Spirituality

RIP, Seth Roberts

I am very saddened to learn of Seth Roberts untimely death on April 26th 2014. Unlike many of the people listed below, I did not know Seth personally, that is, I never met him in real life.

Online, however, Seth actually took the time to contact me a couple of months ago when I had cited him in a post recommending honey before bedtime on this blog. He was very interested in knowing more about my experiments, and I found it a great honor that someone as accomplished as him would take the time to contact random strangers with few proven credentials for advice.

Back then, and to this day, this says a lot to me about what kind of person Seth must have been to the people who really knew him.  It is not every day that you meet someone who treats everyone, from every walk of life, equally. I don’t, if I must be completely honest, and I don’t think I have ever met anyone who truly does yet.

But Seth absolutely seemed to me like someone interested in getting to know everyone on equal terms. At least the few email correspondences I had with him leads me to think so.  He was also someone with unconventional ideas about how to hack life. I have experimented with many of his ideas myself, and will continue to live my life in the same vein that I imagine Seth did.

I don’t have a category on my site that matches news like these, so I am putting the post under spirituality. I do this because Seth was, although unknowingly,  a spiritual teacher  of sorts of mine – understood in the sense that to me being spiritual means being able to look outside the box of conventionality. Seth obviously did, and I will spend the rest of my life trying to do so too.

If you do not know who Seth was, take a look at his blog. Although he won’t be able to contribute to our collective knowledge further, his blog as well as his book are still very valuable resources for those interested in self-experimentation and in lifehacking.  I will leave you with links to posts by people who actually knew Seth well. (Borrowed from Tucker Max).

Tucker Max

John Durant

Richard Nikoley

Ryan Holiday

Ben Casnocha

Nassim Taleb

Was this post meaningful to you? If so, I always appreciate comments, likes and shares. Thanks!

Benjamin Franklin’s Plan for Attaining Moral Perfection – Part I

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was only 20 years old when he in 1726 wrote down a list of 13 virtues in order to help him achieve moral perfection throughout his lifetime. Franklin never accomplished his goal of moral perfection, but then again, I don’t think there is ever an end-point in self-development. You never stop learning and one should therefore always focus on making the best out of the journey itself.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin can be found for free at Project Gutenberg, and the 13 virtues can be found specifically in chapter 9 of that book. I have taken the liberty of paraphrasing them below:

1. Temperance – Eat not dulness; drink not elevation.

2. Silence – Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

3. Order – Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

4. Resolution – Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

5. Frugality – Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing

6. Industry – Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

7. Sincerity – Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

8. Justice – Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

9. Moderation – Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10. Cleanliness – Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.

11. Tranquility – Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

12. Chastity -Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.

13. Humility – Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Benjamin Franklin was very wise for his age, and only set out to master one of his 13 virtues at a time. They are arranged in an order so that “the previous acquisition of some might facilitate the acquisition of certain others”. (For his rather lengthy discussion of the order of the virtues see chapter 9 of his autobiography).

A course (one week per virtue) would therefore take him about 13 weeks, meaning, as he writes himself, that he would be able to go through the course four times in a year.

franklin-chart.pngTo keep track of his progress he kept a little book (see above pictures) in which he “allotted a page for each of the virtues”. Each page had a column for each day of the week as well as a row for each of the 13 virtues.

At the top of the page he wrote which virtue he was specifically focusing on that particular week. As the days went by he would mark little black spots for “every fault [he] found upon examination to have been committed respecting that virtue upon that day”. In other words, Franklin’s goal was to have as few black spots as possible in his chart.

Of course, this way of keeping track of your development requires that you diligently mark those black spots when you do something that goes against your set of virtues. That’s easier said than done, and you’d have to be one remarkable individual to keep going at this for a longer period of time. Well, we know that Benjamin Franklin was. Just look at his accomplishments and at his importance for the American country and for its people. One of the most inspiring individuals I have ever come upon in my studies of virtuous men and women.

I have deliberately chosen not to do a commentary on Benjamin Franklin’s virtues, letting his words speak for themselves. If you want to try Benjamin Franklin’s course out for yourself you can download a chart over at diyplanner.com. Let me know if you found it useful!

Sources:

If you liked this article, please like, share or leave a comment. Thank you for reading!

This is part I of a two part article. Part II will focus on Benjamin Franklin’s daily schedule as well as the daily schedule I am trying to follow myself.

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A short guide to the philosophy of the Tao and to the Tao Te Ching: Chapter 3

After a long hiatus regarding the subject, I am happy to return with a brand new post on The Tao Te Ching today.

I’ve been very happy that so many people seem to enjoy the series, and that both of the other posts has received a fair amount of ping-backs from other bloggers interested in Taoism.

So lets continue on with the third chapter of The Tao Te Ching, our personal guide to life.

Part one

Do not glorify the achieverstaoism-300x294

So the people will not squabble

Do not treasure goods that are hard to obtain

So the people will not become thieves

Do not treasure the desired things

So their hearts will not be confused

This chapter of the Tao Te Ching, and especially the first part, is quite relevant to the modern world we life in today.

We glorify musicians, politicians, actors, and the likes – the achievers – to an extend that is becoming unhealthy for our mental well beings.

There are too many people in the world for everyone to have a slice of the fame pie.

But there are not too many people in the world for everyone to be happy about their lives, about their families and friends, jobs, hobbies, and so on.

If we keep measuring ourselves up to other people, to “achievers” especially, we won’t find happiness in being who we are, and we will never be true to our true selves.

People treasure goods that are hard to obtain because it gives them status in society and among their peers.

But measuring people through whether or not they can afford an Armani suit or Jimmy Choo shoes creates unnecessary social stratification.

Sure, people buy those things so they can feel better about themselves, better than someone else, but in reality, we are all worth the same.

It doesn’t matter if you are Bill Gates or the bum on the street corner – to be happy with ourselves we should strive to make other people feel equal to us; to let them feel that we value them and their goals in life as much as we value or own.

It is not wrong to to treasure expensive things because they are of an excellent quality.

I’ve met people who had ten times what I have but who weren’t snobbish about it and who didn’t look down on me because I have less than they have.

These are the kinds of people we should surround ourselves with, whether or not they happen to be rich or famous.

We are all worth the same and the equal high happiness of every individual on the face of this planet is something we should try to prioritize, by however small acts we can on a daily basis.

Part two 

Thus the governance of the sage: happiness_250

Empties their hearts

Fills their bellies

Weakens their ambitions

Strengthens their bones

If we follow this sense of equality, truly believing that we all have the right to be happy, we can focus less on ambitions for fame, glory, or material wealth, and more on attending to our more important needs of receiving love and loving in return, and of living healthy and long lives with whatever little or much we have.

It is our task as Taoists to teach these kinds of messages to our fellow man, not by preaching, but by living a life of balance, focusing on the things that really matter.

As a philosophical Taoist, it continues to amaze me how much love I receive in return for my attention to the well-being of another.

Part three

Le the people have no cunning and no greedmeaning-of-taoism

So those who scheme will not dare to meddle

Act without contrivance

And nothing will be beyond control

If we choose to live a life of balance and not pay attention to greed, selfishness and ego, those who once sought to cheat us and take advantage of us will leave us be, because they will have seen that our willpower is too strong to be broken by their cunning deception.

We will see that by being good people everything will fall into place and the universe will aspire to help us achieve our true dreams and goals.

True happiness, then, lies in putting love and good health first; in being the best you you can be; and in showing the world that by sharing your love with others.

~ Jake

A short guide to the philosophy of the Tao and to the Tao Te Ching: Chapter 2

Introduction

We now move from the very abstract first chapter to the very concrete second chapter of the Tao Te Ching.

There are many wonderful chapters of the Tao Te Ching (out of 81 chapters in total) but the second chapter is one of my favorites because it touches on the ever-important issue of power and authority.

Human nature is to want attention and recognition. But attention doesn’t necessarily bring happiness and recognition doesn’t necessarily bring respect. In order to achieve true success we must decide for ourselves that “success” isn’t important in itself and that we won’t strive for it as our main goal.

But lets not spend too much time on the introduction this time and get started with the good part. First, chapter two in its whole:

Chapter 2 of the Tao Te Ching:

(Part one, my division)

When the world knows beauty as beauty, ugliness arises

When it knows good as good, evil arises

Thus being and nonbeing produce each other

Difficult and easy bring about each other

Long and short bring about each other

High and low support each other

Music and voice harmonize each other

Front and back follow each other

(Part two, my division)

Therefore the sages:

Manage the work of detached actions

Conduct the teaching of no words

They work with myriad things but do not control

They create but do not posses

They act but do not presume

They succeed but do not dwell on success

It is because they do not dwell on success

That it never goes away

The structure of the chapter

I went through almost every single line of chapter one in its post separately. Chapter two is different since all lines build up to a common conclusion and it’ll therefore be sufficient to divide it into two general parts.

Part one of the chapter

“When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.” Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein became very famous for his theory of relativity, but the ancients knew of the relative nature of the world long before this.They understood that even comparison itself is relative and subjective of nature.

There is this famous saying that I like: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Well most things is truly in the eye of the beholder. We often forget to think of why other people might see a situation differently than we do. Whats going on here is our id and ego bullying our super-ego.

For me, change became easier to accomplish when I started to accept that other people might have a good point in their point of view of things. Actually people almost always have a good point, and listening to other people’s critique is one of the best ways to achieve real change in life.

I also used to think about what people could do for me. Now I think about what I can do for them. Kind of like John F. Kennedy’s famous memorial day quote (ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you an do for your country).

If we accept and let go of the relativism of things we’ll be better off. For example, instead of thinking of something as “difficult to achieve”, you are better of thinking of it as “a challenge”. You want something enough in life? Accept the challenge like Barney Stinson would.

Anyway, I realize this is not much of a direct commentary on the individual lines. Look at it as a distillation of the essence of the chapter.

Part two of the chapter

Then there is the second part of the chapter, starting at “therefore the sages..”

With all of the above in mind, the sages do not “control” because that would only lead to resistance. We do not develop any attachment to the results of our “actions” because this will either lead to failure or to the desire to achieve even more. We must be content in the moment and with what we have now.

Similarly, there is great happiness to be found in sharing without asking for anything in return. Before the end of 2013 I will release a free e-book because I like to be a part of the conversation. Making someone else happy or helping someone to improve their life is the greatest gift of all in itself, especially when they express their gratitude in words (edit: and otherwise). It is an amazing feeling.

Moving on, a sage will act without making any presumptions. The first part of the chapter taught us how difficult it is to really know anything, especially when it comes to other people. Open mindedness is one of the greatest virtues. If you go into a conversation having judged the other person beforehand, the only one who lose anything is YOU.

And finally, getting back to the very first thing I mentioned – authority – we must never dwell on success if we want to be truly successful – if we want to feel successful with ourselves.

Having become the boss of it all is not to be confused with having gotten “further in life” than your peers. On the contrary, even thinking about getting further in life than anyone else as a goal to begin with is a direct road to unhappiness.

I am here to a) challenge myself, b) grow happier, and to c) facilitate happiness in other people. On this road I might become “successful” at say blogging, but while I can find joy in the success I experience with that, it is not and should not be my end goal.

Conclusion

With that we are through our perhaps somewhat unconventional guide to the second chapter of the Tao Te Ching. As a Taoist I have no idea what I am doing here, to be frank, I am just doing what comes natural to me (as the concept of Wu-Wei teaches) and that is to write until my fingers bleed.

But I hope this post and the second chapter of the Tao Te Ching makes some sense relative to each other, for the least. As always, I encourage you to pick up the Derek Lin translation of the Tao Te Ching here. It is because of him that I am able to write this series.

~ Jacob

A short guide to the philosophy of the Tao and to the Tao Te Ching: Chapter 1

Today we are beginning our journey with the Tao Te Ching, and it is a day I have been looking forward to so much that I wanted to postpone starting with the series indefinitely. Why? Because the Tao Te Ching is an incredibly insightful book that I can’t hope to do justice to at this point.

However, as we might conclude from the insights of chapter one, there is never a point in waiting for tomorrow with anything we’ve set our heart on doing. So here we are, jumping in the deep end with perhaps the greatest philosophical work of all time. 

When I wrote the majority of this post, by the way, I was sitting by a lit fireplace in a wooden cabin, stars and moon shining outside, with a glass of whiskey by my side. I figured I wouldn’t stumble upon a better opportunity to spend some time with one of the finest books ever written, the Tao Te Ching, and I hope I was right about that. So without further ado, let’s get started. 

First, a bit of a back-story

One evening back in 2005, as I was sitting at my desk googling various spiritual topics, I stumbled  across a website that would change my life. The website can still be found at www.taoism.net and there I found an online forum full of wonderful people: Taoists.

Most were not Taoists in a religious sense, and indeed, opponents of the Taoist philosophy will often reject people who seek enlightenment through Taoism as new-age buffoons.

Taoism, however,  is not essentially about spirituality, although a common denominator of many people who embrace Taoism is open-mindedness towards spirituality. Understanding the value that a spiritual outlook on life can bring is a great advantage if you want to study the Tao. Most philosophies, spiritual or not, have something to add to a well-lived life.

To me Taoism is mostly about philosophy; to other people it might be something more spiritual of nature. Both are fine approaches to the teachings of the Tao.

And the Tao, which translates as the way, is about finding your own place in the world; about making peace  with and finding enjoyment in the ways of the universe. In this day an age it is a natural consequence of our culture that many people seek fame and fortune. We want only the best for ourselves.

However, as the Tao teaches, we all have limits, and sometimes it can be in our best interest to know of and accept those limits sooner rather than later in life. Some will be on their deathbed and still not have embraced who they truly are. Living in accordance with the Tao is to live a life without regret and to live in acceptance of reality, about breaking out from your own little bubble.

I mentioned taoism.net because  the owner of this website, Derek Lin, also wrote the (in my humble opinion) best translation to English of the Tao Te Ching that is out there. There are plenty of reasons why I think so, but the most important is the fact that Derek is both bilingual and bi-cultural, being a Chinese-american. Anyway, it is his translation that we will be discussing in these weekly meditations.

Among other places, you can pick it up here.

Chapter one of the Tao Te Ching

The first chapter of the Tao Te Ching reads as follows:

The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named  is not the eternal name
The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
The named  is the mother of myriad things
Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its  essence
Constantly, with desire, one observes its manifestations
These two emerge together but differ in name
The unity is said to be the mystery
Mystery of mysteries, the door of all wonders

Before addressing each line one after another, a quick note on the fact that the Tao should not be thought of like one might think of a religion. No place in the Tao Te Ching does it say that its content should be considered truth or the only way to live your life.

In fact, the first chapter of the Tao Te Ching can be read as warning to thinking of the Tao in absolutist terms. There is no right or wrong, no better or worse according to the Tao, only different manifestations of the universal flow of energy.

Dissecting the individual lines of the chapter

I will now say a few words on each line before drawing a conclusion on the chapter as a whole.

1.  The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
This line can be confusing. According to Derek Lin the Tao is something to be experienced, words are not enough. I take it to be a bit like love in this aspect. Poetic words of love like the praise of Goethe or the agony of Kierkegaard can be beautiful to read but they have nothing on the passionate embrace, kiss and touch of another person. We only truly grow through first-hand experience. Be it with love, the Tao, or with anything else.

2. The name that can be named is not the eternal name
Just as I can’t  tell you what the essence of the Tao is through spoken words, I can’t tell you about it through a blog post. Language can be a great help in communicating our thoughts and feelings, but ultimately true understanding of the Tao – and of one another – is up to us using our intuition and to us getting in touch with our own feelings and emotions.

3. The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
The closest I can come to make sense of this line right now is to say that you can think of the laws of physics as being a part of the Tao. Ultimately, no answer to our origins will be sufficiently satisfying for small beings such as us, but through the Tao we can come to an acceptance of the circumstances we find ourselves living under. Once we accept the difficulty in finding true purpose to life, the universe and everything (perhaps expect for 42) we can begin to embed our own lives’ with personal truth and meaning according to our own hearts and minds. 

4. The named is the mother of myriad things
We, along with everything else alive, are children of the Tao. Reiterating Carl Sagan, we are here as a way for the universe to know itself. That is a beautiful thing in itself.

5. Thus, constantly, without desire one observes its essence
This line, as well as the rest of the chapter, is more practically applied in life than previous lines. We should try to understand and find joy in the way things work in itself, without using this knowledge in a selfish way. As Derek says in his book, we should focus on being there for other people, and as a result we will find a deep sense of calm through being selfless and through non-attachment to absolute truths.

6. Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations

While we shouldn’t be selfish we should be passionate about the world around us; about our friends and family, about nature, and about everything else. There is beauty in even the ugliest of creatures; there is goodness in even the most evil of souls.

7. These two emerge together but differ in name

‘These two’ refer to the material world and the spiritual realm. We should not consider mind to be over matter (or matter to be over mind for that matter). Through Taoism we investigate how spiritual mindfulness  can lead to a more fruitful physical coexistence with other people, and how experiences in the physical world can lead to spiritual and personal growth.

8. The unity is said to be the mystery 

9. Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders

These last two lines put an emphasis on how important the two sides of the Tao are to each other. We cannot live a truly satisfying life if we’ve got our heads in a book most the time! But neither can we do the same through purely physical experiences. If we feed both body and mind we get soul as a result. If we value doing, but value thinking just the same, we might find ourselves one day just being. Life should not be more complicated than that.

Wrap up

With that we are through the first chapter of the Tao Te Ching. I hope I’ve succeeded in providing an introduction of some value to the chapter.

By now the Tao is still an enigma to us, difficult to understand.

But as we go through more verses we will slowly become more and more familiar with what kind of force the Tao really is.

Living in accordance with the Tao has often been described as being like water. Here is how another Chinese-American, martial artist Bruce Lee, described this way of thinking:

Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

Yours sincerely

Jacob

Wu Wei, or action through non-action, or effortless action

Hi guys, I haven’t forgotten about my promise of writing a post on the Taoist concept of Wu Wei, but I’ve been really busy at work, which has made it difficult for me to find not the time but the willpower to go through with it this past week. Now, this post is not a thorough guide to Wu Wei, merely a summary of my personal experience with the concept as of today. I will write more about Wu Wei as I go through the chapters of the Tao Te Ching, and we’ll encounter it again as soon as at chapter 2.

Wu-Wei

So Wu Wei is perhaps not only the most important concept in the Taoist tradition, but one of the most important and helpful concepts entirely in the field of self-development. The whole of Taoism, by the way, is about just that..self development…or self awareness.

Citing Tai Chi master Bruce Frantzis, Wu Wei isn’t “non-action” but “action that operates by simply following the natural course of universal energy as it manifests without strain or ego involvement”.

So what does it mean to follow the natural course of universal energy?

This is a question we may meditate on for the rest of our lives without reaching a proper conclusion!

For now, however, I take it to mean that we should think less about the ultimate goals we might have with our actions, and enjoy just doing while in the moment. This philosophy is great meditation for someone like me, who’ll tend to analyze everything down to the most minute detail. Sometimes waiting for or looking forward to that which is perfect prevents us from experiencing that which is here now.

As I see it, Wu Wei is about doing that which is “natural” to do. It is about making choices based on rational considerations of the situation we find ourselves in, and to consider how our actions affect other people and our general surroundings. To some extend Wu Wei and science are alike in that both seek to remove the ego from the decision-making  process concerning what action to take.

I try to apply Wu Wei to most things in life. Take this blog. No matter what the outcome is, it is always perfect to me. It is not important whether or not I have thousands of readers, it is important to me that I am adding some sort of positive value to the world by writing about self-development. If nothing else I am making myself a better person by each post I write here, and that is enough in itself.

I now even apply Wu Wei to things like my eating habits. Processed foods and especially sweets and desserts are not naturally good for us and so one should limit his intake of such things. Wu Wei also teaches that nothing good comes from being one-sided or dogmatic so disallowing sweets entirely would also not be natural. Everything in appropriate measures!

Another thing is to try to be more physically active throughout your day. An inactive life is not the natural way for a human being to live, and physical and mental illness is sure to follow. Wu Wei teaches you to think about how the machine that is the human is built and works.

And take technology. Social media sites like Facebook are great communication tools but they are also addictive to an unhealthy extend. Research shows that self-centeredness and self-obsession are major causes of depression. Facebook is a fertilizer leading to an inflated ego! Again healthy moderation is the correct action to take, not abstinence. Without Facebook there’d be a lot of wonderful people I would have lost contact with by now.

To sum up, Wu Wei is about practicing effortlessness and spontaneity. It is about letting go of fears and predispositions. About letting go of ego and seeing the world through someone else’s eyes.

And it is about much more than that, but this is all for now. I hope you have a great week!

Yours sincerely

Jacob

Introducing ‘weekly meditations’, this week: Taoist essentials

In a spur of the moment kinda’ thing I’ve decided to do a weekly meditations series on varying philosophical concepts, starting out with a couple of Taoist essentials.

The series would have been more aptly named ‘Weekly musings’ since it’ll just be me reflecting on bits of philosophy I stumble upon on my road through life, but I’ve named the series as such as a tribute to the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius who wrote a diary-like autobiographical, reflective “book” called (you guessed it) meditations. 

I may regret making this a WEEKLY thing, but I am essentially doing it because I want to force myself to read up on philosophy that has interested me in the past. More on this below. 

meditationsI am starting out with an introductory post on the Chinese philosophy/religion Taoism. Many years ago I read a book called The Tao Te Ching, and I liked it so much that I would go on to call myself “a Taoist” from then on. But like you might have figured out, I was only an 18-year-old kid in search of identity, and being a Taoist didn’t really have any practical implications in my life back then. I was too busy drinking beers and running after girls.

Today, however, I am in search of congruence in my life, and so, I’ve decided to begin taking Taoism and philosophy in general seriously. I no longer have reason to consider myself “a Taoist” though.

In the end it doesn’t matter how you define yourself, you are only truly defined by your actions. Oh, actions do speak louder than words.

So why the fascination with Taoism? 

Well, I am sure there are many other good philosophies to dig into, Taoism just happened to be the first one I stumbled upon. That is really all there is to it. And it was love at first sight like it usually is for me.

I think the Tao Te Ching – the “bible” of Taoism – happens to be (perhaps) the wisest book ever written! It would – without a doubt – be on top of my list of things to take with me on a desert island. (Well, that and booze, as you saw in the last post).

It teaches you to go through life like water. A stream of water will always find a way around rocks,  and with time it can even carve out a path through the toughest of materials. In a sense, Taoism teaches us to go with the flow, and then again not entirely, because the Taoist sage is complentative of his actions, and chooses wisely what to do next upon gathering new information.

Quick note, however. I’ll not pretend to know everything about Taoism here! In fact I am just a beginner fumbling through the dark myself, so I would not take my words here too seriously if I was you. Of course, most things shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but that is a whole other matter.

Now, Tao is a Chinese concept roughly translating to “the way” or “the path”, and the Tao can be considered a force not unlike the force in Star Wars. In fact, George Lucas was originally inspired by Taoism when coming up with ideas for the Jedi Religion.

The Tao can be said to be the way of the Universe, how things are, but other than that it is really difficult to describe it. Because….“the Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao” (a quote from the Tao Te Ching).

While Taoism and The Tao The Ching is written with T’s in English,  the words are actually pronounced as Daoism and The Dao De Jing. This is the first thing to learn when emerging oneself in Taoism, and I won’t dig deeper into Taoist philosophy  in this post than that.

Because my weekly meditations will most likely mostly be on Taoism and the Tao Te Ching, at least for a considerable while. The Tao Te Ching has 81 “verses” so if we go through one a week we’ll be busy with that for at least the next 81 weeks. Pheew!

There is actually also another book, or two books, that we will spend some time with  in our weekly meditations on Taoism. They are called The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet and are both written by a guy named Benjamin Hoff.

They are usually sold as one volume and are in my opinion THE BEST introduction to Taoism out there. So if you find yourself wanting to read up on Taoism after reading this post, go out and buy both – you will not regret it!

Anyway, I think this will be enough “meditating” for now. The next post in the series will be on one of the most important Taoist concepts, the concept of Wu Wei which, again, roughly can be translated to meaning “non-action” or “non-doing”.

Wu Wei isn’t about sitting around doing nothing all day like it might sound like, it is rather about living effortlessly, or simply about focusing more on just being rather than on doing. More on that coming up next week.

tao-of-pooh

As always I hope you enjoyed the post. At the moment I’ve been spewing out posts super frequently. I hope you can live with that, and that you’ll also live with it at times when you won’t hear from me for weeks. My creativity, or inspiration, to write here comes in bursts. Anyway, as always, thanks for reading, and may the Tao be with you!

Yours sincerely,

Jacob