Grounded in Reality
At the core of Taoist philosophy is experiencing balance and harmony with oneself, the experiences of life, other people/beings, and nature. Taoists focus on a holistic approach to health, which includes meditation, movement exercises, a proper diet, a peaceful lifestyle, and a nourishing environment.
For Taoists, a seated meditation practice is complimented by active practices in martial arts, the study of nutrition, herbology, and healing. Chi kung exercises fill the body with energy and animation. These chi kung exercises provide the power source for a spiritual experience and journey, as well as powering the activities of everyday life.
Finally, and this is important, Taoism isn’t about escaping from the world. It’s easy for the novice to see a spiritual path as retreating from society. For Taoists, however, the spiritual path is a path that goes inside yourself. This means to go inside yourself wherever you are; as a painter, a banker, a military officer, a teacher, or a parent. If we prematurely seek to escape the world without doing introspective work to see how we approach the challenges of everyday life, we will play out our ego dramas in our spiritual practice.
Facing life squarely and learning to navigate living in society is a cornerstone of a healthy spiritual practice. A worthwhile outcome of a strong spiritual path is the result of helping others and making ‘the world’ a better place.
The Alchemist’s Tao Te Ching:
Transforming Your Lead Into Gold