When I was quite young, I’d spontaneously walk up and down the living room in a dead straight line, looking ahead along an imaginary beam of fine light stretching into infinity. I later found out this comprises the essence of hsing yi (one of the main Taoist boxing/self-defence styles). I also used to walk round and round in numerous circles, first in one direction then the other, allowing the natural momentum versus centrifugal force to propel me faster and faster until I went into a trance. I later discovered this comprises the essence of pa kua (another main Taoist boxing/self-defence style).
When I was 11, I found myself, by a sheer quirk of fate studying aikido with a Japanese master. The do of aikido is the Japanese for tao, meaning literally, in this context, way. So my present-life re-introduction to the Tao came via Japan, like driving a top of the line Lexus before driving whichever exotic old Mercedes it was modelled on. It was a nice and clean, no flowery words, no complex philosophical explanations, cut to the chase and get on with it induction back into the way of the Tao, the way of the Way.
I say back because a few years later as I was approaching my 20s, I saw two guys doing tai chi (the most famous of the main Taoist boxing/self-defence styles, in perfect unison and flow together in the park one day and even though back then in the early 70s I’d neither seen or heard of tai chi, I knew exactly what they were doing – not that it was called tai chi but I knew exactly what it was, a martial dance to generate and conduct energy.
Then a little later when I took up my apprenticeship in acupuncture and Taoist healing skills, both my teacher and I were surprised at how swiftly I took to it like a duck to water, as if I was remembering rather than learning for the first time.
So though I don’t indulge too much in enumerating past-lives, I have no doubt whatsoever that I either had one as a Taoist master or that some old Taoist master who gained spiritual immortality chose me, for whatever reason, to be his/her vessel in this lifetime - or both – it doesn’t matter.
What does matter is it's mysterious and the mystery is by nature unfathomable. Yet through the practice of Taoism, you gain the tools to negotiate the mystery with utmost aplomb and enjoyment and in doing so are able to spread a lot of joy to a lot of people and so make the Tao very happy indeed, for which it invariably rewards you with the most wonderful life you can imagine.
And that’s why I love passing all this information on to you – that we may all enjoy the most wonderful life imaginable.
May that be so and the effects start showing up in the greatest profusion today.