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About 365 Tao: Daily Meditations pdf
The Tao is constantly moving, the path that all life and the whole universe takes. There is nothing that is not part of it—harmonious living is to know and to move with the Tao—it is a way of life, the natural order of things, a force that flows through all life.
365 Tao is a contemporary book of meditations on what it means to be wholly a part of the Taoist way, and thus to be completely in harmony with oneself and the surrounding world.
Deng Ming-Dao is the author of eight books, including The Living I Ching, Chronicles of Tao, Everyday Tao, and Scholar Warrior. His books have been translated into fifteen languages. He studied qigong, philosophy, meditation, and internal martial arts with Taoist master Kwan Saihung for thirteen years, and with two other masters before that.
This is a deceptively simple collection of thoughts on Taoism, which is so refreshingly uncluttered with dogmatism (as compared to most other books on spirituality/religion I’ve read in the past) that the author nearly could have removed all references to “Tao” or “Taoism” from the text without affecting the integrity of the ideas expressed.
It’s such an accessible introduction that even though I read this on a whim and had no previous interest in this philosophy, I know I’ll be reading more about it now. That gets it 4 stars from me, easily. The 5th star is because it quite unexpectedly helped me to understand myself better.
One realization I had while reading (fairly personal.. be warned) was that in a way, I’ve been swimming upstream my entire life – whenever I encounter a challenge my response is almost always to just put my head down and power through it, do whatever it takes to resolve it. This attitude has helped me to be successful in many ways but also left me a debt of accumulated stress.
I know now that I have to learn how to go with the flow more – not jump at every challenge that presents itself, be more prepared for situations rather than simply throwing energy at them as a reflex, seek out more alternatives and compromises, and appreciate more where I am and not think too much about where I should be.
Obviously, this book won’t trigger such introspective thoughts for everyone, but you never know. Read it and find out!
Self-cultivation is the heart of spiritual attainment. Gaining insight and ability is not a matter of grand statements, dramatic initiations, or sporadic moments of enlightenment. Those things are only highlights in a life of consistent activity.
Whatever system of spirituality you practice, do it every day. If it is prayer, then pray every day. If it is meditation, then meditate every day. If it is exercise, then exercise every day. Only then will you be able to say that you are truly practicing spirituality.
This methodical approach is reassuring in several ways. First, it provides you with a process and a means to maintain progress even if that particular day is not inspiring or significant. Just to practice is already good. Secondly, it gives you a certain faith. If you practice every day, it is inevitable that you will gain from it. Thirdly, consistent practice gives you a certain satisfaction. How can you say to yourself that you have truly entered a spiritual path unless you can look back on years of daily practice and take comfort in the momentum that it has given you?