The Tao of Meditation: Part 2 of 3

I’ve been following an exercise routine for at least 18 years. Recently I added mind and body mediation to the physical exercise. When I mediate every day, I turn inward to link my mind and body.

What I think of when I think of Taoism is a story from Taoist tradition whose main image or metaphor is that of water that meets a rock in the river, and simply flows around it. Taoism suggests that a major source of our suffering is that we resist and try to control the natural movements of the world around us. The Tao literally means “The Way,” and it reminds us that the world is bigger than us, and we’ll enjoy it better if we humble ourselves to the natural flow of things.

You know. Go with the flow.

Taoism teaches that the physical body only contains the personality. There were rules for food, hygiene, breathing techniques and different forms of gymnastics, which were designed to suppress the causes of death and allow each follower to create an immortal body to replace the mortal one.

After the mortal body died, the immortal body went elsewhere to live.

About 200 AD, a Taoist scholar taught that virtue, avoidance of sin, confessions of sins and good works were the most important aspects and took precedence over diet and hygiene.

The difference from religions in the West was that Taoism did not have leaders on a national scale and was more like a federation of linked communities.

What I’ve discovered as I continue to meditation every morning after the physical exercise and before I start the day, is that I’m calmer throughout the day with little or no depression or doubts and with a lot less physical pain.

Continued in Part 3 on October 19, 2017, or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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4 Responses to The Tao of Meditation: Part 2 of 3

  1. jmnowak says:

    Your 200AD Taoist scholar sounds tainted with Christianity! And I guess ‘mediating’ is what you call getting the body to do what the mind tells it! (Sorry. Couldn’t help myself!) 😇

    • Maybe it sounds like that because I was born into a Christian culture and I wrote the post … an unintentional bias. As for meditating, that probably means something different to people depending on the culture and environment they grew up in. These biases are automatic and are based on characteristics such as gender, race, age, country of origin, or other dimensions of identity. I think the fadish term being used today in the U.S. is mindfulness.

      If it works and the individual finds an increased sense of peace and tranquility or harmony, that’s all that counts to my thinking.

      • jmnowak says:

        I’m sorry Lloyd. I guess you weren’t picking up on my sense of humour! Re your misspelling of meditation. I appreciate your comments and candour. I was a T’ai Chi practitioner (meaning I was diligent with practising the form) for a number of decades, the Yang style of Chen Man-ching. In consort with Hatha Yoga. I gained a lot, healthwise and spiritually. 🙋

      • No reason to be sorry. You were right. Mediate and meditation does not have the same meaning, and I didn’t pick up on the humor. I thought you were serious because when I meditate, I am trying to reprogram my inner self to find peace instead of the turmoil that seems to always be lurking in the shadows of my mind.

        I think spell check automatically corrected a typo in the original draft turning meditation into mediate. I have dyslexia and my mind often takes words like mediate in this case, and by the time they reach my brain, I see meditation.

        The dyslexia was so serious when I was a child, experts, that were totally wrong, told my mother I’d never learn to read or write. My mother made liars out of them with help from my first-grade teacher. Most teachers are professionals and the real experts when it comes to a child’s learning modality and how to overcome any roadblocks like dyslexia but teachers can’t do their jobs when idiots like Bill Gates and Betsy DeVos are making the most important decisions and they know nothing about education and how children learn. Teachers should be in charge and should get the support they need even if it costs more and means higher taxes for education and not war.

        On that note, isn’t mediation a form of internal meditation … an attempt to reach a reconciliation of some kind with your inner self so you can escape the negative voices … the darkness that comes from illnesses like PTSD?

        Thanks for pointing that out. I think I fixed it unless mediate appears in this three post series more than once.

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