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?'

Monday, February 28, 2005

Practicing, Practicing...

'Practicing self-refinement is the first priority;
Stopping craving,
Forgetting emotions,
Removing entanglements.

When all attachment to the senses is cut off,
There is a single field of elixir,
Completely clean and clear.'

Chang Po-Taun
(Commentary by Liu I-Ming)

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Tao of Stealing

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences along with these instructions.

[stolen from Battlecat ... apparently it is not 'passing it on' - it is just plain thievery...I've no idea why...]

My results...

Well, I found the instructions a little ambiguous - am I supposed to print the fifth, sixth, and seventh sentences, or the ("next three sentences") sixth, seventh, and eighth?

Anyway, if it is the latter, which is how it reads to me, then the results are as follows:

"Arrogance will lose friends, gain enemies, and undermine the foundation of our achievements. Similarly, many have frittered away both their gains and their support through the self-indulgent pursuit of luxuries.

In contrast, remaining humble and generous in the midst of plenty allows for continous growth and increased respect."
I Ching Workbook, Roger Green.

Yes, well ... very true ... very, very true ...

"Frittered away" is a funny turn of phrase really - I don't know about the rest of the world, but here in 'stralia, a you make a fritter out of something by deep frying it in batter (i.e. banana fritter, pineapple fritter, potato fritter).

So if one were to 'fritter away their gains and support' - does this mean they deep fry their money and loved ones?

.... apologies for the crap line of humour, I have been at work today, feel a little, you know - CRRrrrrAAAaaaZZZaaaYYY!!! yOU dIIIIIG?

Anyway, that's ten good minutes wasted, catch ya next time.....

Wing Chun Rules!

Have I mentioned lately that I love my Wing Chun?

Well I do - it makes my week everytime I go to training here

If you live in Melbourne, I must recommend The Qian Li Dao Academy for Wing Chun - Sifu Dana Wong is a cool dude and excellent teacher - and the club has a really great low-ego vibe.

Now, if only I could get my arms and legs to do what I want them to do!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Early Morning Meditation

I have finally, it would seem, become one of those legends who can get up at dawn everyday (well MOST days!) and do their meditation and Qigong before the world has awoken. I never used to be able to do this except randomly. I have not had a drink or smoke in five weeks though and really noticing how even the occasional beer or joint really messes with the finer subtleties of my practice.

Building my chi in Dan Tien up nice and strong and hot, hoping to get to point of micro-cosmic circulaton Grandmaster reccomends great caution before attempting this. he says it must be NOT be forced, but that your chi should be strong enough to circulate of it's own volition, with only subtle guidance from the mind. I am currently practicing drawing the chi up from my Dan Tien to my Heart chakra (what is chinese term for this?) then pumping it back down, this 'Boils the water' - i.e. builds up strong, hot chi.

Micro-cosmic Orbit

Hold on to your sperm boys! ;)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

More Zen Than Tao?

Lately I have been wondering if I am so....why? Because I have found such a flow in my work, whereby my meditation is my work, and my work is pleasurable like breathing. This is surely a fairly Zen way of looking at things no?

I must recommend to all of you out there who hate their work to keep pursuing your dreams, because when your work is your play - then oneness becomes more than an intellectual concept, and living in the moment is easy.

Now, if only I can begin to generate a profit!!!

Monday, February 21, 2005

The Art of War

"Subtle! Subtle!
They become formless.
Mysterious! Mysterious!
They become soundless"

Sun Tzu :

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Sexual Kungfu For Orgasm

This dude is obviously a real legend in his own underpants. As am I, of course!

Clarity of Vision

Today I have been struck with a clarity of vision for my business/artistic endevours that is beyond any level of insight that I have had before - and I generally already have a fairly high level of insight (into my own affairs). I have spent the entire evening scribbling madly, getting it all down. I can not only see what it is I need to do, I am already doing it! I have truely found my flow again in my work life. My work is also my play. And my self-development program - which, like any Daoist worth a straw dog, is what I get up (usually very early) for.

Cultivate Flow,

See for miles.

Soar like a Dragon.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Word from Uncle Albert

I'm too tired after another busy day to be deep - so I'll leave it up to Mr. Fuzzyhead...

'A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.' Albert Einstein

Tao of Busyness

Ok so while I am aware that the new web site I pointed to below is incredibly crap - I must point out that it just a temporary thang for people in Melbourne (Australia) who have come across my biz card and are interested in my meditation services. Soon it will be the coolest meditation site on the web...with lots to read and some web-based products also... sooner or later anyway...

As for new toys - I just bought a new printer - and it prints onto cd's!!! That is so cool....enough to make an old indie rocker like me salivate.

In fact I am.

Last night I held my first meditation group class and I think it went very well. There were about ten people there, which was a nice start. Actually they were all chicks, which seems to be a running theme in my life at the moment.

Where have all the dudes gone?

This morning had a private meditation coaching session with a client at the clinic - I think this went pretty good also.

Tommorrow morning up at six to practice Qigong, then go swimming, then go get acupuncture, then work and/or rest a bit at home - then Wing Chun training. Then chill out a bit. Then more Qigong. then bed. which is where I am going now. Peace to you all.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Zen and American Philosophy

Zen and American Philosophy

The Master of Wu Wei

The Lazy Way to Success

I must remember to stop trying.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Year of the Cock! (hardy har!)

Received this greeting from this bloke today - you know, a mailing list thang - nevertheless, he said I could pass it on, so to save me having to think - I am doing so!

February 9th marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year.

The year of the Rooster commences.

The impish year of the Monkey is over and there should be a bit more stability. The prevailing winds are towards order. The Rooster symbolizes self-sufficiency and provides an opportunity to repair and rebuild relationships and situations that may have been damaged by the mischievous monkey. Unfortunately there is the danger of over confidence here as the Rooster also brims with pride. Simple things get complicated if image becomes important.

Self-awareness brings great progress.

The rooster cries every morning as the sun rises. Maybe he is just exhaling in a dynamic way to make room for all the energy of the sun when he breathes in.

There is a delicate balance with the Rooster. Avoid precarious disputes and speculative ventures for disappointment and conflict may arise.

Improvise when able to. Adapt when necessary.

It is time to let go of bitterness and resentment.

Exercise tolerance. Cultivate creativity.

Be healthy, active...and safe.

Happy New Year!

Right now that we have that out of the way, I'd better get my lazy, blog unworthy butt into gear and report right? Otherwise there is a Crazy Zen Man out there somewhere who is gonna buy a plane ticket to Australia, hunt me down, drag me screaming out into the night and beat me with a stick whilst yelling out 'MU! MU! Godamnitt - MU!'

You might want to read last post comment if you need insight into this last in-joke.

So, errr, yeah. I have been mighty busy and am bloody well buggered this morning. Played a gig last night at a place called 161 in Prahran, Melbourne. Prahran is kind of a 'groovy' area, where plenty of good shit happens, but all on the slightly consumerist side of the fence if you know what I mean - lots of fashion obsessed freaks who really ought to give more of a damn about a few issues that matter - but hey - that's their Karma...

Anyway, was pleasantly surprised when about ten lovely ladies all showed up to see me play (the bar was otherwise quite full anyway), made me feel like a right rooster in the hen house! Did leave me wondering where all my male friends have got to lately - I think it must be my clean living - all my old rock mates are still out getting brain damage while I drink green tea and meditate. Bit of an exaggeration, but a grain of truth there. There was a mix about times, they told me (twice) that I was on at 8:30 but when I got there they were a bit stressed because they had double booked and had tried to call me to start at 8 instead - so they restricted me to four songs! Not to make a mountainous story out of a molehill-sized tale, let me just say that I had to flex my zen-muscles and flow graciously with the Tao, despite feeling a bit ripped off. That is sometimes the trouble with being known for being super-chilled, venue promoters tend to use that to make their life easier at my expense. But somehow, I still believe that going with the flow is still the best option. I guess I've just been involved in the gig scene for a good few years now (13 to be precise) and I work with the knowledge that one gig in a bar doesn't amount to all that much at the end of the day. It's just not worth getting stressed about. The promoters in question are lovely blokes anyway.

Speaking of old rock mates (well, about half a paragraph ago) I am appearing in my mate's band's filmclip today (The Rush Effect), which will be something different. Apparently I just have to sit around in this fairly famous club called revolver and look cool. This will of course, be a simple matter for one as hip and happening as myself (not!). I must say, the timing is good though, as I am in great shape at the moment - as opposed to carrying that spare tyre that mysteriously attached itself to my waist about a year and a half ago. I tells ya, one minute your a twenty eight year old Lean-Machine, the next your a thirty year old fat storage device. It has taken a lot of effort to get rid of that unwelcome, unflattering newcomer, but I did it - I am officially slim and terrific again. And, to be honest, a little hungry for a big juicy burger and fries, washed down with a jug or three of cold Cascade Pale Ale.

But no, no beer or burger for me today, I am not quite half way through my six week yeast/sugar/carbs free diet. Looking forward to the end of it - to make an understatement.

Well, I must return to work, and I fear that I have made exactly the kind of blog entry that I vowed not to make when I started TCT - as in of the 'What I had for breakfast' variety. I fricking hate those kinds of blogs and can't read them (what a massive waste of precious time). Nevertheless, it is done.

Soon you will be able to go check out my new meditation website, but not yet. Ditto for my music site, yet to be named. Meanwhile check out photo from recent gig and Embrace Meditation logo in sidebar.

Flow Like Water, my friends, Around the Rocks.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

(almost) Effortless Action Galore!

Righteously busy at the mo getting ready to begin meditation classes next week, and all other business dealings begin soon, also including private meditation coaching. Actually had my first client yesterday and it went great. Also playing a gig tonight and tommorrow night.

Busy little Taoist indeed!No time for Blogging - bye now!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Main Principle of Taoism

Ancient China to Modern

"The philosophy of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu focussed entirely on this concept of the Tao, hence the name of the philosophy they founded: Taoism. For these two foundational Taoists, the Tao becomes the unitary principle and source of all there is, replacing T'ien as the source and governor of the universe. All things in the world are ultimately part of this single Tao; all contradictions and opposites are resolved in the Tao. The Tao, then, is the sum total of everything yet is still only a single thing. This, you may recognize, is similar to Parmenides' solution to the problem of the One and the Many. For the Taoists, anything viewed apart from this unitary principle, that is, anything viewed as having reality in and of itself apart from its place in the entirety of the universe, is fundamentally an illusion. Nothing has any meaning, value, or reality apart from its relation to the Tao. This Tao is unknowable and unspeakable; all human knowledge is knowledge of individual things and their relations, so no human knowledge can encompass the whole of everything as as single thing."

Saturday, February 05, 2005

I Ching with a Bullet!

My I Ching reading for today (I will keep the question to myself thanks!) told me this:

'By avoiding airs and pretensions, we protect ourselves from humiliation.'

So true, so very true.

May I state here that I know nothing. I am an ignorant un-enlightened buffoon!

Punx for Buddha

Dharma Punx

Excellent, I kind of like it - jazzing up the Middle way for the kids! Although, it kind of reminds me a little of scary memories of Born Again Youth Ministry at I was forced to endure!

God Rocks! O Yeah!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Little Raindrop Wakes Up From His Dream.

last night I had a great dream. Here's how it went.

I was a raindrop.

I was falling down through the sky towards the ocean.

It was taking a long time to fall all that way, and as I fell I felt many different emotions,

And thought about many different things.

Looking around, I could see lots of other raindrops falling through the sky also.



A Little Raindrop in the sky.

Suddenly - I stopped!

I just stopped dead in the sky.

And all the other raindrops stopped too.

Suddenly - I realised that my dream-self had been dreaming!

I woke up from this dream-inside-a-dream

And realised that I was not a raindrop at all!

That I was not falling through the sky towards the ocean!

And that there were no other little raindrops falling through the sky either!

'But if I am not a little raindrop - then what am I?

Who has woken up from this dreaming dream?' I wondered.

Then it dawned on me -

I was the ocean!

I had been asleep on the ocean bed, but now I was awake.

Now I could see that there are no little raindrops,

Just one big ocean that stretches unbroken, all the way to the horizon.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Unimportance of Zazen

I was lying on the couch last night flicking through a nice little book of Zen reflections, when I decided that, even though it was very late and I was sleepy, I would go into my meditation room for a sit before bed. I then played a little game that I sometimes play whereby I closed the book and thought to myself 'Whatever page I open to I will meditate on'

I opened to a page with the bold heading 'The Unimportance of Zazen', the main point of which was to point out that, ideally, the practitioner should be practicing meditation at all times, not just on his/her cushion (or chair). All of life is zazen. Mindfulness. All that.

The title made me chuckle. Maybe I should just go straight to bed?

'No' I thought 'A short sit. Good Discipline.'

So I went into my meditation room and sat on my chair. Fairly quickly I fell into a dozy stupor and had to keep bringing myself back from dreams every ten seconds.

Then suddenly I fell asleep for a second and then woke up with a start when I began to overbalance and nearly fell off my roost.

Eyes wide open from the effect of waking up with a start, I blinked and looked at the black door against the pink wall. And there I was - I had reached what I call Deep Consciousness. I had sat there for about five minutes, fallen asleep for a second, then woken up in that blissful, alert, state (samadhi) that I sometimes meditate for hours without managing to achieve. In this state all things are experienced as one, the environment appears almost luminescent, so clear is my state of lucid hyper-awareness. Even the mundane glows with a universal beauty. Calm awareness pervades. Acceptance of all things is as easy as breathing.

I again chuckled to myself.

'Zazen? Unimportant! Tao is always right in front of me! I'm going to bed!'

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