Becoming One With The Tao

August 23, 2011 at 9:10 am 2 comments

What does it mean to become one with the Tao? How can we join the Tao? Is this possible, or is just a psychological illusion?

To me there is a relationship between attaining oneness with Tao and letting go. Both involve a setting aside of reliance on ego and an acceptance that life, the universe, and everything is greater than our own small self. To really let go, to allow things to happen as they will, means to accept that our own plans, our own attempts to stay in control of events, is doomed to fail, and will in the end prove an unhealthy way of living. Instead of trying so hard to make things work out as we would like them to, we are better off –  healthier and happier – to just rely on things turning out as they will. This requires trust, something which is in short supply in our day. To trust is to assume that ‘all will be well’ that there is an existing pattern in the universe that sorts things, events, and people in a way that is not inevitable or determined, but that will be somehow OK. To try to work against this flow of events puts us in opposition to this pattern, and since this pattern is also in us, it means that we are acting in opposition to ourself.

This can’t be good. Acting against ourselves is how we create imbalances in the flow of energy, of chi, and how blockages and stagnation occur in the body, leading to illness. If we want to stay healthy, then we need to make sure that our individual pattern is aligned with the universal pattern. The energy that flows in and through us should  not be blocked, but should just continue the flow that is in the universe at large. This is, in its own way, attaining the Tao. Our individual pattern, our energy flow, is the power or essence of who we are. It is our signature. And this derives from the Tao, the universal pattern or energy flow.

The Tao te Ching (Chapter 16) says,

Attain complete emptiness

Hold fast to stillness.

The ten thousand things stir about;

I only watch for their going back.


One way of looking at this chapter is to see that it is about meditation. In deep meditation it is possible to attain emptiness and stillness. But this is only relative emptiness and relative stillness. Our heart is still beating, our digestive system still moving, our lungs still  expanding; we still have awareness. Our body as an object in space is still, but our body as an energy system continues to function. However it is functioning at a slower and deeper level than when we are active. This means that our systems are able to slow down – our breathing, heart beat and digestion all slows – and this has a corresponding effect on our muscles, nerves and brain. No physical action is required, our involuntary systems provide all we need to stay alive, and so our nervous system (and mind) are able to take a well-needed rest.

One of ‘the ten thousand things’ in the world is our body, and in meditation it is very easy to view it ‘stirring about’. This stirring is not extreme, it is rather gentle and subdued, and so it is easy (in our relative state of emptiness, when so little outward activity is happening) , to watch for the body’s ‘going back’. Everything rises and falls, our chi rises and falls, our breath rises and falls. As we watch internally (the words used to describe this is something like ‘to turn your gaze around’) and become aware of how our energy circulates, rises and falls, then the places where we have obstuctions or blockages start to ‘light up’, show us where we have a problem.

It is this self-discovery in meditation of our subtle and not-so-subtle blockages, obstructions and pains that gives us the chance to self-heal, to start the journey to health that can break up these blockages, eliminate this pain, and increase the free flowing of our energy. I believe that this road or path to health is one of the ‘ways’ to the Tao.

Entry filed under: breathing, Thoughts.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jonathan  |  August 5, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Nice post. I learn one thing more difficult on different blogs everyday. It can all the time be stimulating to read content from different writers and observe a little one thing from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content material on my weblog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a hyperlink in your net blog. Thanks for sharing.

    • 2. markforstater  |  August 6, 2013 at 8:18 am

      Of course I am happy that you use the material as long as you credit it to me and give a link. Thanks, Mark


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