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Daily Tao 12/21/22


A homeless man dies in the gutter.

A tree cracks in the cold:

A shocking sound.

At the winter solstice, the day is shortest of all and night is longest. It can also be the time of bitter cold. The wind blows with a frigid ferocity, cutting all before it. Snow and ice became deadly. Those who are homeless die of exposure. Even the mightiest of trees can split from the drop in temperature.

The sound of a tree snapping is a sudden slap.

The horrors, the tragedies that this nadir brings! Winter tortures the world with icy whips, and those who are weak are ground beneath its glacial heels. Sometimes, we dare not even lament those who die in the onslaught of winter, in fear that the tears will freeze upon our faces. But we see, and hear. Huddling closer to the fire, we vow to survive.

No matter how affected we are by misfortune, we must remember that this is the lowest turn of the wheel. Things cannot forever go downward. There are limits to everything — even the cold, and the darkness, and the wind, and the dying.

They call this the first day of winter, but actually it is the beginning of winter’s death. From this day on, we can look forward to warming and brightening.

S2Art for Daily Tao 12/21, by Stioux
Daily Tao – 12/20/22 – Manure


Manure makes excellent fertilizer.

Life has ordure.

When you water your plants, you sometimes have to feed them. Manure is an excellent way to feed plants.

Isn’t that funny? Something that is so repellent when stuck to your shoe is so important to sustaining life.

In the fields, everything is saved. Night soil helps things grow. We grow vegetables, eat vegetables, excrete vegetables, and give the waste back to the soil so that vegetables can grow again. Truly, it is said : Everything is only borrowed.

The same is true of the misfortune, failures, and disappointments of life. If we understand the importance of manure, we understand that nothing is truly wasted. Everything can be useful if correctly applied. Therefore, even the bad things in life may become fertilizer that will help us grow and become strong.

S2Art for Daily Tao, 12/20, by Stioux

Daily Tao – 12/20/22


Visions better than drugs haven’t come.

Intelligence exceeding genius hasn’t come.

Titanic strength hasn’t come.

Beauty to attract lovers hasn’t come.

Visitations from gods haven’t come.

Freedom from weariness hasn’t come.

An end to vexing annoyances hasn’t come.

Great wealth hasn’t come.

Fame hasn’t come.

Unlimited understanding of others hasn’t come.

Supernatural powers haven’t come.

The skill to spontaneously heal hasn’t come.

The gift of prophecy hasn’t come.

None of these things have come,

Yet I would not forsake this spiritual path.

All sorts of things are promised to you as a seeker of spirituality. Yet when these things don’t come, does that mean that you should forsake your path? Spirituality is not a transaction with the universe. It is an endeavor that we take up because it is our ultimate mode of being. If we get nothing for it, we should not be bothered. Who cares about powers? They only lead to temptation. Those who follow Tao should care only for inner understanding.

S2Art for Daily Tao, 12/19 by Stioux
Daily Tao – 12/18/22 – Template


Must you see nature as a machine?

Is your only learning chemistry, physics, and ontology?

What if poetry was your template for life?

Can’t you know Tao by the feeling of mud in your sandals?

Thus are the sages called silly:

They have given up their prejudices.

The world appears as you perceive it. It is not that your perceptions are wholly shaped by a so-called objective world. The habit of interpretation is interactive; we do things to test our hypotheses until we have created a complicated web of sensory input and centrifugal manipulation. By the time we are “mature,” we have created innumerable layers of interpretation and biased perception that become our templates for living. Of course, we could have some fun with this situation. We could change the templates that we use to interact with the world.

What if we used poetry instead of science? What if we substituted spirituality for politics? The results of such experimentation are often fresh, happy, and unusual. Unfortunately, when carried to their logical conclusions, they are just as futile as any other method. Templates are essential for beginners, a hindrance for veterans. True followers of Tao give up all templates and are without prejudices. They return to the actions of infants. Thus they are called silly. But because they view the world with their inner eye, they transcend all the sorrows of life.

S2Art for Daily Tao – December 18th by Stioux
Daily Tao – 12/17/22 – Breath


You breathe,

Frosting mountains white,

Exciting trees to verdant flame,

Dancing sparrows on your wing,

Swirling waves into long sighs.

You breathe,

And all things live.

A central concept for Tao is breath. Without breath, there is no life. The complexity of this idea is great indeed. You breathe; that brings you oxygen. You breathe; that sustains you. You breathe; that regulates your heartbeat, feeds your brain, makes your blood red. Deeper still : You breathe, and the entire energy field of your body is sustained and set into motion. When that field, so intimately tied to breathing, is integrated with your mind, you have the power of spirituality. Breath. Don’t crassly think of it as mere gas.

Just as we breathe, so too does the universe breathe. In fact, we can think of the entire medium of life as breath. When the world breathes, all things are sustained. Weather moves as it should. Plants grow as they should. Animals are made strong. The very forces of geology are set into motion. And together, a mighty field of energy is generated, a much larger version of what happens in your own body. Connected to that field is a universal mind.

Do you want to know how spirituality works? Breathe.

S2Art for Daily Tao – 12/17 – by Stioux
Daily Tao – 12/16/22 – Hourglass


Life is like an hourglass.

Consciousness is the sand.

Imagine an hourglass.

Its shape is like the symbol for infinity. Its form recalls the double helix of DNA. Its two sections represent polarity. The material on one side, the immaterial on the other. The male on one side, and the female on the other. Hot and cold, positive and negative, or any other duality.

The sand runs in a stream, the same stream as the course of energy that runs up your spine, the same stream that is the road of life.

The movement of that sand is what we call Tao. Our consciousness alternates between the various states represented by the hourglass. It is as difficult to grasp as a stream of sand. Therefore, it is foolish to examine things minutely. It is unwise to focus on the material. It is wisdom to understand the movement.

S2Art for Daily Tao, 12/16, by Stioux
Daily Tao – 12/15/22 – Water



Water cleanses,

Gathers in the earth.

Tender. Invasive. Subtle.

Emerges a shining river.

When small, it is weak.

When great, it tumbles mountains,

Rendering great cliffs


Classic wisdom says that there is nothing weaker than water, yet when united, it can become a titanic force. Like a tidal wave. Or a river that cuts through gorges. This is called the yielding overcoming the hard.

Let’s look at it another way. Water does not overcome because it yields. It overcomes because it is relentless. It perseveres and does not give up. It is constant. Rock can block water. Rock can even hold water in a lake for thousands of years. Why can’t the yielding overcome the hard then? Because it cannot move. It cannot work its magic of being relentless.

Just as water must be able to express its true nature in a relentless way, so too must we simultaneously and relentlessly express our true natures if we are to be successful in life. Otherwise, we will find ourselves hemmed in by the hard walls of reality, and we will never be able to break through.

But how do we acquire such perseverance? We start small. As drops.

S2Art for Daily Tao, 12/15, by Stioux
Daily Tao – 12/14/22 – Spine


Tao is the road up your spine.

Tao is the road of your life.

Tao is the road of the cosmos.

People are often confused about Tao because there are references to it on so many different levels. After all, it permeates all existence. Indeed it might be said that Tao is existence itself. It might seem odd that we can talk about Tao on a level so mundane as physical exercise and on a level as exalted as holiness itself. Those who follow Tao do not think of divinity as something “up there.” They think of it as everywhere.

Tao can be tangible when it wants and intangible when it wants too. One tangible aspect of Tao is the road in the very center of our spines. That is the path of Tao in us. It is the spirit road connecting the various power centers of our bodies.

On a philosophical level, Tao is the road through life. It is the change from one stage to another, the dealing with circumstances, the expression of your inner character against the background of nature and society. On a metaphysical level, it is the evolution and movement of the cosmos itself.

Now take these three levels — the movement of energy up the spine, the philosophical understanding of one’s own path in life, and the very progression of the universe — and meld them all into one combined concept. Then you will have a glimpse of the genius of Tao.

S2Art for Daily Tao, 12/14, by Stioux

Daily Tao – 12/13/22 – Clarifying


Express yourself:

That is meaning.

Ask yourself each day, “What remains unexpressed within me?”

Whatever it is, bring it out. But be judicious. The rantings of mad people do not yield greater freedom. Those who are with Tao use expression to find greater understanding of themselves and so find liberation from ignorance and circumstance.

All that is good and unique in you should be brought out. If you do not do this, you will be stunted. Never hold back, thinking that you will wait for a better time. The good in you is like the water in a well : The more you draw from it, the more fresh water will seep in. If you do not draw from it, the water will only become stagnant.

What is dark, perhaps even evil, inside you must be expressed in a proper way too. Lust, hatred, cruelty, and resentment — these must all be carefully taken out of yourself, like finding a bomb and taking it to be detonated harmlessly. Your heart may be quite a mine field, but you must persevere in clearing it if you are to plant crops and frolic without concern.

Ask yourself each day, “What remains unexpressed within me?” Unless you can express it, you will not clarify your inner nature.

S2Art for Daily Tao 12/13 by Stioux

Daily Tao – 12/12/22 – Purpose


Suddenly, things snap into focus.

I’ve been pursuing unity all my life,

But could only glimpse the monstrous vision in fragments;

It has haunted me for years.

Each time I sighted it, I struggled to make it concrete.

At first, it seemed I only had a sculptor’s yard of unfinished figures —

Then it slowly began to make sense,

Gathered from glimpses and inferences.

More and more, this mysterious life comes together.

It may take years more to reveal the whole.

That’s all right.

I’m prepared to go the distance.

One’s life’s destiny is not easily revealed. It’s too big. You may certainly set your sights early, but you will still have to make changes and adjustments as your true purpose is clarified. When it does begin to come together, there is a tremendous feeling of assurance.

Then with each step upon the path of Tao, your certainty rings from peak to peak.

S2Art for Daily Tao, 12/12/22, Purpose by Stioux