I have a friend who walked the Camino Trail; an acquaintance who climbed Mount Everest; an online friend living on the edge of a high-altitude wilderness she frequently hikes.
I’m not physically adventurous, but I’m about to start my own journey. It will take a year. I expect to be altered by the time I finish.
Life itself will alter me, of course, during that time, but I believe this will go deeper. Today I begin reading and working with the late Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao.
I’ve read several versions of the Tao Te Ching. The most recent was a ‘rendition’ (her word) by the late Ursula Le Guin. Knowing no Chinese, she studied numerous translations and, with some scholarly help, arrived at a poetic version: my instant favourite.
Wayne Dyer similarly studied various translations to arrive at his version, then spent a year living it, verse by verse – 81 verses; four days each. He wrote this book to help others do so. I found it in my Kindle collection, almost forgotten (I tend to buy now, read later) and just finished the Preface.
I’m in! I’m ready for a new spiritual exploration, and the Tao is calling me lately. Though I’ve read it a number of times before, that’s been an intellectual interest – armchair travelling, if you like. Today I’m pulling on my boots, strapping on my pack, and setting out.
I shouldn’t talk about it, Dyer suggests – unless I find someone already on the path, with whom to share the joy.
‘If you are known as a follower of Tao,’ he says, ‘people may seek you out, but they are seldom the ones who will truly understand Tao. They are people who would exploit Tao as a crutch. To speak to them of the wonders you have seen is often to engage in a futile bout of miscommunication. That is why it is said that those who know do not speak.’
OK, but I write. I intend to write something on the fourth day of exploring each verse. I won’t claim to ‘know’ – to have arrived at my destination – only to record my journey.
1. I'm not reading ahead, but I find Dyer's version of Verse 1 very poetic too.
2. For writings arising from this journey, look for the tag 'exploring the Tao' at my Enheduanna's Daughter blog.
3. I'll be sharing this post – all 369 words of it (excluding title and notes) – with Writers' Pantry #46 at Poets and Storytellers United.