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, May 13, 2006

Tao of ... Stuff

Whoa! Where did that week go? Busy, busy, busy!

I have been mostly concerned lately with the topic of how to get my many ideas projects happening all at once without stressing myself out. I already outlined my method of choosing Five Things a Day
and have in fact, since that post refined this system somewhat and - ironically - it has itself become one of my pet projects! By this I mean that I am going to make my goals achievement system available for others to peruse and use shortly.

Given that I am still in the position of having to hold a day job four days a week (thankfully not a horrible one), I have on some days found myself still getting a wee bit overawed by my ability to have an idea, open my mouth, get myself into something and then wonder if I should have just stuck that idea into my desk drawer to work on in the next lifetime! In fact I have been considering actually doing that for all my projects bar one - taking the approach of working the monomaniacal angle. I know from experience that this is a good way to move one project forward very quickly; I did it last year when writing my first novel. I took six months out, tightened my belt, and forsake everything else to get the book done. It worked. Six months later the book was 'finished' (very hard to ever say a novel is finished until it is published - I am in fact soon to do yet another rewrite).

However, I have come to a decision. I am too interested in too much to just do one thing at the expense of all other projects. So, even though this does slow me down a little, I am going to continue pursuing my whims. But I am also going to take the advice of my girlfriend's father and take the project that is currently leading the pack and give it the majority of my attention. This would be? Writing. Writing seems to be my strength. It seems to be the thing that is getting the most recognition, so I am going to take the path of least resistance and make it my number one main project. This means that I hereby publicly resolve that no matter how busy I get, I will always make the time to do at least one hour of writing everyday, and of course on weekends I will always attempt a good five hour stretch.

Did I say five again? :)

I have become a little obsessed with the number five. In my Chi Gung training I was taught to do everything in lots of three, preferably three lots of three, but for some reason the number five has become my new 'super-number'. For example in my daily goals lists I find three small goals too easy, and nine too many, but five just about right.

I did a little research on the number five in my favourite (non-Chinese) book Manly P Hall’s ‘The Secret Teaching of All Ages’ and here’s what he had to say:

“Among the Greeks, the pentagram was a sacred symbol of light, health, and vitality. It also symbolized the fifth element--ether--because it is free from the disturbances of the four lower elements. It is called equilibrium, because it divides the perfect number 10 into two equal parts.

The pentad is symbolic of Nature, for, when multiplied by itself it returns into itself, just as grains of wheat, starting in the form of seed, pass through Nature's processes and reproduce the seed of the wheat as the ultimate form of their own growth. ...

The tetrad (the elements) plus the monad equals the pentad. The Pythagoreans taught that the elements of earth, fire, air, and water were permeated by a substance called ether--the basis of vitality and life. Therefore, they chose the five-pointed star, or pentagram, as the symbol of vitality, health, and interpenetration.
It was customary for the philosophers to conceal the element of earth under the symbol of a dragon, and many of the heroes of antiquity were told to go forth and slay the dragon. Hence, they drove their sword (the monad) into the body of the dragon (the tetrad). This resulted in the formation of the pentad, a symbol of the victory of the spiritual nature over the material nature. “(Chapter XIV, Page 218)

I like that bit about the dragon slaying, and all the esoteric guff about the ether sounds like chi-talk to me :)

So anyway, a bit of a rambling entry today, but there you have it. I have been writing a couple of column submissions for the magazine and I guess whatever doesn’t make it into print will go straight up on the blog. I am doing further research at the moment into the correlations between Western esoteric traditions and the Tao, a continuing obsession of mine (it was a major theme in my novel - which, BTW, I will get published ... eventually).

Starting June, I am doing a six-week meditation teachers course with Matt from the Melbourne Meditation Centre, to sharpen my saw. This will get me all geared up for leading my first meditation workshop in a while at Kundalini House, on Saturday the 29th July. More details as they arise; please feel free to contact me if you are interested in attending - seamus [at]

I got an email the other day from somebody suggesting that the 'reverse' contrast of this blog is hard on the eyes (as in the white print on dark background). If you agree could you let me know? I am very lazy about making cosmetic changes to the blog, as those of you whom I have promised to link to in the sidebar may have noticed, but if it really sucks then just say the word.

I could use the services of a good website designer who would be prepared to help me set up a couple of websites for either the love of it or for the promise of a small payment in the near future. I want to maintain and update them once they are up but I am not sure I have the time to increase my skills to the degree needed to do the initial design. Best to email me privately about that - seamus [at]

I have been ingraining this month's new habit (I am going to add a new habit each month for twelve months) of reading out my affirmations each morning. Struggling to find the time some mornings, I struck upon the idea of doing them in the car on the way to work. It takes me 30-45 minutes to commute each morning, so that's plenty of time to do them over a few times each, and it means I rock up to work all psychologically pumped and ready to rock.

Speaking of affirmations, I am still doing the Million Dollar Experiment, why don't you? Or even better (for me!) drop me a cool hundred grand or so in the donation box in the sidebar of this blog and be rewarded by allowing me to quit working a day job and thus pump out books for you to read!

Flow Like Water...

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