October 31, 2017

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

October 17, 2017

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

September 29, 2017

[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

September 22, 2017

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

August 23, 2017

[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

August 1, 2017

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

July 19, 2017

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

July 5, 2017

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

June 27, 2017

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

June 20, 2017

You’ll notice that the discussions on Patheos these days reflect the fact that people have a lot of concerns about the world. They are worried about the latest political trends as people become polarized on the left and right. They are worried about global affairs as worldviews clash in a more connected, interdependent world. They are worried about our shared environment as the planet faces the threat of global warming and pollution. They are right to be concerned since today’s… Read more

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