Why the “Greying of America” Might Be a Good Thing

In the past few years, as birth rates decline and people live longer lives, much concern has been expressed about the world’s aging populations. In many developed countries, there are many more senior citizens than ever before in history, and the percentage is projected to grow even more in the next few decades. In the United States, for example, people over the age of 65 are expected to comprise nearly a quarter of the country’s population by 2060. We are… Read more

Realization of Tao #3: True Self Is No-Self

We humans spend a lot of our time in life building up our identities, trying to “become somebody.” It starts as very young toddlers when we first learn that we have our own bodies separate from other people: “my foot, your foot,” “my face, Mommy’s face.” As we continue to look around and learn about the world, we see that all the people around us have specific names and roles: “That person is my mommy. That person is my daddy…. Read more

Realization of Tao #2: Everything Is Transient

The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously said, “Everything changes but change itself.” In saying this, he hit upon the second realization of Tao: Everything is transient; nothing remains the same. If anything looks solid and permanent, it is only an illusion since everything in the universe is in a constant state of flux—growing and shrinking, living and dying, breathing in and breathing out. Change Cannot Be Avoided In a lesser known passage about change, Heraclitus continues his meditation on the… Read more

Realization of Tao #1: Life Is Suffering

[Image source: iStock] People everywhere are chasing happiness. Many of us work most of our waking hours to earn money and to bring ourselves comfortable lifestyles. And then when we have free time, we seek out entertainment and delicious food to give ourselves pleasure. But how many of us find true happiness, a lasting joy that fulfills and gratifies us permanently?   Joy Is Always Momentary For most of us, the answer is no, happiness cannot last. The happiness we… Read more

The Three Realizations of Tao: An Overview

Over the course of the next few Patheos blogs, I will be introducing you to the three foundational teachings of Tao. While there are many other important teachings, these are the most foundational, the ones that must be fully understood and integrated into one’s being before true maturity can be achieved. All of them are very simple and can be summed up in three or four-word sentences. Yet, they are also extremely difficult. Anyone can understand them conceptually, as ideas… Read more

Use the Skill of Watching on Your Journey of Personal Growth

[Image source: iStock] It is often said that the journey matters more than the destination. The most important thing you can get from going for your goal is not the achievement of it itself but the greater understanding and awareness of yourself that comes through the process of achieving it. Watching yourself with absolute honesty is the best way to gain understanding about yourself. Watching means developing your ability to see underneath the surface of your own actions and emotions… Read more

Bowing: A Moving Meditation for Busy Minds

By now, you’ve probably heard a lot about the many benefits of meditation—reduced stress, increased focus, greater emotional control, and more. But how do you take advantage of these benefits if you find it hard to develop a regular meditation practice? The irony is that you need the increased focus that meditation brings, but you don’t have enough focus to start an effective practice! It’s no wonder that so many people start out with the intention of starting a daily… Read more

Playing It Safe: Attachment to Security (Part 4 of 4)

The world does have many dangers in it. Every day, people get into terrible accidents, experience violent crimes, and contract horrible diseases. War is practically never ending on the planet, and natural disasters can strike at any time. Yet, compared to how many previous generations of humans lived, most of us lead relatively safe lives; we live in comfortable homes, have more than enough food, can call 911 in an emergency, and have seatbelts and airbags in our cars to… Read more

The Need to Get Your Way: The Attachment to Control (Part 3 of 4)

Like attachment to recognition, attachment to control begins early in life. When a young child throws a tantrum, he or she is demonstrating this natural impulse in its unadulterated form. The child wants something—maybe a new toy or to do something fun—but the adults are not cooperating. So, the child cries and screams, and maybe even kicking and punching. In the child’s mind, they think, “If I make enough noise and cause enough trouble, they have to give me what… Read more

Grasping for Specialness: Attachment to Recognition (2 of 4)

Of the three forms of attachment, the attachment to recognition may be the one we experience the most from the youngest age. From the time we first became aware of ourselves as separate individuals, when we were still just toddlers, we hoped that other people would notice us and give us attention. “Hey, look at me!” we cried to our parents and family members as we went through the process of interacting with and learning about the world. As we… Read more

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