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?'

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Zen and the Art of the Long Essay

Personality & Consciousness - - Zen and the Art of Imitating the Ineffable

I would read this today if I wasn't so busy - I will have to wait until a a less intensely work filled day - but meanwhile perhaps you have the time.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Just One Song

I have recently been thinking a lot about Curly's Law. I won't go on about it too much in terms of my life in general right now, because I have an article coming up about it in LivingNow magazine in May, but I will point your attention to this new post I just wrote over at about a new recording of a song of mine called Soul Transfer Protocol I have just finished and what I intend to do with it.

Oh, and if you've been reading, I have thus far successfully stayed off the booze for three weeks, am sticking with my Taoist semen-retention practice, and have been channeling all the energy these two factors usually usurp into my work (of which I have done bulk over the last two weeks). I can also report that the semen retention and the sobriety have lessened my need for sleep by about one quarter (six hours a night has been plenty). I have been meditating which has been clear, pleasant and easy, and I have been able to concentrate on tasks until they are done, which has been a problem in the past.

Oh and I also may or may not have been driving my work colleagues nuts with my constant fidgeting and high-speed chattering ;-)

Flow Like Water...

Check out my Contemporary Taoist print articles online at LivingNow magazine's website.

Download my free music here.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tao of Motivation


I am feeling totally inspired right now. Why? Because I have some reasonably major life issues and these inspire the hell out of me that's why.

What issues? Well, here's a small selection of some of the most major ones.

I have drinking problem:

Not a drink-all-day-everyday-from-a-brown-paper-bag kind of problem, but rather a go-out-two-three-four-times-a-week-and-drink-'til-I'm-a-blind-Irish
-raving-loony kind of problem.

Now I know that most Aussie men would probably just laugh at me for calling this a problem*, but bugger it, my partner and I decided together that this is the reality, and at the end of the day it's my call anyway.

So why does this inspire me?

There's nothing more inspiring than admitting you have a problem and resolving to do something about it. After years of (unsuccessfully) trying to moderate my behaviour, I have simply decided to quit cold turkey. I did that with (my habit of occasionally smoking) cigarettes, so why not do it for drinking? It's been two and half weeks, which isn't long at all, but it's been a breeze so far. Maybe I'll screw it up along the way, maybe I won't; time will tell. I won't go into great detail here but I will later I am sure. Meanwhile wish me luck.

*There is a t-shirt I've seen around that sums up the Aussie attitude towards excessive drinking. It reads: "I'm not an alcoholic, I'm 'Straalian!" (It requires a working knowledge of the Aussie accent to get that kooky spelling.)

I am in debt:

I know people with more debt than me, but I have a nice wad of credit looming over me like a freakin' gorilla on my back. So at the age of thirty three, not only am I still faced with prospect of earning my financial security in this life, I am also faced with a period of just getting back to square one. Yowch!

So how does a credit problem inspire me?

Because I know that there are people out there who have shown how it is possible to get out of debt and prosper, no matter what age you are.

Because it gives me a sharp pointy stick a la motivation that pokes me in arse everyday and forces me to get amongst it all and give it a good go. If I was already rich, I might well just choose to do nothing much. Seriously I probably would, except that...

I live in a troubled world.

And as far as I can see I haven't done nearly enough to help with that. Sure I've done some things to help, but not as much as I could have. I've spent far more time indulging in feel-good activities (mostly until the point where they don't feel good any more).

So between now and when I am financially wealthy, I need to find ways to help people every day, and when I do become financially wealthy, I will need to keep earning a reasonable amount of moolah so that I can help out in money kind of way, as well as the former method, which I've no doubt rich people get satisfaction from despite their ability to give chocolate-kisses to bums in cardboard boxes (can anyone pick the film I am referencing?).

And to close, I'd like to add that none of the above comes from a non-Taoist, non-Zen I'm-all-frustrated kind of perspective. I am in fact very peaceful in my own skin, and this is the greatest motivation of all.

Except perhaps for the semen-retention! (See previous posts. And yes, I am still Master of My Own Domain!)

Flow Like Water...

Check out my Contemporary Taoist print articles online at LivingNow magazine's website.

Download my free music here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tao of Sex Energy.

There can be no denying that synchronicity exists. I can be a cynic when it comes to woo-woo New Age concepts, (because sometimes I simply think that people get too dependent on the fantasy of it all (magic) and use it as a prop and as an avoidance mechanism) but I see far too many synchronistic moments to ignore. And suffice to say I just had one.

I was flicking through my RSS feeds this morning, while an idea for a blog post struck me. I woke up thinking about Napoleon Hill's 'Think and Grow Rich' for some reason, and particularly about the concept of redirecting one's sexual energy into one's work. As I am going through a period of highly inspired activity (more on that later) I decided that it would be a good time to practice some *ahem* chi-retention. By this I of course mean limiting the amount of times I *cough* release, so to speak.

Why? because, as most readers of Tao-stuff would know, it is a very healthy thing to do for men, saves your energy (noticeably so), and supposedly prolongs your life (although the jury's out on that one, but I can buy it, even if traditional Western medical types can't).

I decided, as I read about other things (oh dear, not very Zen ;-) that I might consider doing a blog post about restricting my, err, gratification to once a week for a while to see if I have more energy and get more work done. I hadn't made up my mind though, as I know that although worthwhile it can be quite a challenge :-)

Then I clicked on Steve Pavlini's feed (the last one my reader) to see that his latest entry is this: Sex Energy. Trippy man. And therefore, confirmed.

So I am now entering experiment mode. I am hereby only going to *cough* "whatsit" once a week and record the effects. I want to see if I can be more energetic AND productive.

I have done this before, by the way, and I already know that it will give me a lot more energy (or rather save my energy), but I also know that it will not necessarily make me more productive. I will need to practice regular meditation to settle my chi and focus it in the direction of constructive behaviour. Otherwise I run the risk of expending this extra energy in nonconstructive ways like explosive temper tantrums or wild spontaneous nights spent carousing the night away in the bars and nightclubs of our fine city. Heaven forbid.

Flow Like Water ... (once a week)

Check out my Contemporary Taoist print articles online at LivingNow magazine's website.

Download my free music here.

Monday, April 09, 2007

One Thing First Thing

I was feeling uninspired as I was skimming this mostly lackluster article, about throwing your future a lifeline, when I came across this suggestion:

"Every single day, do one tiny doable thing to make that future happen, and do it the very first thing."

What a great idea!

Now I have long believed that doing all those little things adds up, not that I have always practiced it, but I really like this idea of doing one thing - for yourself and your future - first thing. It could be quite a challenge couldn't it? For example, tomorrow I "have" to get up and go to work really very early indeed. What could I possibly do before 6:30am to get myself to where I want my life to be in the future?

Well, this of course may make some Tao-types and Zen-types smirk. "Spending today wanting to be somewhere in the future is missing the point of Tao/Zen!" I hear you cry. Well, yes ... and no. It depends on your mindset. If you are totally cool with where you are today (even if by means of rationalisation!) then spending time and effort working for tomorrow makes perfect sense. I am sure the worker ants in that fable were happy as they worked all summer to prepare for winter.

Anyway, this is not the main point of this post. All I really wanted to do was comment on how interesting the idea of doing something first thing, no matter what, specifically to advance your life towards a desired future outcome is. I think it is a very interesting strategy. I also know that I do it all the time. I often start out by planning a number of 'personal' tasks that I will squeeze into my working day, tasks that are centered around achieving my long term life goals.

I also often exercise in the morning first thing before work, although not as often as I should! This is something that moves me to where I want to be in the future - fit and healthy! Or sometimes I write short stories on the train. Again, moves me towards my desired future life as a fabulously wealthy author :-)

But although I think doing "one thing first thing" it is a very good idea if you don't feel you are getting enough done each day to get you to your desired future, in the end it is never going to be enough.

That's why I always like to choose at least five things. I have a few areas in life in which I want to achieve things: a couple of main career goals, health goals, relationship and happiness goals, money goals, and social responsibility goals.

If I just do one thing each day and then spend the rest of the day simply subsisting, then I will never get it all done. If I do AT LEAST one thing from each category above then I will be like somebody who is making a concerted effort to save money, one day I will look at my bank statement and go "Hey! Smooth going, dude, way to go ... rolling in it!"

Flow Like Water...

Check out my Contemporary Taoist print articles online at LivingNow magazine's website.

Download my free music here.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Understanding the Tao

Understanding the Tao is like trying to fit the ocean in a teacup

This article by the ever clever Scott Adams, reminds me of this post, Everything is Appropriate that I made to a website called Tao Bums ages ago. I hadn't looked at in a while, but it seems that since I have the article has inspired some civilised discussion.

I first saw the phrase 'everything is appropriate' back in the spring of 1998 when I walked into the office of a vegetarian hippy cafe, called Feedwell Cafe, on Greville Street in Prahran, Melbourne that I had just begun working at. The owner manager, a lovely older gentleman called Alan, had it scribbled on his white board. That was all he had on his whiteboard: Everything is Appropriate. I was struck by the apparent nonsense of this phrase and questioned it. Alan said nothing much about it, only that it was true. A chef present grumbled something about how 'it wouldn't be very appropriate if somebody walked into the cafe and began chopping off people's heads with an axe, would it', and thus a train of thought began in my mind that took a couple of years to resolve. This was just before the time that I started to explore meditation and Eastern philosophy, instead of just self-annihilation and hedonism (which I also kept up for a fair while afterwards though I must confess).

Anyway gotta go and push a wheelbarrow.

Flow like water...

Check out my Contemporary Taoist print articles online at LivingNow magazine's website.

Download my free music here.

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