to do today was in order to best use my time.

Straight away the answer came to me - make a list of what you need to do.

Ok - so not a groundbreaking answer - but nonetheless - correct.

Later, I was checking out a room in a community centre as I am to begin giving meditation lessons soon. I hate driving all over town and am used my lucky knack for (usually) magically stumbling across what I need straight away. But today - as soon as I walked in, I got the gut feeling that this wasn't the place, even though I had spent a good couple of hours in the heat, traffic and negotiating my way through the red tape at the local town hall to get the key (that alone took 45 minutes!). I wasn't quite sure why it wasn't the place - but I just knew I needed to look elsewhere.

No doubt the perfect location awaits me around the corner.

But for tonight - Wing Chun training!

Dao of Death

Ganden Thurman on Kill Bill

Uma's buddhist bro gets heavy with the cheese whiz.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Yang Chu's Garden of Pleasure

Hello there,Solitary Cloud! Please, forget your cares and take a stroll through the Garden.

Friday, January 14, 2005


'Awareness often means the capacity not to act. To be creatively idle and silent which is more difficult for most people than to do something. To be still requires a strong sense of personal identity and an intimate relationship with enduring values. It is an expression of the alive, integrating self, which is involved in BEING more than DOING.'

Unfortunately, I will have little chance to be idle over the next couple of days. I make my way up country again to day to go get me car. Then I begin work tomorrow in the cafe at CERES where my old mate Jimmy is da boss. I would of course, rather stay home and write but the bills are piling up - at least this is a lovely environment in which to work; lots of lovely people and an ethical employer (which makes a difference). Pays pretty good too!

And no doubt I will cruise through in the spirit of Wu Wei (Effortless Action)!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Sensuality and Meditation

Here is a little taster of the short book I am writing on meditation.

'It suddenly clicked – switching from thinking to sensing is exactly what I do when I meditate or, at any moment in any place throughout my day, when I have a ‘meditative’ moment or a moment of what I like to call ‘hyper-awareness’. Instead of thinking about this and that as I half concentrate on the sandwich I am eating or on the view out of the train window, I come forward into a sublime state of enhanced awareness of the here and now based on simple observation of available sensory data. Suddenly I am struck by the taste of the sandwich and there is no other thought in my mind. My brain slows down and virtually ceases to think about anything else but the sandwich. Thoughts about the next thing I have to do after lunch disappear, memories of what she said to me last summer as walked hand in hand on the beach fade from my awareness.

And in a more formal sense, this is what we do when we meditate by focusing on a chosen subject. We place as much of our awareness on the candle (for example) as we can, and this encourages the mind to (mostly) give up on the myriad of other concerns it was previously entertaining. Although it is unlikely that we can totally stem the flow of thoughts about other (non-focus) subjects – by concentrating on something sensual we make great strides in our ability to rest our awareness on the here and now.'

Monday, January 10, 2005

Suburban Zen

Yes I thouroughly enjoyed the gig yesterday, but that was yesterday. I am playing again on Tuesday night - but that is tomorrow. Today I sit here working - through the window I can see my dog Dude munching on a bone. Ooh, look! He just whizzed on the clothes line - lovely!

'Although all dualities come from the One,
do not be attached even to this One.
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way,
nothing in the world can offend.
And when a thing can no longer offend,
it ceases to exist in the old way.

When no discriminating thoughts arise,
the old mind ceases to exist.
When thought objects vanish,
the thinking-subject vanishes:
As when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.

Things are objects because of the subject (mind):
the mind (subject) is such because of things (object).
Understand the relativity of these two
and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.
In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable
and each contains in itself the whole world.
If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine
you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.


The Way is beyond language,

for in it there is

no yesterday

no tomorrow

no today'

Bit of early morning Zen for ya!....'Hsin Hsin Ming'.....

Gig Night

Tao Te Ching: "Chapter Eleven
Thirty spokes share the wheel's hub;
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore benefit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there. "

Played a lovely gig tonight. Nice sound system, lovely crowd. really got to hear the spaces in between the notes; inbetween the vocals. Looking forward to a great year of music, writing, meditation and effortless action. ole!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Original Print

Original print of my mug shot that I just whacked into my header by Laetitia Gerard. She is a fine artiste indeed - any enquiries just leave a comment here and leave email.

Albert Einstein: Contemplating the Cosmos

This man had cool hair!

'If one holds these high principles clearly before one’s eyes, and compares them with the life and spirit of our times, then it appears glaringly that civilized mankind finds itself at present in grave danger, In the totalitarian states it is the rulers themselves who strive actually to destroy that spirit of humanity. In less threatened parts it is nationalism and intolerance, as well as the oppression of the individuals by economic means, which threaten to choke these most precious traditions.'

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The Contemporary Taoist

Taoism is an ancient Chinese school of philosophy – so how can its precepts help to guide us through this contemporary world?

Firstly it is important to realise that Taoism (also spelt Daoism) is a word that means different things to different people. There are those to whom Taoism is a religion, with Temples, Gods, traditions, and dogma of its own. Then there are those to whom Taoism is a philosophy. This philosophy sees its roots in the Chinese classic the Tao Te Ching (Classic of The Way and its Virtue) by Lao Tzu (Old Master). Lao Tzu is now widely supposed to be a legendary figure – more myth than reality – and the writings attributed to him to belong to others from a later date. But whatever the truth about this, the ideas expressed in this book have spawned generation after generation of Philosophical Taoists – and it is of this philosophy that I write.

The Elusive Tao

Taoist logic is elusive. It does not have a set of strict rules – in fact it is anti-regulatory. It does not have any single method that one can master and thus proclaim to be an ‘expert’. To the contrary the first lines of the Tao Te Ching state that ‘The Tao that can be named is not the true Tao,’ and later that ‘He who knows does not speak, He who speaks does not know.’

So where does that leave us? If we are to follow the ways of Taoism, whose words can we trust? And what are we to do? The answer here is open to wide interpretation, but I would suggest that the way to follow Tao is to forget Tao.
By this we mean simply forget the words you read, the concepts you hear, and just be. Leave it at that. Tao just is. You are part of it.


Meditation is a key factor in understanding this approach (although of course, Taoism rejects ‘understanding’ per say!). By learning to sit and ‘just be’ we align ourselves with the forces of nature (Tao) and begin to see how it is that all things spontaneously occur. The Tao is infinite and cannot be completely understood by humans (because our comprehensions are finite), but we can get a very good idea of what life is all about just by sitting and observing. Observing the machinations of our minds; the room in which we sit; or perhaps the patterns and movements of a garden. The Tao is both simple and complicated – complicated to try to understand – simple to observe; simple to just accept; simple to be in accordance with.

By just doing what comes naturally without forcing yourself to be something you are not, one can come to a place of accordance with the Tao. This is attained through the use of what the Chinese Taoists called ‘Wu Wei’ – effortless action. The Tao Te Ching states that ‘The Tao never does – but through it all things are done.’

Spontaneous Accordance with Tao

All things that are in accordance with Tao (Nature - The Universe and beyond) do what they are put here to do without fuss and without thought for doing anything that is for them unnatural. Trees grow and sway in the breeze; the breeze blows this way and that; this way a hill side warms itself in the sun; that way a rabbit hops from its hole to look for food. There is no contrivance in nature – things just do what they are supposed to do. So, in order to accord with the Tao – just do what it is you are supposed to do. If you don’t know what this is then obviously the first thing you are supposed to do is to discover your purpose – which is entirely achievable for everyone through contemplative meditation.

Fame is despised by the Taoist as being of no use to the sage (wise person). If you have many material possessions you would be wise to keep this to yourself without boasting. Wiser still to reject the trappings of wealth and thus avoid being robbed at all! Jealousy is of no use; it wastes the individual’s energy and leads us astray from our true path of spontaneous accordance. A Taoist recognizes that we live in a world of abundance – especially when viewed from a standpoint of being interested only in sufficiency. Those who covet and store away more than they can use in effect steal from those who do not have enough. This goes against Tao.

Flow Like Water

The most revered thing on earth to a Taoist is water. Not just because it is so vital to survival but because it is seen as the ultimate symbol of the essence of the Taoist philosophy. Water flows around the rocks and sticks to the lowest places where other things will not go. It is by following this seemingly weak and undesirable path that water inevitably flows without disturbance to its source, the Great Ocean, which is a symbol for The Tao itself.

Learning to flow like water is the greatest of the Taoist skills. If you can learn to slip around the rocks of life you will naturally enjoy a much more stress free and rewarding life. When someone loses their temper at you on the road – best to flow on without giving it another thought. When you find that striving to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ is causing unhappiness within your relationship – best to opt for a simpler way of life and actually enjoy your limited days on this earth with your loved ones. However if you were to push against the rocks of your life – how could you ever move them? You can’t - just like water can’t shift a huge boulder out of the stream. Best to flow on and save yourself a lot of bother. Relax – don’t take it on – it’s just not worth it!

If you do lose your temper however – don’t dwell on this as a failing of character. Once you have let off steam – try to relax again quickly by shrugging the incident off and moving on. Forgive whoever caused you to lose your rag in the first place and then forgive yourself for losing it. If it comes to a point where you lose your temper then this also is Tao so don’t worry about it.

A Universe of Opposites

In fact everything is Tao – even that which ‘goes against Tao’. This is one of the great contradictions in a philosophy which implores us to embrace and accept contradiction as a reality of life. This acceptance of opposites is the reason that the Yin/Yang symbol is so widely associated with all forms of Taoist culture from philosophy to medicine. For all things there is an opposite – and all of these things are simply part of the great unfathomable Tao. So therefore EVERYTHING IS APPROPRIATE. Even what is seen by us as being reprehensible in our time, is appropriate in the eye of the great Tao.

All things evolve towards their end – for better or for worse. The Tao is not a God – it is just Everything. That is why ‘God lets bad things happen to good people’ – because it is of no opinion. Tao just is. It does not intervene. It has no plan that is fathomable to the human – the scope is too big. The Tao Te Ching says of this that ‘Heaven and Earth are ruthless – to them everything is disposable’.

So in order to live well we must accept the good with the bad – by doing so we get over things easier and move on in harmony with the Universe.

Accept Death Without Fear

All things that arise from the Tao must also descend back into it. This holds further with the Yin/Yang law of opposites. All things that start must eventually finish. All things that live must die. This is the ultimate freedom to be gained from the Taoist way of thought – we all die and death is nothing to be afraid of – it just is. As you were born so you must die. As you now know that there is no real right or wrong in an impartial universe – you have nothing to fear from your passing. What happens after death is a mystery – but it is not something to ponder too intensely. For no matter how much you ponder it, you will never find an answer in all your days here on earth – all you will do is waste your time here worrying about something that you cannot even imagine accurately!

Look at the animals – they spontaneously accord with the Tao by never even thinking of what is to come after death – they just enjoy peace when they find it, and run away from danger when it presents itself.

So flow like water, bringing benefit to all things, following the course of least resistance, until you are united again with the sea.

This is the Tao – it is always contemporary.

The Tao of Riding a Bike

Panlatrevo -- The Bike Path

'When you try to ride a bike for the very first time, you probably fall over a few times before finally getting the hang of it. Sooner or later, that magical moment comes when you suddenly realize that you can keep going forward and maintain your balance at the same time. Then it also dawns on you that continuously going forward is in fact the key to maintaining your balance — the two aspects are a connected whole where one cannot be without the other.

Thereafter, it becomes second nature to you. You can get on a bike and just go without having to think about the mechanics involved. And, having learned what it feels like, you know you will never forget it, for as long as you live.

By now you can probably tell that by the above I'm not really talking about bicycle riding at all. I'm talking about how we can have false starts when we first begin to practice Tao in our daily lives. Like a novice falling off a bike, we don't get it and can't figure out what we're doing wrong. We think we have applied the right principles—peddled correctly—and yet we don't see the harmonious results we expected.

If we're not discouraged and keep trying, we'll get the hang of Tao cultivation eventually. There may be that magic moment when you realize you've just experienced wu wei; or perhaps you feel a tranquility that is profoundly serene and yet not passive; or perhaps, in a quest for wisdom, you suddenly find yourself passing through knowledge to arrive at simplicity.

However you get to that point, you have connected with the Tao and it with you. Just like a bike rider can never forget how to ride, your experience with the Tao marks you indelibly from that moment on. At a spiritual level, you have undergone an irrevocable transformation and will never be the same again.'

Brilliant analogy, fantastic website, nice warm bed waiting for me - Flow On!

Friday, January 07, 2005

A Road is made by people walking on it.

"First of all, is it not so that the things and values we distinguish, name, and imagine to be absolutely separate from one another - such as subjects and objects, life and death, right and wrong - in fact only arise and exist together with their respective opposites, and are only discriminated, and become meaningful, in relation to them. Moreover, because each individual's particular view and understanding of the world (which is itself always changing) is relative to that of every other individual, and, in turn, the view of the human species relative to that of other animals, no one can claim to have absolute knowledge about anything. Our knowledge is also not absolute because it is a circular, justifying and verifying itself in only terms of itself, and because, like the language it is articulated in, it is conventional and consensual - as the text says, 'A road is made by people walking on it; things are so because they are called so', (Watson 1968: 40).
The Chuang-tzu asks, then, do we really know what we think we know? That our good is the good, and good for others? That life is better than death? That we are waking and not dreaming? The Sage escapes this sceptical limbo by turning inward in meditation, stilling the mind and emptying it of thoughts, and thus achieving mystical insight and union with the Tao. The Tao or Way, also referred to as Heaven, is nothing less than the dynamic totality of existence, the natural functionin"

Know To Not Know

'Hence Shen Dao "abandoned knowledge and discarded 'self'. He flowed with the inevitable and was indifferent to natural kinds. These were his guiding tendencies. He said "know to not know (what to do)." He would have reduced know how to something harmful. Naked and without responsibility, he laughed at the social world for elevating worthies. Dissolute and with no standards of conduct, he rejected the social world's great sages. Skillful and crafty he responded to natural kinds. He lived together with shi and fei, mixed acceptable and avoidable. He didn't treat knowing and deliberation as guides, didn't know front from back. He was indifferent to everything.

If he was pushed he went, if pulled he followed — like a leaf whirling in the stream, like a feather in a wind, like dust on a millstone. He was complete and distinguished (fei) nothing. In motion and rest never went too far. He was without crime. How was this? Natural kinds that lack knowledge are free from the trouble of creating a self and from the entanglements of knowing what to do. In motion or rest he did not miss the natural tendencies. And for this reason he had no high status. So he said, "reach for being like things without knowledge of what to do. Don't use worthies and sages. Even a clod of earth cannot miss the guide."'

Chaung Tzu

Tea Party!

yes, thats right, I went to a party last night and drank tea instead of beer. It must be a new year!

In other news:

A)Today I chose my web host and it is all stations go for my massive portal mother site which shall incorporate

1) embrace - my meditation website
2) my music website - whereby you will be able to check out my music
3) a site of my best writing
4) and I may even move this blog there eventually - maybe...

B) Over the new year my mate ben's five year old kid blew our minds as we sat around (not drinking tea - that was the old year!). We were discussing the nature of truth - and getting nowhere really - when ben's kid - Olly piped up all matter of fact as if it were a fact of common knowledge

'Truth? truth is when you're running on the beach...and then you fall over!'

That shut us up!

Then a little later he came flying out of nowhere wearing nothing but an over-sized sombrero and exclaimed

'I am the Nudie Cowboy!' which whilst not quite as profound, did crack us all up!

You Go Ollie - spontaneously accord!

C) I am playing my first solo gig in quite a while this sunday at a place in Brunswick called The Noise Bar (Albert St) for any of my melbourne based friends who should happen to read this that I haven't already badgered about attending! 7pm. No pants allowed!

More on the Tzu-Jan Rebellion

Rebel Forces Close In On Empire:

This brings us to a Chinese term, tzu-jan, which we also translate as nature. Not a class of things as we in the west classify nature, but rather an entire point of view. It means literally, that which is so of itself. Our word for it might be spontaneity. Like your heart beat, or controlling your body temperature, and replacing the millions of cells in your body each day, it does all of this by itself. Nothing has to be controlled, it simply is. "

The Revolution Is Of Itself So

"We used to think that the news was finished when we printed it...But that's when the news now begins."

Read that and also get your hands on the documentry 'The Corporation'

After reading THIS and viewing THAT please join us in bringing down the evil and corrupt - we are using a technique called Wu Wei - effortless action. It will be easy to destroy these demented scum-suckers simply by implementing our new technologies in ways they don't understand and can't control. Effortlessly we will rise and take action.

Victory is ours.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


special thanks to Zen Unbound for linking to this here humble Tao-blog!

Reflections in a Garden

Pacific Rim Magazine 1998: Reflections in a Garden

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Chronicles of Tao

Such a cool book. Man if you haven't read it then it's time you did. Chronicles of Tao

Here is a great quote from what is, might I point out, not a purely spiritual book but more of an auto-biography-come-adventure novel.

'In truth, you are the self alone. You are the I stripped of qualities. You are nameless and formless. Since you cannot grasp that fact, you cling to forms, emotions, and thought. Ego arises to give you form. By contrast, the man of wisdom simply is. He does not cling to thought. He is still and knows that he is God.'

This basically sums up what I mean when I claim to be a Taoist.

Good evening, I am off to meditate on this...

Help Stop The Madness

Please help us save our beautiful forests before there are none left to save.

Monday, January 03, 2005

The Tao of Murphy's Law

This story is dedicated to all those caught up in the Tsunami tragedy. May the rest of us be grateful for the small problems and keep it all in perspective.

Murphy’s Law – states that ‘Everything that can possibly go wrong, WILL go wrong’.

Wanting to see family for the holidays, Laeti (my girl) and I set forth from Melbourne, Australia on the approximately seven hundred kilometre journey to my old home town of Adelaide. We were going to take Dude the Dog, but despite his impeccable good nature and social grace (well, except for the public defecating thing!) we decided to take up the very kind offer of our neighbour Veronica to look after him. As it turned out, this was a very good thing. We were travelling by means of Old '85, our convertible Toyota Landcruiser that we had just spent $1400 getting fixed. It had first gone in simply to get serviced, but then, due to a discovery of unfortunate and epic proportions by out lovely mechanic Clive, it had to be pulled apart and stuck back together again at great cost to my already groaning hip pocket. When I went in to pick it up, Clive kind of winced and mumbled something about the clutch being 'bad'. Well, either he mumbled or I sort of unconsciously applied my incredible skill for 'selective hearing' that my mother had always commented on as I was growing up. The point being that by the time I drove out of the shop, the whole clutch thing had been filed away in some remote quarter of the brain marked 'Denial' (which incidentally, I refuse to believe exists!).

We met up with some chums of ours a couple of suburbs away who were also heading back over to Adelaide in a well worn van overflowing with backpacks, suitcases, bicycles, Christmas presents and several good looking, smiley hippy kids. We call this method of travelling 'the convoy' and it is employed to prevent undue hardship in the case of any break downs during long journeys (mechanical ones primarily but probably not a bad idea in the event of any emotional or familial breakdowns also!). I distinctly remember thinking snidely to myself that it was unlikely to be us that would be needing any help…and no doubt you can see where this is heading!

Strangely, despite my usual scepticism towards ‘bad luck’ or ‘jinxes’, I can’t help but sort of partially feeling that a certain, indisputably lovely, young man named Fred was somehow cosmically responsible for the ensuing car trouble – even though most of me regards this theory as being a load of total bollocks. The thing is, he seemed very interested in our car, Old ’85, as we were farting around prior to departure. He walked around it a few times, made some nice comments about it and enquired as to the state of it’s mechanical health. I told him that it had been pretty good for the year or so that I had owned it but that it had just caused us a little trouble, and he made some fairly comforting remarks about how it would be par for the course for us to have do a little work on the car, especially given how little we had paid for it. Nothing unusual here, fairly normal conversation. I shall return to this point however…

So we eventually get under way, after a period of me sitting in the car feeling a little impatient (despite my best efforts not to) as I we had a long day of driving ahead of us, and it was going to be a scorcher of day – 38 degrees Celsius no less (that’s 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit). I was keen to get on with it in order to beat the worst of the heat, but there was no chance of that – the larger the group, the longer it takes to get moving – immutable law of interstate travelling.

As we begin to drive, I realise, that whilst Old ’85 ain’t exactly the fastest car on the road, it sure goes faster than (my beautiful friend) Odette’s old van. She is piled up with people and stuff to near bursting and it is taking her plenty of time to get up any steam whatsoever. I sigh to myself and try to resign myself to a long slow drive. I am after all, supposed to be Mr. Flow-Like-Water right?

Sure I am! But after a couple of hours of being the second car in a long train of vehicles (the front two being the only carriages without frustrated head-steam pouring out of them!) I begin to get bored and decide to fly on ahead for a while. Then we stop for a piss and my girl, for reasons completely unknown to myself, takes freakin’ ages in the roadside McDonalds toilet (maybe she was sneaking in a burger or two in some kind of clandestine act of culinary two-facedness?), which leaves us now a fair way behind our friends. Great! I genuinely think, this means I can cruise at a hundred K’s until I catch them up.

When I do they are stopped at some run down hick pub eating snacks and taking photos. I stop a little down the road and wait. And wait. And wait…

Eventually I get a little impatient (just a little, my friends, and let us remember, all things are part of the Tao – including lack of patience!) and circle back to give them a little nudge along. It is here that I make my now infamous comment. When asked if there was a problem by my lovely, smiling friends – I sarcastically replied ‘We are moving too slowly’ and of course I was implying quite obviously that it was their fault. So they crack into gear and get ready to roll. At this point Fred decides to jump in the back of Old ’85, which we had decided not to do before due to lack of seatbelts and no roof – which was both dangerous, excessively windy, and bound to attract unwanted attention from hot bothered cops with un-Christmassy attitudes. But Fred thinks that it would be a good idea to lighten the van’s load a little and so he hops in with someone’s large and heavy backpack also.

No sooner are we five minutes down the road, sharing some of Fred’s home made chilli chocolate (…Mmmm…chilli chocolate…) when Pfffft! The clutch goes! At first we don’t realise that this is what it is, because it just seems like the car isn’t taking the extra weight – but this is unlikely and besides there is a strong burning smell. Nevertheless I boot Mr Fred-The-Jinx-Man out and give it a go sans passenger. But we can’t get any speed up, the engine is revving over when I try to accelerate as if I was in neutral, only slowly increasing in speed. We stop; men lie down and look under the car body, and poke their noses around the burning engine. It is official, burnt out clutch. We can drive, but not for too long, and not real fast.

It is fifty kilometres to the next town. Now I am the first carriage in a long train of automobiles – but this time all of the carriages have steam blowing out the top, including mine! Seeing as it’s only me and Laeti in the car, I let go for a few minutes and truly let rip with a big temper tantrum complete with the incredibly the colourful language that I am vaguely infamous for. But I am not really serious, I just believe in the theory of ‘Let it Flow – Then Let it Go’. And besides, its 38 degrees remember?

We eventually dribble into the town of Ararat. Not the smallest town in the world, but not exactly the largest either. I pull over into the first mechanics I see only to be slowly informed by the old mechanic (who looked like Grizzly Adams) that they are not interested – being Christmas and all. So I ring the RACV (auto club) and they come to ‘rescue’ me. But they tell me with genuinely kind but unabashedly amused smirks on their country bumpkin faces that they can’t possibly fix it until after New Year. Great. Thanks for nothing. So my car is still in the wonderful township of Ararat as I type!

Of course this last paragraph took about an hour but I am trying to hurry up so I can go to bed!

We chat to the gang – it is pretty much impossible for us to catch a lift to Adelaide with them because their really is zero room in the van. And we would get fined by those un-Christmassy cops for sure ($200). So we run around trying to figure out a bus to catch. No bus until tomorrow. Same for Trains. So we try to hire a car. No car hire in this town, only in the next main (bigger) town, Horsham. Horsham is one hundred K’s away.

Out of desperation we squeeze into the back of the van, bicycles squeezing up against our legs, knees to chest, backs bent into van roof shapes. Extremely uncomfortable and mighty hot and lacking in oxygen. By the time we get to Horsham it is official that there is no way we can do the next five hundred miles in the back of the van – the pain would be excruciating.

So we run around to the three hire car joints on Main Street – not one has a car! One has a Ute, but they want to charge us $700! Huh?

It has been about three hours now since the car buggered up, and my friends are being extremely patient, as am I and my lovely girl. But with this car hire debacle, she starts to unravel a little bit. She is of French birth and never really got used to the Australian desert heat. Her face is turning bright red and I am worried that she might be about to crack. So I give in and suggest that we would be best to find a motel with a pool and check in for the night. Despite her impatience to get on, the pool sounds tempting in the heat so we do it. We wave goodbye to our friends, God Bless ‘em…

I leave Laeti in the smelly little motel room while I go into the office to use the yellow pages and organise a bus for the next morning. Only I can’t get one for the morning, only for the afternoon. This means we won’t get into Adelaide until 6pm Christmas Eve. Bugger. Still, at least we didn’t bring our (bloody huge) dog. What would we have done then? No motel room or bus or train will take dogs in Australia. Either a dog loving truckie with plenty of room would have picked us up, or it would have ended up being the longest walkies ever undertaken by man, girl and hound!

I strolled back to the room, my mind turning to a nice dip in the pool. I enter the room to find that my prediction was correct; Laeti was on the brink of cracking up and had indeed done so while I was in the motel office using the phone. The news that we were stuck in the middle of the desert until after lunch the next day didn’t help. Only a few minutes silence followed by the suggestion that we hit the pool eventually stemmed the flow of tears.

As we stroll over towards the pool, towels casually slung over our wilting shoulders, the motel owner notices our intent. He continues banging the dust out of the floor mats from his Ute as he unapologetically calls out ‘Don’t bother with the pool mate, it’s stuffed - had to drain it dry…’ I am then greatly strained by the desire to scream at the good man that his sign should perhaps read ‘NO pool’ instead of the confident neon ‘POOL’ that had so dishonestly attracted our custom. But I remained calm…although my face was no doubt kind of grumpy looking!

We curse Murphy and his stupid Law and debate what to do next. I have had it and just want to go to a pub and get pissed, but Laeti is on the warpath and wants to see if we can get a train out of here before Christmas (which is not very far away!). But neither of us are thinking very straight by now and we stagger around the boiling concrete main street of the town looking for an internet café. Eventually we realise that there just isn’t one out here - just bakeries and fish and chip shops, most of which are shut anyway. Then Laeti decides that we should just walk until we find the train station. ‘It’s a fair sized town,’ I moan, ‘could take a while to just stumble into it.’

‘Just start walking!’ she snaps. At this point I realise that we are delirious and burning up in the late afternoon sun and drag my darling Frenchie kicking and screaming into the nearest pub and order us a couple of cold ones. As sanity begins to follow the cool of the beer and the air conditioning, we suddenly both realise that best way to contact the train people was sitting in my pocket – the mobile phone of course! Sure enough, our luck changes a little and before I have finished my second brewskie we have purchased two tickets to Adelaide via the wonders of satellite technology and plastic money. The train leaves at 1:56am precisely, and arrives at 8am in the morning. Lovely! Looking on the brighter side again, we order a huge buffet meal and then get righteously and deservingly pissed (well, I did anyway!) before staggering back to our motel room for a sleep, safe in the knowledge that a cab would pick us up at 1:30 am.

Now the way this story is going you are probably thinking that the cab doesn’t rock up and we sleep through and miss the train, right? Wrong, but nearly as bad – although not in retrospect. In retrospect the next bit of our silly pre-Christmas tale seems, well, just that - silly! But at the time it was truly horrible, my least favourite part of the entire ordeal. The cab driver picked us up (I got no sleep) and cheerfully remarked that we could have walked to the station as it was just around the corner. Sure enough, two minutes later we were their and he left us standing at the platform bleary eyed and twenty minutes early. Looking around us, we suddenly both sort of simultaneously came to the conclusion that we were in an extremely undesirable situation indeed. Now maybe we are just two city kids who have an irrational fear of isolated rural towns, but this train station was just plain spooky. Remember it is about twenty minutes to 2am on a hot night; we are standing at this tiny station that is just a small building with a couple of seats out front; these seats are lit up by an extremely bright spot light; all around us there is nothing but rail yards, pitch black and silent except for the odd creaking and groaning of wood and metal. Directly to the right of us is the road which we arrived via, it crosses the railway line and provides the passengers of any passing cars a fabulous view of the brightly lit up station where we are sitting, knees knocking together in Scooby and Shaggy proportioned paranoia. Every minute or so a car rumbles past. Almost all of the cars are big old ‘tough guy’ cars, full of bored, savage looking local roughnecks, hanging out of the windows, beers in hand. Maybe we have had a long day and are a little wired, but the thought that if any of these hoods decided to pull into the station car park, jump out and kill me and rape her, they could and no-one would be likely to see or hear, starts to freak us out. We count each slow, hour long minute until the train is supposed to arrive. The night is dark and silent in both train line directions and the possibility that the train might just not rock up at all seems frighteningly real. Laeti can tell that I am uncomfortable with the situation as I clutch the mobile phone, knee bouncing, eyes flitting nervously at the road, around the rail yards and left and right down the lines (we had no idea which way the train was going to be arriving).

I was just unconvincingly trying to convince her that I wasn’t scared and that she should just relax, when I jumped a mile. Aggh! A huge black shape approaching very quickly! It is an extremely large black dog. It looks mean and feral. Thankfully it doesn’t seem to notice us.

When the minute of the train’s scheduled arrival finally comes, and then goes…I wander down to check out the time table on the wall. The lady on the phone has given us the wrong time! She has given us Thursday morning’s time instead of Friday morning. Damn! One train a day and she gets it wrong! Laeti curses the unknown phone woman in scary venomous tones. We have another twenty minutes to wait. All up - forty of the longest, scariest minutes of my life. I don’t know what it was but there was a bad, bad vibe at that station. We both felt it. There was something to fear there…something evil.

Eventually the train did arrive. Weirdly it was almost silent, and almost all its lights were out. It seemed like a ghost train to my delirious mind. I waved at the driver’s window but couldn’t see him to see if he had noticed us. The train just kept cruising past. It was extremely long. As the last carriage was approaching I started to panic. Maybe that woman on the phone was completely incompetent and they didn’t even know we were here, waiting to be saved!

Thankfully (of course) a head poked out of the last carriage door and a smiling gentleman in a waistcoat helped us aboard. We both agree that we have never been so happy to get on board any kind of vehicle ever in our well travelled lives!

Laeti fell asleep quite soon but I was too wired. I stared out the window all night at the unremittingly sparse and thirsty South Australian landscape. When she woke up in the morning I was glad to see it was with a smile on her face. Surely today would be a better time – after all it was Christmas Eve! But then half an hour later Laeti started gnashing her teeth and pulling her hair out in dismay. All the Christmas presents she had spent an entire day making by hand – she had left them in the fridge at the motel! Boxes of wonderful home made candies and toffees, lovingly prepared and individually wrapped to make a good first impression on all those relatives she had to face for the first time. This, more than anything else, really upset her, and it saddened me to see her so genuinely shaken and disturbed.

Twenty four hours after we left for Adelaide we arrived at the train station. It would usually have taken about eight. ‘We could have flown to visit my relatives in Paris!’ Laeti dryly remarked as she dried her harried cheeks. I grabbed her hand and we crossed the train lines to meet my Step-Dad who had come to pick us up. ‘Ah well, we are safe and sound, that’s all that matters!’

Just then we heard a commotion behind us. Some train line official was yelling and carrying on. He was running in our direction, and I quickly realised he was screaming at us!

‘You can’t cross the train lines there! Do you want to get yourselves killed?’ He was red faced and puffed up with self-importance. He had run a long way to bark at us, about two hundred meters.

‘Where should we cross then?’ I politely enquired.

‘Why! On the marked crossing of course!’ He yelled, pointing to a painted patch of bitumen about two feet from where we were crossing, as if it made any difference!

For the first time since the car had blown up I publicly gave up my calm exterior demeanour. This man was just getting off on his pathetic little bit of power, yelling and screaming at us in front of hundreds of people. Normally I would just have laughed and done as he asked to keep the peace. But this morning, after all we had been through, and exactly zero hours sleep, I had had enough.

‘Go and Get Stuffed Mate!’ I growled and then I flipped him the bird! Deep inside, I think that gesture was really aimed at old Murphy and his ridiculous, irritating and unnecessary Law. Personally I reckon the bloke ought to be held accountable - bloomin’ trouble maker!

Holidays Over!

Fun, excitement! Back to it, truely thrilling posts coming soon!
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