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. **

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Taoism, Christmas and Ta Chiu

At Christmas time in Western countries it can be difficult for those of other or no faiths. Do you join in with the seasonal celebrations ignoring the Christian message, do you ignore it, or do you link it to celebrating a festival of your own at this time of year?

While as a Taoist its good to experience and enjoy whatever is happening without loading it with value judgements, it can also be nice to feel that you've got a celebration that is in some way "your own." In this light, over at the Reform Taoist Congregation there's been the suggestion that the Hong Kong Taoist festival of Ta Chiu be celebrated in this holiday period.

Taking place on 27th December, Ta Chiu is heavily tied into "religious" Taoism and its practices. I believe the pronunciation is Ta = like Tar but without the "r" sound at the end, Chiu = joo. Here's the description from cultureandrecreation.gov.au....

Ta Chiu is a Taoist festival of peace and renewal that takes place on 27 December in Hong Kong. The participants summon all of their gods and ghosts so that the gods' collective power will renew their lives. At the end of the festival, priests read aloud the names of every person who lives in the area. Then they attach the list of names to a paper horse and set it aflame, letting the names rise to heaven.

 Now the actual practice seems very alien and ritual heavy to a philosophical Taoist, but if you're looking for something Taoist to celebrate around the same time, or if you want to respond to those who wish you a "Happy Xmas" with a Taoist response, this might do the job for you. You don't have to conform to the "religious" parts, just the spirit of "peace & renewal." I that light you can take the basic theme and have any rituals, foods, cards, activities etc that mean "peace & renewal" to you. For me it conjours up images of nature and change. YMMV

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Taoism and blogging

I came across a really interesting blog today which I thought I'd recommend. It covers a wide range of subjects mostly from a Taoist/Buddhist perspective. IMHO it's excellent and it can be found at A Quiet Watercourse. I'll be adding it to my site's recommended blogs as well.

Taoism and dedication

I've been feeling for a while that this blog has been lacking in direction. I originally set it up as a place to explore Taoism and 21st century life but I don't feel that so far I've achieved what I set out to do. Now, it's in the nature of Taoism that often the journey is a winding one and such has been the case with this blog, but I think I'm finally reaching a point where I know where I want to take this site.

One of the things I think that is needed with any blog is a sense of continuity and freshness. While posts written just for the sake of writing something are rarely enjoyable for either writer or reader, a reasonable frequency of posting is important to keep the blog alive. As a Taoist this can be further complicated because I believe you should only really write when the 'muse' takes you and the words flow freely (wu wei again!) such as I'm feeling today.

In the light of these views I intend to push the direction of this blog back towards discussing how Taoism relates to 21st century issues and what to can teach us about living in this time. Now all I've got to do is wait until the first subject inspires me!!!!

Thursday, 1 October 2009


I just received notification that somebody has suggested this site for inclusion in the Daily Reviewer top 100 Taoism blogs (are there 100 Taoism blogs?????) and that this site has been selected. Thanks very much for whoever submitted the details.