Skip to main content

By not doing nothing is left undone

Taoism, a philosophy as well as a religion

Came across an interesting article in the NYT recently about Taoism’s perspective on what it means to be human and what it means to die.   Tai chi as you may know is the movement embodiment of Taoism, and I’ve been curious for most of my time studying this Eastern art to understand what Taoism is all about.  But aside from the amazing writings of LaoTze -- a must! -- I've been somewhat disappointed.  there's precious little on the books.   (Though ask me about the few t'ai chi stories that you come across now and then, including the one about the man at the drive-through Starbucks!)  

ALL JOKING ASIDE,    I’ve found only simple one sentence references to what Taoism is — like being in sync with nature, or yin-yang.  ho hum.   Glibly said,  easily forgotten.    So when I came  across this  article the other day, titled A conversation with the religious scholar Brook Ziporyn on Taoism, life and what might come after. I was delighted to find a  profound examination of this little understood religion-philosophy.  

I’d be interested in your response.   If you feel inclined,   jot your thots in the comments section below.     Or, maybe while we’re waiting for folks to show up to our zoom-room next week we can chat about it a bit.

Speaking of which,  a new beginners t'ai class is starting up!    Friday mornings, and it looks like it's going to be a fun class.   contact me if you're interested, or know someone who might be:  soozntaichi@gmail.com/

~ sh


Comments

  1. A question: What about T’ai chi embodies Taoism? Or put another way, how is Taoism reflected in the practice of T’aiji?

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Maiden Post

Hello everyone,   this is my maiden post for this new blog.  What's it supposed to be or do?   I hope that we engage on some of the applied lessons of t'ai chi -- find examples and stories from our daily lives where t'ai chi can come in handy.  I will try to catch them in my web-mind to save for posting, or keep my ears peeled for others' stories and welcome you to do the same. I'll also post my weekly class schedule. Class is on today,  January 29 If you came last Wednesday,   Jan 22nd,   and were not aware of the cancelled class please accept this week's class at no charge,  along with my sincerest apologies.    I tried to reach everyone, but it seems that at least one person didn't get the message Class is on tomorrow,  January 30 Address for all classes:  Spoke the Hub,  748 Union Street,  Brooklyn, NY,  an accessible, ground-floor space and  maybe the nicest studio in Park Slope  By train, the R to Union or the 2,3 to Grand Army Plaza

a season's greetings card

a season's greetings card We can all feel it -- the coming into the major holiday season which will culminate in an eternally  hyped up New Years.   It's, as oft-noted, very commercial,  ironically materialistic  and the season  sometimes feels like just too much!  (If I hear the little drummer boy piped into the supermarket one more time kind of thing)    But there's a lot of fun stuff, --  joyful giving and receiving of gifts, the  coming together to eat food that's not good for you, just in general  "being merry"  on the streets, in friends'  homes.   But, well.   sigh.  deep sigh.    sometimes there's a sadness mixed in.   Many of us remember happier times,  or feel more sharply,  losses that have occurred over the past year. and before.   The holidays can be as difficult as they can be merry.      I've drawn from the Taoist philosopher,  Lao Tzu, who is one of those thinkers and writers  to whom practitioners of the Taoist

ruminations on posture

Standing with head gently erect, eyes straight ahead.  Why is it so hard?    Wherever you take a t’ai chi class,  from whichever teacher in whatever town or village in the world, you will hear at some point,   imagine a long thread,  stretching from the crown of your head, to the sky.     it’s almost always something I say at the beginning of each class (after all the other postural instructions, starting from the feet).      it’s quite an image,  though,  your crown attached umbilically to the heavens,  and we may struggle a bit trying to visualize it, let alone to enact, and then to stay like this throughout the one hour class!   Don’t feel discouraged.    I tell my class that it’s probably the hardest part of the pose and the form — keeping your eyes focused ahead, your head relaxed on the stem of your neck.    A teaching:    Hawkes, my erstwhile teacher, would tell us,   y ou can kill with your eyes! You can't though if your eyes are cast down, searching the floor