One Thing

Daoism has a great many fascinating conceptual principles and practice methods.  But our Daoism is really only about one thing – bringing in the raw, creative power of Dao.

If we’re always doing this or doing that – even if it’s some fascinating and profound spiritual practice – Dao will just keep yielding to our movement forever.  It’s not very assertive – it just sits back, staying hidden and silent, allowing us to do as we please.

But if we take up the mantle of yin – empty ourselves completely – this provides a space for the shy power of Dao to come through.  As Laozi suggests, it’s like we have to become a passive, quiet, and submissive maiden to encourage the reluctant Dao to bring forth its own yang.

If we’re not clear about this one thing, then it really doesn’t matter whether we can perform the myriad methods – we’re simply technicians operating in the dark.  But if we are clear about this one thing, then we can use the myriad methods to effectively support our practice.

The raw power comes down from above and enters though the top of the head.  The entry point is the soft spot just in front of the crown – the fontanel.  We want to keep this spot soft like a newborn baby’s.  We also want to avoid too much thinking or exertion and just let the incoming power settle down to the lower dantian.  From there it will gather and grow, rebounding to reach the fingers and toes and every pore of the skin, pervading the entire body.  It’s like bathing in a sweet elixir all the way through.  Foundational practices are so important to enable us to receive this power without collapsing or going crazy.  Keeping the head open and the base stable in formal practice and the moment-to-moment informal conduct of our daily lives is the central method of wuweidao.

Hexagram 42

“Yi” (Hexagram 42) courtesy of LiSe Lotti Voute.