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, May 22, 2006

Return to the Centre

It is inevitable that you will stray from your path. The trick is realising, and then quickly and quietly returning to the centre. Then just keep on walking.

I started this blog, and all my related activities (writing about personal growth for magazines and teaching meditation) because I have long felt that there is a gap in the world of personal growth. This gap is the distance between the highly disciplined personal development guru and the rest of us.

Don't get me wrong, I am not being resentful of those people - I aspire to be one of them, only without the bad hair and shoulder-pads - but sometimes it is a little discouraging when you read things like 'it's so easy!' and 'I haven't screwed up anything in my perfect life for ten years now' and the like.

I think I would like to read the story of a personal development leader trying to get there still. I haven't really come across one that's grabbed me - except for legendary stuff like the life of Buddha or whatever. Nope, haven't really found it - so I am writing it. I am NOT a master of self-discipline ... yet. I intend to be. And I am certainly getting better at it. I've come from being a shambles of youthful disarray six years ago to being pretty ok these days.

But I still fuck up. I did so on Saturday night - got smashed. This is a 'fuck up' because I have been on this whole mission to totally get the party animal side of me under control. Not because partying is bad. It's fun - that's why we do it right? But the fact is I have been well aware for some time now that the downside is just not worth the upside for me anymore. So I have been developing techniques for becoming able to enjoy a social life without getting wasted (and then spending two days as a completely unproductive misery guts).

But, uh, Saturday kinda turned into a *cough* beerfest.

And look, I can see my girlfriend rolling her eyes now at this, saying 'don't beat yourself up over it'. The thing is I'm not beating myself up over the party on Saturday night - I had a ball (I think. Don't remember it too well now). The thing I am upset about is how I only did about two hours (very unproductive) work on my business yesterday. And today I went to work for a meeting and then excused myself for the rest of the day due to being so down in the dumps and scattered that I knew I would be better off at home.

That kind of result just isn't good enough for me anymore.

But there is an upside. The upside is that I want the Contemporary Taoist to be a journey to greatness, not just another superhuman talking down to the hopeless masses. And if that means that, for now, I gotta get too drunk to walk from time to time - then so be it. In time, when this challenge is behind me, I will be able to draw on it to help others. Or at least to have a laugh at myself :)

Yes. It is inevitable that you will stray from your path. The trick is realising, and then quickly and quietly returning to the centre. Then just keep on walking.

Flow Like Water...

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