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?'

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Azoth of the Philosophers

Azoth of the Philosophers:

"The word 'Azoth' in the title is one of the more arcane names for the One Thing. The 'A' and 'Z' in the word relate to the Greek alpha and omega, the beginning and end of all things. The word is meant to embrace the full meaning of the One Thing, which is both the chaotic First Matter at the beginning of the Work and the perfected Stone at its conclusion."

Doing some research for my second novel and have been quite taken by this mysterious thing 'Azoth'.

Looking at different sources nobody seems to agree quite what Azoth is - but there seem to be many references to it being something that appears to me to be the same or similar to the Taoist concept of Chi and/or the Tao itself.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Tao of My Original Music

Hi. I stayed up too late last night fiddling with my website and my MySpace space to get up early this morning and do my Chi Gung.

But, being a Taoist, I refuse to let this worry me ;)

Flow Like Water...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Attention is extremely important; if we do not pay attention we miss what is staring us in the face.

Rest In Peace, Aidan.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Fear of Fear of Death

The Useless Tree: Curing His "Addiction to Life"

I was Googling for Taoist views on substance abuse and addictions and came across this Taoist blog. We certainly are addicted to life, and while it is easy to pay lip service to the irreverence that the collective Tzu recommend, I personally prefer simply not to think about it. (Please note that this is not by any means an attack on the above blogger's opinions - I am just free-associating.)

By this I don't mean not to think about death, or not to acknowledge my fear of death, but rather not to dwell on my fear of death as being a problem.

Fear of death is natural; dog's fear death. Cats do too, so why should humans be any different?*

I used to think that I had to work to overcome my fear of death. I thought that by meditating long enough and hard enough I would become like the idealised men of the traditional texts who laugh in face of their impending demise.

Poppycock! These men are the stuff of mere legend - you can meditate until you forget you even have a body - but the moment some knife wielding psycho come careering through your window and lunges at your throat - you will fear death.

Or perhaps it is not the death we fear, but the pain of the knife slitting our throats, the discomfort and agony of the cancer slowly eating away at our bodies, the madness and loss of composure that often comes before our deaths - sometimes for years.

I think it perfectly reasonable to feel fear in these situations.

However, I believe that it is unhealthy to obsess over death during life. So my point is: enjoy life in a natural way, without overt concern over one’s impending demise, but release the fear of the fear of death. When your time comes, depending on the situation (you may die peacefully in your sleep or in a slow way whereby you maintain your faculties and repose yourself for the event – I’m not saying that can’t happen) you will feel what it is natural to feel – and this may very well be terror. Why kid yourself?

I could type on for hours about this but it is a broad topic so I will return to it later, possibly to consider the related topics of (what I call) the Christianity Hangover (I’ll explain later) and addictions and/or abuse of substances (a chapter of my life that I am closing the book on right now – or at least turning the page).

*In writing this I am sort of contradicting my own words in the main TCT manifesto, but this is Taoism: embracing paradox.

Flow Like Water...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Tao of Bad Habits

Zen Buddhism: Bad Habits"

In the root and stem of your own psyche there is an accumulation of bad habits, If you cannot see through them and act independently of them, you will unavoidably get bogged down along the way. Zen Master Yuansou"

The Tao of Black Dogs

There are no answers, only ways of coping with this strange life we have been given. This life is an opportunity - our challenge is to make the most of it. That doesn't have to be taken in a cheesy motivational-seminar kind of way, but there is truth in it. Doesn't mean that you should feel an obligation to 'pick up your socks' and become a power-achiever, indeed it is isn't necessarily about achievement at all, but rather about finding the peace that resides in your heart - and all around you, and embracing it. It is about realising that you will never know any 'answers' only questions, and deciding what that means to you. For me, learning to go with the flow on a daily basis, to try be as non-judgmental as possible, exercising and meditating regularly, and generally trying to stay with the centre by avoiding those things which knock me around is the best way to keep the black dogs away. And then, when you are feeling good, it is time to help others, even if it is only in simple ways - for example, educating yourself is a way of helping others, for by becoming more knowledgeable, you will have more to offer others as you make your way through life.

Most importantly, give yourself the right to despair - this may seem strange - but it is alright to feel bad, and when you do, not to beat yourself up over it. Darkness always turns to light again.

*Thanks to Kayla for the inspiration.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

A Cure for Messianic Madness

Nice site on Kabbalalalalalala!

"Messiah is not one fantastic event that happens in only one moment of time (a white knight swooping down out of the clouds, who instantly saves the day) but one great evolutionary learning process which is constantly unfolding in every moment of time. "

Saturday, March 04, 2006

It's a Tao Thang!

"Don't “remember to breathe” — just breathe. It's a Tao thing."

I was just thinking I might link to this here in TCT, even though it was more self-help than Tao when - hang on a minute - right at the bottom, it IS Tao thing it IS!

An excellent piece of advice to wake up to, especially given that I was a bit of drunken buffoon last night. Ok - more than a bit!

Now, shaky as I am, I could give in to that demon that wants me to believe that I should regret my behaviour, but you know what? Nothing I did was that bad, nothing I said insulted anyone, I was just a bit over-excited. I get like that - so what are you gonna do about it, demon? Nothing. Thought as much. So no regrets, last night was fun, I was silly, but today is now and it's a brand new day.

Besides - the girlfriend is all smiles.

Phew! That's the real barometer!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Taoism: "No matter what your beliefs, life still seems to unfold. Whether totally planned, or totally random, we simply react to what happens to us. Whatever we plan on life being, or whatever we hope will happen, life often unfolds without any rhyme or reason. We beat ourselves up trying to figure life out. Which means we search for answers to why life is the way it is. We ask why people have to die, why life is unfair, why good people have crappy lives, and bad people have it easy. Why nature has to suffer, and why the planet needs to be damaged, species destroyed, etc... We end up trying to understand the universe and understand the intentions of life. Which is pretty egotistical to think that we can know all the answers. Most of us know that religion is based on faith. We don't truly “know” if anything we believe or experience is really true. We have no proof of an afterlife, or a divine plan, until we die, and we get to know for sure. And even then we may not get any answers. All we have to work with, is what we see in front of us. Life."

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