Welcome to The Path of Water

This site is dedicated to exploring the Tao and Philosophical Taoism; and how it relates to everyday modern life in the 21st Century. It also includes posts relating to how I feel Taoism can provide insights for dealing with the problems of everyday living.

The process of writing out my thoughts helps me to explore what I believe and why, so these posts will probably develop over time. I hope that you'll find this site interesting and, for those of you new to the Tao and Taoism, I hope that it can provide you with a first step on the path to a rich spiritual life. If you want to post comments relating to a post or the site as a whole I'd be grateful as all feedback is helpful.

Enjoy your visit - In Tao - Woody

Who would follow the Way must go beyond words.
Who would know the world must go beyond names. *

No man ever steps in the same river twice,
for it's not the same river and he's not the same man. **

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Unitarian Universalism

Continuing on my search for Taoist suitable communities I've also been pointed by a fellow blogger to Unitarian Universalism. I'd come across them before but for some reason felt that they might be too much of a Christian organisation. Looking at them again I realise that while their roots are in liberal Christianity, they are more about supporting individual searches for spiritual development and understanding than about any particular creed, and they may be a potential home for this Taoist. Certainly what I've read online from Taoists, Buddhists, Pantheists and Pagans seems very positive.

From internet research it seems that some of the physical churches may be more centered on Liberal Christianity than others (particularly in the UK), but their modern tradition is striving to accommodate all seekers who support their principles which are....
  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
They list the sources of their faith as...
  • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
  • Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
  • Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
  • Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
  • Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.
  • Spiritual teachings of earth-centred traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
They have members who identify with the major Western Monotheistic religions, but also members who are Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist, Pantheist, Pagan, Humanist and Taoist.

I'm interested in exploring this community more, so as a first step I've taken trial membership of the Church of the Larger Fellowship, the online Unitarian Universalist congregation. This site has lots of interesting resources including a new discussion list for Taoist members and those with some interest in Taoism.

For the UK the organising bodies are The General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches and the National Unitarian Fellowship, while the international body is The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. I'll post again on this subject when I've had more time to explore, but you might find these sites useful if you're looking for a community expereience as part of your spiritual journey.

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