Set course on your true path
For newcomers to Tao study, the first question may be to ask, “what is the Tao of Longevity?”. let’s break it down. The Tao is pronounced “Dow”, with a “D”, which translates as ‘the way, or “the path”. From the ending of the ice through the period of neolithic China more than five thousand years ago the tribal people of China learned to live in accordance with the patterns of nature. Tribal shamans and the people of those days begin to notice patterns in nature and the cosmos. Those who learned to live in harmony with these natural patterns seem to thrive over those who did not. The source and causation of these patterns seemed to be a super-natural phenomenon that to be incorporated into all aspects of life, permeating everything. It was mysterious, enigmatic, sometimes harsh, sometimes benevolent they found it impossible to explain. Later they simply called it Tao, a word that means the way or the path, while admitting that words could not fully cover all its meanings. Even today, words cannot convey just how mysterious and deep it goes. Yet, humanity has recently been able to have a few glimpses through modern science and quantum physics. For the sake of language, we call it Tao, which is only a word we use for conversational applications.
When one hears or reads the words “The Way” they cannot but wonder, “What is it the way of?” After you go down this list, think of some aspect of life and add it to the end of the phrase: “The way of”.
- It is the way of reality
- It is clarity for universal truth
- It is the way of being
- It is the way of existence
- It is the way of successful leadership
- It is the way to prosper
- It is a guidebook for how reality works
- It is the way of living successfully without self-induced pain and suffering
- It is the way of living in harmony with the physical world and nature
- And for our purposes in this book, it is the way of living a long successful life, with contentment, spiritual awakening, and wellbeing.
- You can also consider the Tao as a Journey. A journey is defined as the passage of time, of experiencing a physical life as a spiritual being. The sacred journey of life.
With this mother principle of power [sovereignty], one can be everlasting
This is called deep roots and firm foundation
The Tao of longevity and lasting vision
Chapter 59, Tao Te Ching
Chapter 59 in the Tao Te Ching is titled “Longevity”. Even some scholars do not realize that each chapter in the Tao Te Ching has titles, yet they do. The chapter title gives the student the first hint of what the chapter is about. The first thing you must understand about this chapter both in the Tao Te Ching and this book is that the Tao of Longevity is about Spiritual Longevity. Before you can have physical longevity, you must first cultivate spiritual longevity. All Tao teachings are rooted in spiritual lessons that lead to success in the physical world. This is Tao (the way) cultivation.
Tao Cultivation. One does not have to be or identify as a Taoist to benefit from following the Tao, or The Way. Learning the way of reality and the path to enlightenment is a spiritual path, thus it is called “the way”. Tao cultivation is, not a religion but a spiritual practice as well as a spiritual discipline. Cultivating the Tao is directly about spiritual awakening and longevity so that you will experience an easier and more successful long life.
In ancient times, Chinese people worshipped various deities and ancestors, so it began as religion. Even today there are still some who do treat Taoism as a religion. For the most part, modern Taoism is a spiritual-philosophical discipline. The path to enlightenment is one of awakening to the core of your spiritual being, the true self. Awakening from the distracted state of pure ego mind is the first step. Implementing and living life from this enlightened state of being is the intent and purpose of cultivating the Tao. Henceforth in this book, the term for those who seek to walk the higher path will be known as “Tao Cultivators”. The Tao Cultivator knows that destiny is not fixed and can be determined by avoiding self-destructive choices and mistakes and works on living life in an easier successful way with minimal effort (without striving). Anyone who cultivates this ability regardless of religion is a Tao Cultivator. Cultivating the Tao is cultivating Longevity by transcending the ego mind and finding the true path.
It is good to think of the term Destiny which may be defined as that which will happen or what you will experience in the future. This program’s slogan is “your destiny is not predetermined”. This is to say that much of your future has not been decided yet and you have the opportunity right now to shape it into the future or destiny that you would rather experience. Of course, death awaits us all which none of us can avoid, but the when and how of your return to the Tao is something you can determine.
You may be still deciding whether you want to opt-in or not for what the Tao of Longevity has to offer. The first thing you should realize and accept is that you are already on this path whether you want to be or not and whether you even realize it or not. When you are not consciously aware of how your choices and actions are creating your future, the neglect will contribute to atrophy with Longevity being cut short.
Atrophy is anti-life. A general definition of atrophy is the wasting away of the body and mind due to various causes. Specifically in this book, the intent is to bring awareness of how our lifestyle either contributes to well-being and longevity or to decline and atrophy. In this sense atrophy is anti-life which is a force of nature. All of us are fighting for our life from the moment we are conceived. There are many causes that happen naturally, so the first step is to stop contributing to existing and future atrophy by what you are doing in the present moment. Thus, in every moment you are making choices that lead to longevity or early suffering and death. There is always a moment of choice if you are present and able to take hold of it. In every moment of every day, you are creating your destiny.
Hopefully, you are here reading these words because you are seeking a means of creating a better destiny for yourself. The information on this site is here for that very reason, to help you create a destiny that is not just longer, but with success, contentment, fulfillment, and wellbeing. I have developed a protocol that has served me well in changing my uncertain destiny to being able to not only survive longer but to realize a sense of joy and contentment that eluded before cultivating the Tao. You can read my Bio to see the situations (heart disease and cancer) that I was able to get control over and am still working through. So, I am sharing it with you on these pages with step-by-step practices to cultivate your own longevity path. The keyword here is “cultivate” which means to develop a skill”. Your job is to become highly skilled at being successful in life. Here are steps in cultivation.
Tao (The Way) cultivation has some key principles:
- Meditation – attaining oneness with the Tao by transcending the ego self and awakening as the true self (spirit).
- Mindfulness – paying attention to the mind with detached observation
- Sovereignty – the principle of the spiritual discipline of Willpower and Self-control (ego management)
- Accumulating Tao Virtues – by implementing Tao lessons into the choices and actions in every minute of every day that results in lasting wellbeing.
- Lifestyle Changes – living your life in accordance with the Tao, and in harmony with nature.
Those who set out to accomplish this are called Tao cultivators. While cultivation does not have to follow a linear path, it should begin with learning or improving these principles above principles. The best time and place to begin is right here and right now. Through the karmic result of cause and effect, extraordinary results will begin to happen.
You, We, everyone is on the longevity path whether realized it or not. Up to now, you may have been blindly stumbling through life, making yourself sick and using up life force (Qi) faster than you can replenish it. Or maybe you have begun the change but are ready for the next step. Perhaps you have been given a death sentence by the medical community and want to fight for your life. Whatever your story is, this path can maybe buy you some more time. How much time is dependent on your circumstances and how deep atrophy has become entrenched? If your time is running out, maybe this can help you find contentment to accept and deal with what you have left. Time is running out for all of us, and no one knows when the end will catch up. That said, it is never too late to wake up and become your true self and be the spirit you are.