Introductions....?

Tell us about your interest in Taoism. How did you find the Tao and what it means to you? Are you a practitioner? What you hope to attain through your practice?

Moderator: laotan

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Seantzu72
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:50 pm

Introductions....?

Post by Seantzu72 »

Hello everyone! My name is Sean. I have been studying and following Tao philosophy for 18 years, and am very interested to know what directions "the way" has taken everyone. I live in the suburbs of Chicago. Anyone else?

Lance

Re: Introductions....?

Post by Lance »

Hi, Sean. I live in Portland, OR. To make a long story short, I went from a Christian with an interest in other religions and philosophies to Buddhism to Taoism. Most of my friends and family are still Christian (except for a few "neo-pagan" friends at work) but that's fine with me. We all still get along great.

NonTien

Re: Introductions....?

Post by NonTien »

I'm from Schaumburg - small world, ain't it?

AndyM
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:05 pm

Re: Introductions....?

Post by AndyM »

Hi All,

I'm from a small town in Scotland called Kinross. I've trying to follow the way for just over 3 years having been drawn to Taoism by my Tai Chi practices.

Danae

Re: Introductions....?

Post by Danae »

Hi Sean and everyone,
I live in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. My interest in Taoism started about 3 years ago. I had been teaching myself Tai Chi and was also interested in finding answers that Christianity couldn't provide. I decided to find out what religions existed before Christianity. That lead me to Buddhism, Confucianism, a few other ones and Taoism. The Taoist teachings fit me well, much better than Christianity ever did.
Danae

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laotan
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Re: Introductions....?

Post by laotan »

AndyM wrote:Hi All,

I'm from a small town in Scotland called Kinross. I've trying to follow the way for just over 3 years having been drawn to Taoism by my Tai Chi practices.
What you mean by "follow the way"? Is there any Taoist practice you followed or what?

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laotan
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Re: Introductions....?

Post by laotan »

Danae wrote:Hi Sean and everyone,
I live in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. My interest in Taoism started about 3 years ago. I had been teaching myself Tai Chi and was also interested in finding answers that Christianity couldn't provide. I decided to find out what religions existed before Christianity. That lead me to Buddhism, Confucianism, a few other ones and Taoism. The Taoist teachings fit me well, much better than Christianity ever did.
Danae
What answers, can you be more specific? I am sure that Christian religion and philosophy have a lot of answers.

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Seantzu72
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:50 pm

Re: Introductions....?

Post by Seantzu72 »

NonTien wrote:I'm from Schaumburg - small world, ain't it?
No kidding, I am in Elgin myself. Glad to see a possible like mind in my vicinity.

Danae

Re: Introductions....?/laotan

Post by Danae »

laotan wrote; What answers, can you be more specific? I am sure that Christian religion and philosophy have a lot of answers.

Yes, laotan, I can be more specific.

Christians are expected to show mercy and compassion to all others, no matter what. But God will condemn his own children to Hell if they don't ask for his forgiveness. Why are Christians expected to always show mercy and compassion if God can't? And why would God who is the embodiment of love and compassion allow the existence of Hell where sinners burn forever? Basically, the answers I got from Christian leaders had to do with God being God and we should have faith (blind faith is what they expected), we must not question what God does (otherwise we will burn in Hell), we don't know why God does what he does, etc. I didn't find those answers satisfactory.

The Tao (from the book, The Tao of Daily Living) tells me that Christian Hell is a concept invented by human beings for the purpose of invoking fear in others. Heaven and Hell exists in every one of us. At any point in time we have the potential to experience either extreme or any point in between. We do not need morality dictated to us and enforced with threats of punishment. Our own morality springs from within, driven by our natural desire to seek harmony, love and oneness.

When I was a Christian, I was told that I must not judge people and I must forgive them. It seemed that when I felt someone needed to be forgiven, I was judging them. When I asked the question, "How can I not judge people if I'm finding something in them that I feel needs to be forgiven?" I got no answers to that question. I don't think the Christian leaders are able to understand the conflict between not judging people and finding things in them that need forgiven, thus they couldn't answer my question.

It was only after I started studying the Tao that I found out that striving to forgive is not necessary, when one takes no offense to begin with. As told to me in the book, "The Tao of Daily Living", the problem of being offended is caused by the concept of ego. Egoism is something we created for ourselves, so it is something we can dismiss with a simple decision. Without egoism there is nothing to bruise, hurt or wound. Without damages or injuries to the ego, pride or dignity, there is also nothing to forgive. My own thoughts tell me that if there is nothing for me to forgive, I can't judge anyone.

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laotan
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Re: Introductions..../Danae

Post by laotan »

Yes, without egoism we may do this and that but how can one live without his/her ego, say without egoism? And as much as egoism is involved I think it is advisable to impose some morals. I know that the need of harmony may spring from within the empty heart but too many people think otherwise. They must walk their own way and benefit from their good deeds. This is the Way.
As for the hell I am not so sure it doesn't exist... My own experience after death show me that it must be something there.

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