Hello Lovers. Thought I might give a little background about the name of the blog and the image.
Do you have some heroes? You know like Spider Man or Thoreau? Hmmm. Thoreau in tights, that one never crossed my mind until now. "Delete." Nope still there...swinging in the trees, overlooking Walden. We've never really seen his buns have we? He just isn't the super hero type that one. Oh well, back to the story.
You've heard me rave about Whitman and Emerson. I also like Jesus. Oh yes, I'm a big Jesus fan. Socrates (well Plato's version anyway)--a real super star. Ben Franklin--my gosh, what a guy. And Shakespeare...hooo, a genuine freak of nature. Had to be...no kidding. Must have been an alien. Brought cats with him. Cats are weird aren't they. Sorry, I digress...
But dear reader, I'm here to mention one less familiar. And they usually mess with his name. Really we should just think of him as Lao. The chronicles will have us think of him as Lao Tsu or Lao Tse or Laozi, Whether Tsu, zi or Tse, they all just mean the same thing. We might call him Dr. Lao, as in Ph.D doc. As I understand it, the Tsu just designates "master."
Lao is one of those guys who we really don't know whether he was real or not. At least with Jesus, there is quite a bit of other documentation, besides the biblical references. Like the Dead Sea Scrolls and Roman skins and such.
With Lao, we can read stuff like this from Wikipedia:
Legends claim variously that Laozi was "born old"; that he lived for 996 years, with twelve previous incarnations starting around the time of the Three Sovereigns before the thirteen as Laozi
But I'm using him simply as the guy we attribute the Tao te Ching to. My lovely friend...my most cherished companions...if you haven't had the pleasure of becoming intimate with the Tao te Ching, please give yourself the gift of some time devoted there.
There is no calamity greater than lavish desires.....He who loves the world as his body may be entrusted with the empire...Know the masculine, keep to the feminine...Seek not happiness too greedily, and be not fearful of happiness....
Perhaps the most famous is A journey of a thousand miles starts witht the first step. This is from Verse (or chapter) 76:
The (supposed) student of Lao is Chuang. Chuang had many beautiful things to say too, sort of like Plato did of Socrates or as Aristotle did of Plato or as Paul did of Jesus, though don't get me started on that one. Chuang's famous story is of his butterfly dream.
The Tao te Ching is one of the sacred texts of Taoism, as is the I Ching. Both are intricately connected to energy, meditation, and health. For instance, Tai Chi, Chi Kung, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have tentacles stretching deeply in to these texts.
One of the cornerstones of the Taoist DNA is the concept of the five elements. These elements in TCM have a correlation to every facet of the cosmos and life. Our weather, the directions (East, West, Center, North and South), diet, the meridians in our bodies, our physiology (including the five primary internal organs), music, colors, art, philosophy, the seasons, the material world. The ancient physicians would have us understand that there is a connection to all things, through the concept of the five elements.
The day this humble blog was published, those thoughts and others were on my mind. I took a break between movies at the theater and stood outside. A bush in full bloom with little blossoms captured my attention and when I turned one of the tiny blooms over, I saw a perfect five pointed star. The stem from the star connected it with about fifteen other stars, each which provided the structure to the perfectly rounded five petals of each flower. The symmetry and beauty of the design crowded me. My logic seemed so insufficient. Even my sense of it seemed inadequate. All we can do in such moments is give in to the bliss.
There is a magical technique which is said to be ancient. The foremost authority of the technique teaches Taoist alchemy in Thailand and his name is Mantak Chia. He has changed the name of the technique to help us tap in to the potential benefits. He calls it "Inner Smile." I learned the technique from Mantak's protege in the US, Michael Winn.
We can derive the benefits from the practice even without knowing one quote from the Tao te Ching or without having spent a second in meditation. Just as we benefit from the simple act of smiling, you can enjoy healing by moving that same smile from your lips to your heart and from your heart to other parts of the body.
As to the actual url--five places. It is related to which names were available. But I thought...hmmm, five places. It may mean more than I know right now. From the five tips of our fingers, from the five stems of our body (head, arms and legs), from our five senses to the five flavors. This is a place for everyone, who wants to share a story. So as the Taoists proclaimed first there was the one, then from one came two and the two created the "ten thousand things," we'll agree to consider each of our five perspectives as important and significant threads in this elaborate tapestry.