I have recently begun exploring Taoism. Or rather the concept of Tao, which is, of course, a paradox (or simply inaccurate!) as it is non-conceptual. Indeed the Japanese art of the ensō, a key element of Japanese Zen, which has its roots in the Tao, was created to represent its teachings, since words and concepts are inadequate.
Tao literally means “path”, and practitioners use it to symbolise a way of living which is in complete alignment with creation. Ok, so I am attempting to use words and concepts again…
So I’ll move on to its inspiration for me. This renewed contact with the Tao is a natural consequence of my ongoing work on flow, alignment and harmony.
In fact, while beginning a recent meditation, using my talented daughter’s beautiful monogram she embroidered for me, I realised that my middle initials also stand for Alignment and Harmony. Oh and Abundance and Happiness, but that’s another story…
About a year ago I finally learnt to ditch frustration and related feelings provoked by an ongoing scarcity mindset. Despite consciously moving to an abundant mindset years ago I was still having moments when the apparent lack of “progress” would leave me feeling deflated and even in tears with the emotion of all I wanted to achieve, not so much for me, but for others and the planet…
Then I finally learnt to let go. I like to say I finally discovered the “secret of happiness”. You know, the one that was hidden in the last place we think to look: ourselves! And that happiness is, actually, our default setting.
It is, in fact, in the void that exists once we remove all the layers we heap on ourselves from society, parents, teachers and, of course, our own thoughts (actually, it’s ALL our own thoughts!). This void is represented in the centre of the ensō, which simultaneously represents everything that is.
I have also learnt to see past these apparent paradoxes or dichotomies, to transcend, albeit for brief moments, the illusion of separation inherent in the paradigm of duality in which we normally reside.
Hence for example my talking in one moment about the fire in my heart and now about the river running through it. Like Yin and Yang, another Taoist and Zen fundamental, they exist in perfect harmony.
And when we learn to live “in the flow” (or the Tao), everything becomes effortless, things happen when they are supposed to and you open the door (your heart) to infinite possibilities.
It reminded me of the piano piece by Yiruma from the Twilight saga, River flows in you, which, given his Korean and British origins, must surely have a lesson from Eastern spiritual traditions for our disconnected Western society. After playing it on my own piano, I was inspired to write this post.
Of course, these things don’t change instantly and for ever. It takes conscious awareness and ongoing practice to install new beliefs and behaviours. Recently I have been reminded of this and dedicated time in meditation to reconnect to the place in my heart from which these insights came and find again the source of calm that allows me to deal with moments where things don’t go according to plan.
And now, with the addition of the Tao, I can let that calm flow from my inner self, through my heart, into my mind and out into the world. It is a beautiful thing!
So what is flowing through your heart right now? For me, as I write these words for you, it is love…💚
The Tao of Pooh is one of my all-time favorite books!