What are the Basic philosophical Taoist Beliefs of Chris Wakeford

Tao. (Usually pronounced “Dow” as in “Dow Jones”.) Tao is often translated into English as “Path” or “Way”. Essentially it is the organic pattern of harmony seen throughout Nature. We realise Tao [1] by aligning with our own true nature. Life becomes effortless when we align with Tao. Te. (Usually pronounced “Deh”.) Often translated as virtue – as in “The healing virtues of a plant”. Te [2] is the gentle unassuming intelligence of Nature. It is also the virtue obtained by living in harmony with Nature. The Three Jewels. The first jewel is Compassion [3]. This is the ability to see things from the perspective of all other life forms, both human and non-human. The second is Moderation [4]. This jewel is the avoidance of any form of extremism, whether it be views or actions. An approach somewhere between all opposing extremes should always be favoured. The final jewel is Humility [5]. This is the understanding that self-importance is not the way of Tao. This quality is fostered by allowing oneself to be open to all views and possibilities. Wu Wei. Often misinterpreted as laziness, Wu Wei [6] is the understanding that flexibility and suppleness are more effective than strength and rigidity. It should seem obvious that the more one acts in harmony with Nature, the more one achieves and with less effort. An example of Wu Wei is rowing in the direction of the current; or more skillfully still, putting up a sail and tacking into the wind. P’u. Meaning “The Uncarved Block” [7], such as wood in its natural state before it is shaped. This means being guided by what one intuitively feels rather than accepting the social conditioning of political, religious, gender, racial, and patriotic dogma. Detachment. Letting go of the need for tightly controlled or precisely defined outcomes. Allowing each moment to pass without regret, opinion or judgement. Too often we miss opportunities and experiences simply because we limit ourselves to preconceived notions of how things should be. Detachment [8] is allowing things and events to be as they are without the need for commentary or analysis; that can only lead to regret or despair. Yin-Yang [9]. This symbolises inherent balance and unity. Yang is the sunny side of a mountain and Yin is the side in shadow. Therefore it is not possible to experience Yang without also experiencing Yin. In the same way, it is not possible to experience winning without also experiencing losing; good without evil; health without illness; life without death. Oneness [10]. An experience of reality synonymous with enlightenment; where one becomes aware of the fundamental unity of all things. This is an experience beyond our sensory awareness and is usually only discovered through meditation practices. Tzu-Jan. (Usually pronounced “Zi-Run”.) This is the Chinese expression for Nature, often translated as “Of itself so”. However at the human level, Tzu-Jan (11) is also the condition of spontaneity. This is life without rigidness or uncompromising plans. This is a trust in life to take us where we need to be, ultimately freeing one from anxiety.

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