"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."
"Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy."
"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."
"To the mind that is still the whole universe surrenders."
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
"Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it."
-- Taoist wisdoms from Lao Tzu, 6th Century BCE
I first encountered Taoist meditations while working on my Master's of Science degree in acupuncture at Yo San University. I had previously received acupuncture treatments from Dr. Maoshing Ni, and through these treatments found complete remission from both my psoriasis and asthma, a feat that Western medicine had yet to tackle. My daughter, diagnosed with cerebral palsy, began receiving treatments around the time her physical therapist and neurologist assured us that she would not walk without a great deal of assistance, if at all. In fact, we were shopping for a walker for her, and had begun putting her in braces up to her hips. Now, not only does she walk by herself without braces, but she dances and runs incessantly. Needless to say, I was certain of the efficacy of acupuncture and its herbs.
What I didn't realize until well into my studies at Yo San University is that acupuncture is Taoist medicine. I had no idea that this effective medicine had sprung from meditation and qi cultivating techniques that draw upon imagery from nature and seek to restore balance to the human being, as well as to the universe, which, from the traditional Taoist point of view, are not seen as separate: I am in the universe as much as the universe is in me. Feng shui and the I Ching are also based on Taoist energetic principles.
Ages before modern physics revealed that the composition of an atom, with electrons who orbit a nucleus, are microcosms of a solar system, which involves planets who orbit a sun, the Taoists understood that this microscosmic principle exists and applies to all things as early as the 6th century BCE. Centuries before the term "hologram" was coined, Taoists knew the holographic nature of existence, and that nothing is unimportant or isolated. Long before modern Western science began utilizing evidence based medicine within this 20th century, acupuncturists began keeping written case studies of thousands of medical conditions beginning around 200 BCE (in other words for more than 2,000 years!), recording how illnesses were treated, what worked, and what didn't, leading to the effectiveness of the treatments in existence today.
In China, among other countries who have embraced Taoist medicine, surgeries are regularly performed with nothing but acupuncture as anesthesia. The recovery time is faster, and the pain blockage is as complete. Hospitals in China provide acupuncture, and usually have an herbal clinic in their pharmacy, and the herbal treatment is given in place of or along with modern drugs.
I have come to the logical conclusion that if Taoist medicine is this effective, how could Taoist meditation, the foundation of this medicine, be any less helpful? After all, as Lao Tsu wisely said, "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."
I hope you will join me in a guided Taoist meditation: 1). the breathing of the universe (Taoist Qi Gong), 2). the Five Clouds traditional nourishing meditation/visualization, and finally 3). the Five Elements gratitude meditation.
For more by Olivia Rosewood, click here.
For more on meditation, click here.