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10 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2007 - 12:23AM #1
paulisue
Posts: 9
Hi,

I have been looking for a community of worship for a while. I tried going to a few churches, but it didn't ring true for me. I took the beliefnet quiz and scored 100% neo-pagan and second was mahayanna buddhist. Where I could relate with the pagan beliefs of the cycles of nature, I'm not certain that it is were my beliefs lie.  I read buddhism and again I don't necessarily believe in the 8 fold path.  Reading buddhism hinted at taoism and I think this may be where I belong.

I believe that there is a spiritual force that connects all living things. I believe that we are born to follow the path of our true nature and that this spiritual force will bring opportunities and happiness when we are on our true path. I believe that suffering and obstacles are in our lives to push us towards are true path. I believe that although we each have a different path in life, that we should all be kind, and  find balance.

Is this any part of taoism? If so, how would I go about finding a place or community to practice taoism with?  What resources do you recommend in learning more.  Thank you for all of your input.
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10 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2007 - 12:41PM #2
stardustpilgrim
Posts: 5,664
[QUOTE=paulisue;157596]Hi,

I have been looking for a community of worship for a while. I tried going to a few churches, but it didn't ring true for me. I took the beliefnet quiz and scored 100% neo-pagan and second was mahayanna buddhist. Where I could relate with the pagan beliefs of the cycles of nature, I'm not certain that it is were my beliefs lie.  I read buddhism and again I don't necessarily believe in the 8 fold path.  Reading buddhism hinted at taoism and I think this may be where I belong.

I believe that there is a spiritual force that connects all living things. I believe that we are born to follow the path of our true nature and that this spiritual force will bring opportunities and happiness when we are on our true path. I believe that suffering and obstacles are in our lives to push us towards are true path. I believe that although we each have a different path in life, that we should all be kind, and  find balance.

Is this any part of taoism? If so, how would I go about finding a place or community to practice taoism with?  What resources do you recommend in learning more.  Thank you for all of your input.[/QUOTE]

Hello paulisue,

You seem to be a natural Taoist. What you describe is central to Taoism. You're going to love The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. That's the first place to start.  It's relatively short, but there's a lot in it. Almost any major bookstore is going to have several different translations. One of my favorites is still the first I read, by Gia-Gu Feng and Jane English. There is a small edition out (with an introduction by Jacob Needleman which is very good). A lot of people recommend the Penguin edition translated by DC Lau.

I would also recommend beginning to read Chuang Tzu. He is the 2nd most influencial Taoist. And I'd say start with The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton. It is more of a paraphrase than a translation, but very accessible. Chuang Tzu is my second favorite person ever.

And eventually you might want to check out the I Ching.  It's 64 hexagrams are supposed to represent all situations of life.......the movement of yin and yang. If you get this far, I recommend The Philosophy of the I Ching by Carol K. Anthony. But to begin with, stick with Loa Tzu & Chuang Tzu.

As far as meeting other people.....???.......I'd say....try to find Tai Chi Chuan teachers. A Tai Chi teacher might be able to point you in the right direction.............

paulisue, you were the first to hear my call :-) .......... I guess you were tuned in.

Before they changed the beliefnet structure Taoism was pretty active. Maybe others will again find us.

I'll try to post a few quotes...........
stardustpilgrim
Roses always come with thorns. Sometimes, thorns first, sometimes roses first, and, sometimes, thorns outside, roses inside, sometimes roses outside, thorns inside.

Someone who dreams of drinking wine at a cheerful banquet may wake up crying the next morning. Someone who dreams of crying may go off the next morning to enjoy the sport of the hunt. When we are in the midst of a dream, we do not know it's a dream. Sometimes we may even try to interpret our dreams while we are dreaming, but then we awake and realize it was a dream. Only after one is greatly awakened does one realize that it was all a great dream, while the fool thinks that he is awake and presumptuously aware. Chuang Tzu
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9 years ago  ::  Nov 11, 2008 - 6:18PM #3
buyanbodhi
Posts: 4
Please do get a good translation of the Tao te Ching/ Dao de Jing. Stephen Mitchell has just published a good annotated one. I like it for research reasons. The one I keep at my altar is the one translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English. It is clear , crisp, and has very nice imagery. I find it helps me in my understanding of Lao-Tzu. As far as Zhuangzi (Chang-Tzu) goes, the one by Thomas Merton is as good as you 're going to get for a reasonable price. There are some new translations out there which I'd like to purchase. But right now they are out of my price range. I liked Zhuangzi but my favorite Taoist, other than Laozi, is Liezi (Lieh-Tzu). When I read The Guide to Practical to Living, it was as if the words were coming out of my mouth! I felt like I had found myself. He is not as mystical as Zhuangzi but I found him very good at advice for day-to-day life. My main advice to you is to stick to the original authors-Lao-Tzu,Yen-Tzu,,Chang-Tzu,etc as much as possible. The only exception I offer to this is Shambala's Guide to Taoism by Eva Wong. It explains the history of Taoism, the different sects of Taoism, their practices, etc. It is not an easy read but one that provides an excellent introduction to Taoism. Btw, anything translated by Eva Wong is good. She is an iniate of several Taoist sects and know whereof she speaks.
Well, I'll close for now. If you want to talk more, just contact me by visiting my profile or leaving a comment @ one of my journal entries and I'll give you my email.
I leave you with this intro to Taoism:

xian zhi you men
zhong miao zhi men

darkness within darkness, lightness within light
the portal to mystery, spiral-dance.

(last two lines of the 1st paragraph of the Dao de Jing,
my translation

Wan An (Great peace in the evening)!
-buyanbodhi
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9 years ago  ::  Nov 12, 2008 - 6:02PM #4
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,708
Holy smokes! an annotated Stephen Mitchell translation?! And I just got a 30% coupon from Borders today!
What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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9 years ago  ::  Jan 15, 2009 - 6:14AM #5
jenny19710
Posts: 1
I agree right with you !
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