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. **

Monday, 20 December 2010

Taoism and renewal

At this time of the year I'm always reminded of the Taijitu symbol - or the Yin / Yang symbol as it is better known. Not just a pretty design, it symbolises something fundamental in the nature of reality and our experience of it. At the point of greatest Yin, Yang is born and at greatest Yang, Yin is born. Over time everything is born, grows, dies, and is then renewed starting the cycle all over again.

For those of us in the Northern hemisphere tomorrow is the Winter Solstice and we can see the relationship with the Taijitu because at the point of Solstice, our longest night, is born the start of the long journey to the Summer Solstice, our longest day. Indeed I've seen suggestions that the origins of the Taijitu is in observations of the Sun as it moves from Winter to Summer Solstice and back again.

So what does this tell us about our day to day lives? Possibly the best lessons are captured in the old sayings "nothing lasts forever" and "the darkest hour is before the dawn." If you are feeling sad, remember that over time this will pass. If you're feeling overwhelmed by everything, remember that the intensity will not persist and if you hang in there things will become easier. We should also remember however that the opposite is also true, there may be times when we feel sad and times when we feel overwhelmed. So when life is good and when you are enjoying yourself savour it - enjoy the moment - don't take it all for granted. These changes will happen whether or not we want them to. While me may be able to exert some influence upon them essentially we have to bend with the wind - to live in the moment experiencing things as they are, not raging and shouting about how we think they should be.

There is a time for being ahead,
a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion,
a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous,
a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe,
a time for being in danger.

The Master sees things as they are,

without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way,
and resides at the centre of the circle.

TTC Ch. 29 (12)



Bird's Eye View said...

May your solstice time be a blessing to you and yours. Fantastic post!

Beautifulmingles said...

"Taoism and renewal"
Taoism- most people are not familiar ..
It originated in central Asia.Great philosophers on spirituality.

http://www.halffry.com said...

Tao is related to Zen. Nice Post.

Fresh Garden said...

That's beautiful and inspiring!
Thanks for the enlightenment!!