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Letter - June 2016

June 2016
Acceptance is the very essence of the Tao…
Division is contrary to the nature of the Tao.
Foregoing antagonism and separation,
One enters into the harmonious oneness of all things.”
                                       Lao Zi, Hua Hu Ching
Dear Friends,
 
I hope that you are enjoying these lovely days of summer, and are finding time to recharge with nature!
Yan Shi He, Hubei Province, July 2008Yan Shi He, Hubei Province, July 2008
 
I have been given a wonderful opportunity to teach a course in Practicing Presence, at the heart of which lies acceptance: acceptance of what is; acceptance of our emotions; acceptance of the past; acceptance of who we are and who others are in the present; and acceptance of the future. This doesn’t mean we don’t strive to improve where improvement or change is needed, on the contrary, it means we acknowledge and accept the state of current circumstances even if we believe our lives may be in need of change. This acceptance gives us a point from which to make realistic change. This allows us to break the hold of habitual patterns of thought and worry.
 
The techniques of practicing presence or mindfulness are very simple and very much in tune with Taoist practice. For example, the act of bringing attention to the breath and just observing its passage in and out of the body powerfully anchors us in present awareness. This is the foundation of the three regulations (breath, body, mind) espoused in Qi Gong and Tai Chi practice. These regulations bring us fully into present awareness. The truth is, we can’t truly practice Tai Chi without staying fully present and attentive to where we are and what we are doing.
 
Being in nature and bringing awareness to the sounds, the quality of the air, the play of the light, the weather, the energy of trees and water, is a technique for being present. Requiring nothing special but simply being quiet and being a companion to the natural world around us, this can quickly bring us to that happy place!
 
Wishing you a wonderful summer of acceptance and appreciation of the harmonious oneness of all things!
 
May the Tao bless!

With love,

Corinne

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