The Tao Te Ching is essentially folk wisdom passed down from time immemorial. Said to have been written down about 2,500 years ago, the tao eventually coalesced in the form of 81 poems that speak to the common source of man’s perpetual dilemma.
How can I be a more compassionately aware and loving person in a world that seems increasingly so barbaric, shallow, and insensitive?
The early Taoists were essentially hermits, living in caves, existing hand-to-mouth like most of our early ancestors. These were really quite ordinary people. Living in close contact with nature gave them insights that many of us today are woefully lacking. They were simple people who could still perceive the subtle and spiritual essence of everyday life. Critical of powerful governments and institutions, they saw what was happening in the world and thought deeply about why mankind might have such a shocking capacity for ignorance and cruelty. If this seems relevant today, keep reading.
Why floating? I began floating essentially because Joe Rogan raved about it frequently on his podcast. Joe’s advice to novice floaters; “let go and then let go of letting go” certainly has Taoist underpinnings, whether Rogan is aware of it or not. Floating is inherently Taoist because, like floating, Taoism (inspired by ancient texts such as the Tao Te Ching) is a sort of raw, existential empiricism.
What happens if I remain still, alone, meditating in silent darkness, for extended periods of time?
Having spent several hundred hours in various float tanks, alone, meditating in silent darkness, I can tell you firsthand that nothing happens. But oh, what a delicious nothing it turns out to be.
subscribe to Carey’s new blog “The Floating Tao” here and read an excerpt below:
Calmly abide in the center of the cyclone.
Witness the furnace of turmoil,
watch the ten thousand things arise
and have their moment.
Then patiently watch all things return
to the common source.
Returning to the common source is peace,
which is nature’s way.
If you forget about nature’s balance,
you will stumble in sadness and worry.
When you remember nature’s balance,
you will become compassionate, independent,
patient as the oak tree,
playful as the sparrow.
Embrace the dream,
and the dream embraces you.
Dissolve in simple wonder.
No longer concerned about losing life
because we remember;
being intimately entwined with creation,
we are also one with everlasting re-creation.