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?'

Saturday, January 08, 2005

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!


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