Taoalogues — dialogues about Taoism. A series of short conversations with 15th-generation Taoist Master Gu Shining of the Wudang Taoist Wellness Academy. We are situated in the Wudang Mountains in Central China. In our woodland shelter, the House of Pooh, we talk about all manner of questions concerning Taoism and about life from a Taoist perspective. Full transcripts are available at atramtakesflight.blog.
7. Merging with the Dust
21:47Master Gu and Eli talk about the Wudang Mountains. Serene and tranquil home to Taoism; also a popular tourist site. How do tourists and Taoists coexist? And what does the "dust" in chapter 4 of the Tao Te Ching mean? What is "merging with the dust" about? Master Gu has some simple yet powerful advice for Eli and everyone about how to maintain inner peace. The poem at the start, 'I Am Wudangshan' is Eli's modest verbal DIY. Find Master Gu at www.taoistwellness.com.
24:32Purpose, ambition, the will to achieve. Emptying the heart-and-mind, filling the belly. To avoid the limelight or to seek it out. No mind, no worries. Is it wise to strive? Surely we need a sense of purpose. We are after all both natural and social beings. But nature came first. We consult chapter 20 of the Tao Te Ching and Master Gu tells more about what this 2,500-year-old classic is and is not. Plus: tips for becoming an immortal! This time we'd like to thank the singing cicadas for providing the musical backdrop. Find Master Gu at www.taoistwellness.com.
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5. Evening the Heart
30:44Back from a short break! Now that we know all about the 心 xīn, heart & mind, in this episode Master Gu and Eli talk about how to make—and keep—that 心 xīn 平 píng: even. Balanced. Steady. Why? Because many physical ailments start with an uneven heart. And because the more hearts are even, the closer we come to world peace. 心平，气和, xīn píng, qì hé: heart even, Qi harmonious. Master Gu explains how to meditate and why it does not have to be a scary, hard thing. Instead, practising tranquility can be joyful. We start with Chapter 16 of the Tao Te Ching, the text of which is included in the transcription. And we end with a short meditation in which you can take part. Find Master Gu at www.taoistwellness.com.
4. Heart and Mind
28:27Heart and mind or heart-and-mind?心 xīn: the thinking and feeling heart, 意 yì: the focused attention. Two separate, conflicting powers or united in tranquility? Do you have three hearts and two minds? Mind you, we start as a heart and the heart goes on. Complex matter discussed against the light and life of an overworked teacher. Oh, and Master Gu explains The House of Pooh! Find Master Gu at www.taoistwellness.com.
3. Returning to the Root
26:21In Episode 3, Master Gu and Eli talk about the Dao De Jing's notion of returning to the origin: the root. Tranquil, soft, and simple: how not to lose yourself. The Uncarved Block, 朴：what's that? Back to baby! Ancient but surprisingly timeless pointers for living long and living well. Find Master Gu at www.taoistwellness.com,
2. Following Nature
27:16Dào fǎ zìrán! In this episode, we talk about what it means to follow nature: the nature of which we are a part, as well as our inner nature. About returning to the root, the childlike state of pure "naturalness" while still observing one's responsibilities as a social creature, too. Nature, mature. How to maintain the balance? Find Master Gu at www.taoistwellness.com.
1. What is the Tao?
12:00In our inaugural episode, Master Gu answers the questions "What is the Tao?", "How can I learn to recognize it?" and "What does it mean to 'cultivate' the Tao?" Apologies for the airplane that passed over the mountain around 5'10" — I have not yet found a way to edit that sort of background noise out... Later episodes have much better audio! We hope you will enjoy this tranquil conversation, the sounds of the birds and the mountain stream, as well as Master Gu's guitar stylings. Find Master Gu at www.taoistwellness.com.