About Taoism

Ancient Chinese Philosophy Today

Taoist practices are a diverse set of methods with the primary purpose of cultivating, preserving, recycling and storing chi or energy, and ultimately reaching spiritual enlightenment.  There are huge quantities of taoist mythology, analogies for the human condition, tales to teach us things about ourselves.  One can study enormous amounts of this literature but to understand what it is really about one needs to do the practices and experience energy, learn to effect and master your own energy, time and space.  The practices put us back in touch with our original natural programming that has been damaged through education and upbringing, and this allows us to heal because our energy can flow. 

 

Nature, The Five Elements, & finding your way

The word Tao means path or way, and the term Taoism refers to each of us following our own unique way and is heavily centred around the concept of finding and following our own destiny.  We are conceived in nature, perfect in our own unique way, in harmony with nature, but  society and our families reprogramme us away from our original condition, we lose ourselves and our purpose and we become sick.  Much of our journey is about reconnecting with that purpose that we lost to find deep and true fulfillment.  Society teaches us to battle ourselves and the forces around us, but Taoism teaches us to be as bamboo in the wind:  the bamboo bends as the wind blows by, then comes upright bearing no grudge towards the wood.  Another analogy is to be like a stream, strong yet fluid, flowing over the path of least resistance to our goal.  Observe, experience, grow and learn.  The outside world can be a distraction but nothing is coincidence, everything has meaning and is there to teach us.
The Taoists saw harmony with nature as essential to human health. The diagram of the Five Elements showing their relationships to each represents how the elements interact with each other in nature.  The same is true within the human body, and each organ is governed by one of the five elements, which is what gives the organs their personality or spiritual quality.  For example, the Heart, governed by Fire, resonates with love, joy and happiness, the vibrations of Fire.  An imbalanced Heart would not resonate these qualities.  Understanding this is a tool that both acupuncturists and chi kung/tai chi practitioners use to understand and explain how the organs interact with each other, how imbalances can occur and how to realign the energy flow.  Through Inner Alchemy practices you can learn to connect with your organs, feel the energy and vibration of the Five Elements working within us, and come to master the forces within the organs which manifest as our emotions.