Thursday, November 27, 2008

Taoist Thanksgiving

To all our Taoist Community,

I wish you all a wonderful and peaceful thanksgiving. A time of gratitude and humble appreciation of all the good within our lives. I have found that times of abundance, good fortune and prosperity are certainly enjoyable and grant us capacity for comfort, leisure, relaxation, and generosity.

I also believe that difficult, challenging and scarce times are worthy of gratitude. It strips away the illusions of control, security and reliance on external abundance to meet our internal needs. It ultimately is our character, inner strength and insight, talents and virtues that sustain us, enrich us, and provide for us. These are difficult and historic times and overdue. It is the time to inventory our will, values, and personal responsibilities to ourselves, our families and communities. In the philosophy I study, Taoist principles, this is not unexpected.

Prolonged growth and expansion requires prolonged rest and contraction to balance life. This is evident in all of nature. The animals must sleep and hibernate, the plants must re-seed and re-new its energy for the season. Only humanity seems to seek unending prosperity, acquisition and growth. This is time to rejoice, rest, realign and recharge for the next season in the human era. From this we all will discover our abilities and capacity for self reliance and compassion, especially for ourselves.

Be grateful for who you are and how essential you are to Life. Appreciate that all we "endure" during lean times, strengthens us for the next season of expansion and growth. These are the moments we discover our strengths and deficiencies. Fear cultivates desperation, despair and internal poverty. Clarity is a gift of awareness and an awakened spirit. These are the moments for inspiration, creativity, spirituality and self examination. I will personally enjoy and learn in my experience of this time in history; after all, it's only natural.....

Blessings and Peace,


Essential Oil Travel Spritzer

I had recently seen an essential oil travel spritzer that Cynthia McMullen had put out for everyone that was traveling to China. Just a couple days ago, I did some traveling myself from Anchorage down to the states. Usually when I'm traveling on the 2 or more planes I start feeling very sleepy, groggy, restless, etc. So I decided to try out this spritzer. I actually forgot about it when I first got on the plane, but then remembered about an hour in. After I sprayed it, I felt refreshed, it was very nice. I didn't spray a whole lot, since I was a little concerned about the people around me. I then took it with me when I went to the bathroom and sprayed a good amount around me in there. That felt even more refreshing. I do have to say that I stayed awake the rest of the flight, when I usually drift in and out of sleep. My eyes were tired, but the rest of me felt pretty good. On my second flight I ended up spraying it on my hands and taking smells of it that way.
If you are concerned about the people around you not liking that you are spraying it, the way I thought of it was it would be just like putting on a scented lotion. Most people dont say anything when you put that on.
Here are the ingredients if you are interested in trying it the next time you travel:
1 oz. spritzer bottle filled with water
tea tree 6 drops
frankincense 5 drops
eucalyptus 2 drops
lavendar 8 drops
rose geranium 1 drop (optional)

ENJOY! *Lauren

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Finding Happiness

In Taoist philosophy there is a saying about health: “When your heart is happy, everything is fine.” What this means is that when you are able to find peace and happiness within your heart, you will not have painful symptoms of disease in your body (physical), mind (emotions), or spirit (sense of divine purpose).

Having a happy heart is a virtue that most of us have to continually and sincerely work on. However, it helps to know that the end result is a feeling of enthusiastic bliss!

One of the ways that I practice having a happy heart is to take a moment to list some of my favorite things in life. Here’s part of my list today:

1. The color of the clouds when the sun rises over the mountains.
2. A bright blue sky.
3. The smell of walking past wild roses.
4. Jazz music.
5. Foreign French films with subtitles.
6. Sunshine on my toes.
7. Getting a letter from an old friend.
8. Seeing a moose.
9. Laughing hard.
10.The seat heater in the school's new car.

Right now my heart is happy, I’m smiling and have a feeling of deep satisfaction. Please add your own list below and share the bliss!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Life in Harmony for anyone

My name is Clint and I am quite content being Clint. As with most of humanity this has not always been so; to enjoy your life and find peace within it. I teach Tai Chi and have a profound appreciation for the patient cultivation of rising beyond drama, disease, misfortune and self doubt. I am not young, 53, yet I am not old nor will I be. Yet in the fire of our youth we know pain, heartache, longing, emptiness that we immerse in the crucible of ruined passion, self medication, tyrannical mental imprisonment or its corrupt twins of self destruction and obsession. We strive for goals (possessions) to satisfy our drives, our desires to "feel" fulfilled; family, wealth, appearance, and status. I suggest it is not the striving or obtaining these things that cultivate the inner love of self. It is the simple joy of "being" yourself and not the "feeling" within that sets one free. Feelings are energetic light shows of the internal essence. A content inner self expresses as a loving, insightful manifestation of life. 

Tai Chi is an art of gentle discipline over time. A journey of patience and revelation that generates will, self appreciation and strength, slowly over time. It is truly an internal art manifesting outwardly in awareness, agility, patience, compassion, health, flexibility (mentally emotionally and physically) and self love. It is a harvest worth the elegant effort to self care. Ask yourself where does love come from if not within? How can we show compassion if we do not nurture the inner fields within from which it arises? Love is a jagged facade of poisoned wine if love offered requires external compensation. As a teacher I have seen students (mine and others) flourish under the cultivation of tai chi and qigong. They are genuinely more happy, authentic and real. Self love is essential to a life of harmony for everyone. These arts can take you there.