Tao Tuesday

I am a Christian.  A Methodist to be specific.  I have always been interested in other religions, especially Eastern religions.  In college I minored in Religious studies.  My senior thesis compared the teachings of the Tao Te Ching with the teachings of the Bible.

Recently I started reading Dr. Wayne Dyer's "Change Your Thoughts - Change Your Life".  The book is Dr. Dyer's interpretation of the Tao Te Ching (The Book of Changes).  The Tao Te Ching is an ancient Chinese text  containing 81 verses written by Lao-tzu, a Taoist philosopher.  Lao-tzu believed simplicity to be the key to freedom.  Right up my ally, don't you think?!?

In Dr. Dyer's book, each chapter is dedicated to one of the verses (yes, that means there are 81 chapters).  Dr. Dyer explains the verses as he has interpreted them and as they apply to our modern world.  I am fascinated by this book, so much so that every Tuesday I will be sharing a verse on my blog along with my own interpretations and real-life experiences.  One of my DayZero tasks is to blog more about myself, and I think this is the perfect way to do it.  I love the book, I love the teachings of the Tao Te Ching, and I believe you should not waste energy completing projects that you do not love to do.  

So without further ado, here is my first Tao Tuesday post:

1st Verse

The Tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named
is not the eternal name.

The Tao is both named and nameless.
As nameless it is the origin of all things;
as named it is the Mother of 10,000 things.

Ever desireless, one can see the mystery;
ever desiring, one sees only the manifestations.
And the mystery itself is the doorway
to all understanding.

Dr. Dyer explains that we, in the Western world, have a way of naming everything and that Lao-tzu's 10,000 things refers to all the things we name on earth and how we categorize them.  Yet the word is not the thing we are trying to describe.  "...water is not the word water - any more than is is agua, Wasser, or H20 - nothing in the universe is what it is named."  (Dr. Dyer)  We are not the sum of our parts, we are a nameless mystery.  Dr. Dyer interprets this for practice in the 21st century:

"Don't always toil at trying to understand your mate, your children, your parents, your boss, or anyone else, because the Tao is working at all times.  When expectations are shattered, practice allowing that to be the way it is.  Relax, let go, allow, and recognize that some of your desires are about how you think your world should be, rather than how it is in that moment.  Become an astute observer... judge less and listen more.  Take time to open your mind to the fascinating mystery and uncertainty that we all experience."

  I think we can all relate to this passage.  I know I can.  I am guilty of trying to understand what drives my children to act out or whine, or what ever it is they are doing at the moment.  I am guilty of letting my expectations dictate my life.  Yesterday I spent the day putting this verse into practice, simply letting things allow to be how they need to be at the moment (hence, not having any time for photography).  It is not easy for me.  One issue I know I have is that sometimes (not all the time) I expect people to behave the way that I would behave in certain situations.  I do realize now how silly that is, and don't get me wrong or misinterpret.  I do not believe I am better than anyone else, or that my way is the right way.  Sometimes I just forget that people have different ideas on how a situation or experience should be handled and it throws me off.  Instead I should just be in the moment and accept the way things are going, whether or not it is how I would have done it.

I think it is important to be able to self-reflect.  These posts may seem like you are reading my personal diary, and in a sense, you are.  It is what I need to do to try to be a better person.  And I am trying, contrary to popular belief :)

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