"The Tao Of Health, Sex and Longevity" (excerpt) by Daniel Reid

The Dance
Painting by Gay Watters

Taoists advocate living in complete harmony with the great patterns of nature, and they venerate womanhood precisely because women are by nature far closer to the primordial powers of the cosmos perspective then are men. There is no place for male chauvinism, practical or philosophical, in Taoist tradition. A man who clearly understands the nature of a woman’s sexual superiority has already taken the first step towards utilizing that superior power. All he needs to do now is to practice the proper skills. But a man who denies nature and defies Tao will wilt and perish long before his time, no matter how chauvinistically he preens and prances.

Below (in RED) is my commentary.
—Bei Kuan-tu

Taoists advocate living
(that is, being connected) in complete harmony with the great patterns of nature (as opposed to our modern day disconnect with the wonderment of creation and ultimately our capacity to listen and be intuitively fed), and they venerate (regard with the greatest respect/admiration, lionize, revere) womanhood precisely because women are by nature far closer to the primordial powers of the cosmos (spontaneity, intuitive intelligence, creative inspiration and maybe most cherished - truthfulness) perspective and then are men (Here is the crux of cosmic truth.  From her feminine intuitive capacities, to a limitless potentiality to mother, care, nurture, love and even orgasm countless times, she is the ultimate giver, illuminator and sustainer of human life) There is no place for male chauvinism (because of millenniums of control over woman - it is inconceivable to most men that power could be designed any other way but for them - "a man's world!"), practical or philosophical, in Taoist tradition. A man who clearly understands the nature of a woman’s sexual superiority (this is pure liberation for any man!) has already taken the first step towards utilizing that superior power (it is by him adoring and revering her unfathomable yin/femininity that she responds to his pure heart and love, thus she wholly loves and opens her “sacred waters of life” to him.  It is here he finds completeness). All he needs to do now is to practice the proper skills (to learn to see himself as a vessel created to carry her on a blissful journey into perfect love, fulfillment, renewal and delight). But a man who denies nature and defies Tao (he is blinded to seeing the feminine (Yin) as the life giving force to all men) will wilt and perish long before his time, no matter how chauvinistically he preens and prances (by denying this great truth he becomes a "bragger" (though acutely insecure) and an expounder of half truths to feed his ego and edify himself, thus disrespecting the very gift (woman) he is so blessed to have in in life).
Reid, Daniel — The Tao Of Health,
Sex and Longevity

"Introduction" (excerpt) from "True Love" — Daphne Rose Kingma

True Love
"True Love" by Crystal Webb

In each of us there is a tremendous longing for love. The love we desire is not only the euphoric butter-flies-in-the-stomach feeling of new romance, but also the ineffable consolation of being deeply known, received, and cared for, the profound sense of peace and security of spirit that come from being deeply connected to another human being.

Achieving the first is often easy. Romantic love rides in on a wave of impulse or attraction, kindled by moonlight, the magic of music, the spell-binding fragrance of soft summer evenings. The second—true love— is much more difficult. All too often the loves we fall into disappoint us. We want to sustain the delectable feelings but we can't. We want to enhance and deepen the bonds between us but we don't know how...

Real love is more than a feeling, more than a magical interlude of emotional exhilaration that passes when the full moon fades to a sliver. Love is an array of behaviors, attitudes, and knowings, the practice of which creates and sustains the state of what we call love. Love, in the form of a relationship that satisfies, supports, and heals, is the product of intricate effort. In a very real sense, true love is a labor of love and it comes into being only when we realize that love, as well as being a gift, is also an undertaking.

For true love asks of us, as well as delivers to us. It asks that we alter our perspective about ourselves, the people we love, the world, and the human condition; that we learn things we are perhaps reluctant to know, or didn't imagine we needed to know. It requires us to change our behaviors, public and private, emotional and spiritual. It invites us to stretch as well as to reach, to nurture as well as to receive. It asks us to be kind, to be real, to be imaginative, thoughtful, attentive, intuitive, disciplined, daring. It instructs us in the art of being human...

We are not here simply to be given love; we must also become loving. True love is conscious love, and conscious loving—the knowing and doing of a wide range of seemingly impossible tasks on behalf of one another—is the spiritual art form of the twentieth century.

The love in whose presence we stand must also inhabit us. For it is in loving, as well as in being loved, that we become most truly ourselves. No matter what we do, say, accomplish, or become, it is our capacity to love that ultimately defines us. In the end, nothing we do or say in this lifetime will matter as much as the way we have loved one another.

BUY: True Love" — Daphne Rose Kingma


"Yin/Yang" by Larry Newman

----Yin and Yang by NadavDav

Duality in Unity. A fabric is made of threads, moving in a woven pattern in two different directions: lengthwise and transverse, warp and weft. Two separate and distinct weaves yet without both there would be no cloth. Such is the fabric of existence. To illustrate this the ancients used the most obvious and undeniable expression of this duality: masculine and feminine.

To understand, accept and move successfully in this reality we have to see that this is not centered on gender or sexuality. Gender and sexuality are but easily apprehended expressions of the principles. A man existing as a man will still find in the fabric of his spirit both polarities. The same is true of a woman. To avoid undue bias because of language let me refer to the duality found in the weave of our existence by one set of common names: Yin and Yang.

Yin is characterized as slow, soft, yielding, diffuse, cold, wet, receptive and passive, This quality of the weave is associated with earth, water, femininity, the moon and nighttime. In the Taijitu symbol (two swirling areas in a circle) Yin is usually the dark or black area.

Yang, by contrast, is fast, hard, solid, focused, hot, dry, outflowing and aggressive. The quality is associated with sky, fire, masculinity, the sun and daytime. It is the white of the Taijitu. Literally the words mean ‘Shadow’ and ‘Light’.

We tend to visualize the interaction of opposites in contact with one another as a neutralizing reaction where they cancel one another out such as crossing wires with a spark and a jump or water dousing a flame. In truth the result of such interaction is balance. The overarching reality of this nature is that they are not in opposition but rather are complementary. Indeed they cause each other to arise. Light cannot be perceived as light without shadow, shadow cannot exist without light. The seed of each is present in the other and as one pole presents itself the other arises in response. The purpose of their interaction is to restore equilibrium and peace.

This writing is mainly an attempt to chronicle my beginning to understand all this. It will not be definitive as I know I understand very little. In that light allow me to step back from the universal concept and speak for a brief bit on what I see as happening inside each of us as human beings, men and women, and how Yin and Yang are present and active.

Meditating over my coffee on my deck the other morning I was relaxed into the moment. A light rain was falling and a gentle breeze was stirring the leaves in the trees. Both the wind and the first change in the color of the leaves were speaking to me of the coming fall and slow settling into Winter. There were two thoughts that were passing through my mind concerning how Yin and Yang tend to be expressed in our bodies. The first was how  Yang is perceived as residing in the right side as a giving energy, and left side held the Yin as being receptive. Regardless of whether this is empirically true holding onto the dichotomy of the two elements symbolically like this can help us to focus on each to facilitate balance. The second thought touched on how some people seem to only perceive or exhibit one element or the other. 

To only be sensitive and receptive in your relationships with others would be to dwell in the Yin of your spirit while there are those who seem stuck in Yang, projecting onto or into others with dynamic expressions. These Yang expressions can often seem controlling, harmful or destructive though they need not be. A person who is nurturing and caring, constantly giving to others is also operating in their Yang aspect. Yet to dwell in one or the other is imbalance. You cannot only give in a relationship without receiving anything in return or the relationship sickens and dies. Likewise you cannot only receive or you become clingy, needy and an emotional burden on your counterpart. For relationships on any level, without or within, there needs to be balance.

Sitting with my coffee, held in both hands in front of me, I thought of how Yang was giving, an outflowing, while thinking of my right hand and how Yin was receiving and inflowing manifested in my thought as my left hand. As I thought about it I looked at my coffee and it slowly began to swirl. No, I am not getting magical here. There was a wind blowing and a straight wind blowing across the top of a round cup would induce the Coriolis Effect and create a counter-clockwise swirl. The coffee was moving counter-clockwise. So, while a bit startling at the time it was in all likelihood just the wind but the action added to my thoughts. The initial reaction I had was that a straight flow of energy from my right hand to my left had created a circular movement. And that seemed to fit. Circles of life are everywhere as areas of nurture and need move into each other to find balance. Indeed, for there to be
living balance circular movement is necessary.

If someone greets you with a smile you receive that goodness and in response return the smile, which is received in turn. The result is balance but
not neutralization. And here is the wonder of it all. There is actually a net gain when balance is established. Yin plus Yang in balance yields a third element: Life. The ancients called this created and creative force Chi. Exercising balance strengthens Chi.

If a friend or loved one takes you in their arms and gives you a hug you receive it and the natural response is to return the hug with equal or greater affection. But what if the affection were not returned? What if there was within you something that kept you from respecting, accepting or even liking the person who has hugged you. You would not naturally return affection but would more likely stiffen up, resisting what was offered. What would be the result? The hug would become cold, offence would be noted and received. A new cycle would replace the first that was blocked and aborted. Reciprocity would result in a net loss for what ended up being shared would not be perceived as good. Chi, the force of positive goodness of life, would be damaged and reduced.

Human interaction and relationships are based on living circles of giving and taking: reciprocity. For any relationship to be happy and successful it must create balance by constant, mutual exchange resulting in the creation of positive goodness in life. This phenomenon can be expected not only in relationships between ourselves and others but within ourselves as well.

If you see someone along the way, a hungry child, a hurting woman, a troubled man the circle will begin. Seeing the suffering, understanding it, you take it into your heart. Awareness and understanding are Yin, as is wisdom. The presence of wisdom and understanding stir the fountain of compassion which is Yang. This then embodies your reaction and action to relieve the suffering of those you meet: Yin causing Yang to arise. But what if you break the circle? Seeing the suffering you take it into your heart but that is all. You stifle or stop the flow of compassion and do nothing. In the whole, creative circle the suffering is transmuted into compassion but in the stifled heart the suffering remains suffering and having no way to purge it or transform it into a creative energy it remains and the suffering becomes your own. This is a common malady of our race. Suffering begetting suffering in a darkened spiral, diminishing the goodness of life and Chi.

What if the suffering you see, are aware of, understand is your own? The circle need not leave your flesh to be wholesome and healing. Seeing the suffering Yin stirs Yang and compassion for yourself arises. Forgiveness, acceptance, encouragement, faith, confidence, every ministry of compassion that can be given to others can be given to yourself as well. The net result of Yin and Yang circling in your own soul is again the creation of something better, a strengthening of Chi, and the alleviation of suffering.

A completed flow of Yin and Yang is never a net zero, a cancellation, it is instead the flow of creation where basic goodness is recognized and made more dominant and the human spirit is given strength from the 1st Spirit of Creation as we resonate in harmony and compassion.

“Tao produces unity; unity produces duality; duality produces trinity; trinity produces all things. All things bear the negative principle (yin) and embrace the positive principle (yang). Immaterial vitality, the third principle (chi), makes them harmonious.” -Lao Tzu

WEBSITE — As We Awaken—Thoughts Along the Way by Larry Newman


"The One Who Knows" — Donna Woodka

----“Suffering” by Gary Kendall

The fact is there is no escape from the pain of losing what we love and inevitably become attached to. No escape from the fear, confusion, anger and broken heartedness that comes with the territory of human relationship or simply being Life in the form of a human body. There is no escape from the fall, no escape from the hard landing and no escape from that dark bottom of the well where we find ourselves at these times. When the outcomes of these encounters are painful or even “disastrous”, is it possible to see them not as failures but rather potential dharma gates (opportunity, abiding in Natural Law) of deeper compassion, understanding, forgiveness and loving kindness? Is it possible to really meet these times, no matter how agonizing, with an open heart? To meet even the heart that shrinks in pain and fear with gentle attention even when it seems that every fiber in our body and mind want to just get away? This is the heart of our practice and unless we want some artificial, dualistic, imaginary practice we must learn to work with them as such; facing all of this on and off the cushion and meeting these moments that at some times seem to stretch on endlessly with an awareness that allows whatever is there to simply be there. If there is sadness, be there with it as long as it needs your presence. The same with fear, worry, anger, rage, feelings of rejection and failure, broken heartedness and loneliness. This is not about thinking our way out, but rather about learning our way into these seemingly awful times through the power of attention. This is a fierce practice that requires a fiercely loving heart; a loving heart that can hold and contain even the heart that’s broken.

How is it for you when … you figuratively find yourself at the bottom of the pit of your agonizing life situation and you are alone? You are destitute. You are deeply grieved and grieving. At these moments even though we may have people who care for us, we are cut off, unreachable, solitary and destitute. And how can it be otherwise? It can be helpful to talk with friends, a therapist or teacher, but can anyone really reach us when we have lost a child, a partner, a loved one, received a devastating medical diagnosis? When we find that our mind or body is not the immortal and invulnerable something we had thought it was? When we suddenly realize that we are “old”? When we realize that we may not see old age? May not see our children grow up? When the self-image that we hold onto so tightly and identify with so completely or the future we envisage and so desperately hope for is completely shattered or called deeply into question? We want so desperately to be comforted. We want so desperately to be held in a way that just makes it go away; makes it somehow all ok, as though simply because it is painful and frightening it is not ok. And in a certain way it really is not ok. How could anything that so completely throws us down the well be ok? Life makes no mistakes and at some point if we are to truly be alive and free regardless of our life situation, we simply must learn to live beyond the limited images and hopes to which we so desperately cling. As Joko Beck once said, “The one thing in life we can truly count on is Life being exactly how it is.” For some losses, disappointments, betrayals, devastating life changes there is nothing that will make the pain go away and nothing that will mend the rupture that we find ourselves to in fact be. We are that pain, and trying to get rid of it creates a conflict in the mind between what is and what should be that only makes the fire burn more searingly.

The key to working with our “having tumbled down condition” is to see that even at the moment of impact things have changed already and that this moment is not what we think it is. In fact, it is not what we “think” at all! Thinking is always “old”; just a bit behind the curve of life, if you will. Have you looked closely enough, deeply enough? Have you let your situation speak to you its’ complete truth without your assumptions, presuppositions and images of how it should or could be? How will you know if and when this situation and what it stirs up is finished with you, rather than when you are finished with it? Can you see that thinking about whatever is present in your life right now is quite different from what is actually here right now? Have you really become so completely attentive that there is no “you” there observing and hence no separation at all? Are you willing to not feel better too quickly and to follow this pain right down to its roots? This is demanding and austere practice, but if you have not done it then there is more work to do; if you have done it, there is probably still more work to do. And there is no one, absolutely no one, who can do it but you. It is important to have companions on the Way and someone who can encourage you onward with the confidence of having walked this Way before, but only you can do the work of your life. To go so completely into this moment that “you” disappear: What is that? Then, who are you? Are you the one who suffers, or are you the One who Knows?