In this blog, I share my quest to approach life as a Taoist would.   My interest is in how Taoist principles, developed thousands of years ago, can be applied to present-day life.  My interest is not in Taoism as a religion, but rather in what has been called “philosophical Taoism,” i.e. Taoism as a way of being and state of mind that is potentially applicable to all aspects of our lives.  I welcome your comments about the posts and any thoughts you might want to share about Taoism or the Taoist martial art, Tai Chi Chuan.  Tai Chi Chuan can be considered a physical expression of Taoist principles and a system for applying those principles to managing conflict or adversity.

Many thanks to Ren Adams for generously allowing me to include in the blog her beautiful artwork, which is from a Taoist tradition.

“Lao Tzu” by Ren Adams


Lao Tzu is the author of the Tao Te Ching.

“About Lao-tzu, its author, there is practically nothing to be said…Like an Iroquois woodsman, he left no traces.  All he left behind is his book:  the classic manual on the art of living, written in a style of gemlike lucidity, radiant with humor and grace and largeheartedness and deep wisdom:  one of the wonders of the world.”

–from the Forward by Stephen Mitchell to his translation of Tao Te Ching, 1988

The 16th chapter of the Tao Te Ching contains, in a brief, poetic form, many of the themes that I consider in this blog:  relaxing the mind and body; reaching inner peace and valuing peacefulness towards others; listening to and connecting to others; the idea that each of us comes from Tao, is Tao, and returns to Tao at death, which implies a continuity between life and death, and a fundamental likeness and unity among all of us and the natural world; and the value of spending our lives becoming “immersed in the wonder of Tao,” which can enable us to see life as fundamentally good and precious, no matter what happens to us or what challenges or difficulties we might encounter along the way:

“Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.

Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.

If you don’t realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.
Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.”

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 16, Stephen Mitchell translation, 1988

Addendum–a note on terminology:

There are various ways of spelling the same Chinese word or name in English.  This can be confusing, as I use different spellings of the same word or the same name at various points in this blog, partly because I quote from different authors who themselves use different spellings.  This partial list below shows some of the different spellings used for the same word or name throughout this blog:

Tao = Dao

Taoism = Daoism

Taoist = Daoist

Tao Te Ching = Dao De Jing =  Daodejing

Tai Chi = Taiji

Tai Chi Chuan = Taijiquan

Chi = Qi

Chuang Tzu = Chuang Tse = Chuang Tzi = Chuang Tsu = Zhuangzi

Lao Tzu = Lao Tse = Lao Tzi =  Laozi

©2009-2011 Aspiring Taoist.  All Rights Reserved


15 Responses to “About”

  1. Guilbert Says:

    GREETINGS, we would like to invite you to submit to our journal: Into Mountains, Over Streams, international journal of Qigong & Taiji Culture. You blog has been passed around our office and we would love if you would allow us to publish a few of your pieces.

    You can visit the journal at http://www.imos-journal.com

    You may submit your selection at: http://imos-journal.net/?page_id=27

    Thanks for your consideration
    Anthony Guilbert, Publsiher

  2. Aspiring Taoist Says:

    Dear Mr. Guilbert,
    Many thanks for your kind invitation and your interest in my blog. I will certainly give your offer consideration. Thanks again.

  3. Billy O'Shea Says:

    I have just stumbled on this jewel of a blog and will be returning regularly for wisdom and inspiration. Thank you!

  4. Norma Says:


    Thank you for this blog and wonderful entries, they are moving beyond theories.


  5. Aspiring Taoist Says:

    Thanks so much, Norma!

  6. Tao Directory Says:


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    We look forward to seeing you soon.

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  7. Aspiring Taoist Says:

    Dear Tao Directory Team,
    Thanks for your note. I’ve added a link to your website on the Aspiring Taoist blog.
    Aspiring Taoist

  8. seedsandsawdust.blogspot.com Says:

    Love it! Today, I plan to walk like a cat.

    Chris Gleason



  9. Aspiring Taoist Says:

    Thanks for your comment, Chris! Love your Seeds and Sawdust blog as well!!!

  10. lista de email Says:

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  11. Bob Corbin Says:

    I just discovered your blog today. Just touched its surface, but there are already many things i like about it. Another Aspiring Taoist.

  12. tuck777 Says:

    A wonderful blog…a breath of fresh air. I also am an aspiring taoist coming up on 40 yrs now. I’m looking forward to reading and following your blog with great interest. Humility is an attribute only recognized from a second party. From what I’ve read thus far, your humility is evident. Enough said. Thanks for blogging.

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