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Tao & Tai Chi

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
does anyone read the Tao te Ching or do Tai Chi as part of their spiritual path?
When I go to my Tai Chi group we always read from a couple different translations of the Tao te Ching. When I spend that time outdoors doing the forms & chigongs, I just feel my spiritual connection is so much stronger & I am so much more balanced and clear. Plus the perspective of the readings are so different from typical western ways of looking at things.
Just wondered if anyone else was enjoying this as a compliment to their spiritual growth or even as their primary path?
blessings, maria
post #2 of 12
Hi Spiralwoman-

I've been a Tao student for over ten years and practice Chi Gung & Nei Gung. I couldn't imagine being without it in my daily life--for me it encompasses everything I need for mind, body and spirit. Nice to see another Taoist here!
post #3 of 12
DH was a Taoist when I met him, did Tai Chi for 20 years daily & meditated daily. He was becoming an observant Jew at the time and since for a man Judaism can be ... ummm ... rather time consuming, he let his Tai Chi & meditation practice fall off.

It's definitely not antithetical to other religious practices, and even can fit in/ be done alongside ...

And he regrets losing it.

So do I, because I was just starting to learn the form when he stopped, so I got about 90 percent of the way there ...

Maybe I need to read more of this thread to inspire me back ...

Write on, ladies ...

- Amy
post #4 of 12
I have enjoyed Tai Chi in the past for its physical and mind-centering benefits. I always enjoyed it, and just didn't have the focus/time/organization to keep going. I never felt that it conflicted with any beliefs that I have and in fact enhanced my ability to communicate with God because it helped free my thoughts of inane unnecessary stuff.

I plan/hope to get back into it at some time. If you're contemplating it, I highly recommend it!
post #5 of 12
And I love Taoist birth control :LOL...
post #6 of 12
If we (dh and I) were pressed to label ourselves with a religion we would choose Taoist. We do not practice Tai Chi (regrettably) and I think we are probably the only folks with these spiritual beliefs in the area.

I struggle quite a bit with letting go of my need to control situations. Dh has either mastered this or has mastered the art of laziness, I am not sure.

The Tao te Ching and the I-Ching have given us much insight and hope through the years (esspecially with this new business venture).

I am very interested in this discussion!

Tell me about Taoist birth control, from what I think I know, isnt that an oxymoron?
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

translations of Tao te Ching

hi all-
i wondered if anyone had a favorite translation of the Tao te Ching. One thing I find fascinating is how many different translations there are and how diverse they are. In my Tai Chi class we read from the Stephen Mitchell translation & another called the Tao of Healing.

here is Chap9 from the Stephen Mitchell, 1988

"Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money & security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about other people's approval
and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity."

that one gives me chills it is so on target! The part about the heart being clenched is so striking. Does anyone have another translation to compare this to?

Also wondering- what makes one officially a Taoist? Is just an appreciation enough, or is there a certain practice/othodoxy that is followed? Taoism is a formal religion right? Are there basic tenets other than the Tao te Ching?

I am enjoying hearing about your experiences on this topic,
blessings, maria
post #8 of 12
Yes, Stephen Mitchell is by far my favorite translator.
post #9 of 12
Chanley--I was talking about semen retention. It's very effective BC, but takes a lot of self control on the part of DH :LOL.
post #10 of 12
Perhaps we can share some of our favorite passages?

By far my favorite is this one--I remember very clearly the day I read it and it struck me with such clarity, and made sense of so many things in my life:

I attain the utmost emptiness;
I keep to extreme stillness.
The myriad creatures all rise together
And I watch thereby their return.
The teeming creatures
All return to their separate roots.
Returning to one's roots is known as stillness.
Stillness is what is called returning to one's destiny.
Returning t oone's destiny is normal.
Knowledge of the normal is discernment.
Not to know the normal is to be without basis.
To innovate without basis bodes ill.
To know the normal is to be tolerant.
Tolerance leads to impartiality,
Impartiality to kingliness,
Kingliness to heaven,
Heaven to the way,
The way to perpetuity,
And to the end of one's days one will meet with no danger.

And my other favorite is:

By not setting foot outside the door
One knows the whole world;
By not looking out of the window
One knows the way of heaven.
The further one goes
The less one knows.
Hence the sage knows without having to stir,
Identifies without having to see it,
Accomplishes without having to do it.
post #11 of 12
Some of you may find this article thought provoking:

Fractals and the Sacred Tao, Stuart Wilde:


There are some beautiful graphics.
I'm a Taoist, but I don't practice tai chi. Hell, I don't even have time to practice flossing my teeth! : I do, however, have a bumper sticker that says: That was zen, this is tao. Better than nuthin'.
post #12 of 12
I just started doing tai chi.

One of the upper school teachers at Maeve's school is leading a group every mornings, there are about 20 of us, including some of the kids.

Of course, I'm doing it with Sophie in her sling, so it's actually tai chi and a half....*LOL*.

I love taking that time just for me. I walk away feeling so relaxed and strong and ready for the day.
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