Old Oak School of Dao is small a school of contemplative Daoist practice run by Jacob Newell (Gu Shen Yu Daoshi) in Sonoma County, California. We are part of the long-flowing stream of Daojia - internal cultivation traditions dating to pre-Han China reflected in the teachings of Laozi, Zhuangzi, and the Neiye.
Contemplative Daoism is a path of relaxing into our original nature. It is not a path of self-development, although it may appear as such, but of settling and opening into reality (Dao). Inspired by personal transmission and scriptural study, we engage in traditional methods of meditation and qi-cultivation.
I have been practicing Taijiquan and related meditation and qi-cultivation arts since the early 1990's. I am certified in Ruyu-style Taijiquan, as well as Qigong and Acupressure, and am an ordained Daoshi. I invite earnest adepts to join me in cultivating the wuwei-neidan tradition of Daoism.
Zhuangzi used a withered old tree to describe the virtue of uselessness. The old oak is gnarled and ugly - no one can exploit its wood for any valuable purpose, so people leave it alone. Therefore birds can nest in its cavities, children can play on its branches, and people can rest under its canopy as it freely fulfills its destiny.
While such uselessness may offend our compulsively-driven Western sensibilities, it represents the natural state of being, undefiled by mundane concerns. Experiencing our undefiled original nature is the purpose of Daoist practice.
Master Chen Qu Kuan says: "Taijiquan is natural like a tree." Once we have the fundamentals of Taijiquan, our cultivation progresses naturally: "We settle into our root, suck in sunlight, and naturally grow upwards toward the light."
Settling into stillness
Anything arising is nooo problem
Dooon’t touch it -
It settles of itself
A withered old oak
Cold, dead ashes
The ground is firm
The sky is open