Program Host: Vicki Dello Joio
February 10, 2022
So now we have a book, this Tao Te Ching, a guidebook as it were. Imagine that you are going on vacation and so pick up a guidebook on the local sites. It has lots of information on where to go for the best experience, the best view, the best food, the best music. Of course one can just go and wing it, but why, if there is a good and time-tested guidebook available?
This guidebook has been around long enough to be tested again and again and found to be truly useful and even inspiring. You can start on page one and go from there or you can open it to any page and find what you need on it.
And of course, this is not the only guidebook of Tao. There are others, such as the Chuang Tzu and the Lieh Tzu, both full of entertaining and colorful stories of the human condition and how to carry forth in a balanced and healthy (mind, body and spirit) way.
The main thing though, as with all guidebooks, is that it is one thing to think about going on a vacation or a journey or a pilgrimage and read up on it and be an armchair traveler, and actually going on the journey or pilgrimage. As the poet says, the proof is in the pudding.
We can read all sorts of books on practices for spiritual enlightenment, but until we actually apply them to our own life, they are not nearly as helpful and even transformative.
So, where to start? It is not necessary to aim for complete spiritual enlightenment (at least not right away)! How about just learning how to become more in touch with sacred world of Nature? How about becoming more in control of our oftentimes wildly fluctuating emotions? Or how about creating a healthier lifestyle, so that you are not privy to every health challenge that comes your way? Or how about learning how to have more clear and balanced thought processes? Or how about creating a more fulfilling and fun relationship, or how about learning more about sacred sexuality? Or how to live in a more balanced and grounded manner so that you can bend with the winds of adversity like the bamboo, and not break?
All these things and more are possible with this simple guidebook and the will to put its ideas and practices into your life on a regular basis. It can be challenging as first, but once you take those first steps “of the journey of a thousand miles” it gets easier and more fun.
This path of Tao is not one of too much somberness and solemnity. “If we do not laugh,” says our guidebook, “it is not really Tao.” And what is not Tao or connected to the great Source of all life, will not last long.
The practices of Taoism are called “long life practices.” They will have the most effect on your life and sense of wellbeing the more you actually practice them. But all along the way, there are moments of deep insight and joy.
In this edition of Qi Talks Solala will be discussing how to utilize the ancient teachings of the Tao Te Ching to have a happier, healthier and emotionally stable life.
Solala Towler Born in Lawrence, MA in 1950, Solala Towler came of age in the sixties when he first got involved in Eastern philosophy and practice. He has studied Taoism for over 30 years and published The Empty Vessel: The Journal of Taoist Philosophy and Practice for 25 years.
Solala has had 14 books on qigong and Taoist philosophy published, including Tales From the Tao (Watkins) and Practicing the Tao Te Ching: 81 Steps On the Way, (Sounds True). He has taught qigong and Taoist meditation workshops and seminars all over the country. In addition, he regularly leads groups to study qigong and Taoist meditation in the sacred mountains of China.
He is a founding board member and past president of the National Qigong Association.
Solala also leads Taoist Tea Ceremonies and is author two books on Cha Dao or the Way of Tea.
Also a musician, Solala has recorded four cds of meditation/relaxation movement using large Tibetan Bowls, flutes, harmonic overtone singing and group chant.
To learn more about Solala Towler and his work visit www.abodetao.com.
To learn more about Solala’s work, including his weekly zoom class on the Tao Te Ching see his website at www.abodetao.com