Join us for a unique afternoon of Hollywood Tao, where we will meet at the Hollywood Bowl Overlook at 7036 Mulholland Drive, walk a short distance down a trail until we come to what I like to call the Hollywood Bodhi Tree.
I will bring a copy of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching and we will be reading excerpts, analyzing them, coming to terms with Taoism and how it can come to help us in our modern daily lives. Information about the scientific evidence for meditation as an empirically based treatment for pain, depression, chronic illness, and anxiety will also be provided for those who are interested.
The purpose of this group is to give a healing space for novices that might want to learn how to meditate, as well as to give community for people with an established practice. Held every Saturday from 2 to 3 pm for about an hour or two. We will meet on Mulholland Blvd at the Hollywood Bowl Overlook at 7036 Mulholland Drive. Come join us! Hollywood Tao
The first verse of the Tao Te Ching reads:
“A truly good man does nothing,
Yet leaves nothing undone.
A foolish man is always doing,
Yet much remains to be done.”
“The highest good is like water.
Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive.
It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao.
In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
In speech, be true.
In ruling, be just.
In daily life, be competent.
In action, be aware of the time and the season.
No fight: No blame.”
So much swag I don’t even know where to start. It’s beyond words. Literally. Thats Hollywood Tao.
Taoist teachings (along with other Asian philosophy) seem to calm, stimulate, and refresh me, in part, I think, because they bear such a striking contrast to many of the ideas I was exposed to growing up in the Occident (the West)—i.e. the superiority of humankind, the glorification of force & control, the concept of a personal male deity, the desirability of personal accomplishment & recognition, etc. It’s also a stirring and delectable little read, 2600 years later.
Still, it seems to me that studying the humble and non-resistant ways of Taoism has provided a healthy and necessary counterweight to my understanding of my Western identity, my values, and how to approach this jaunt through time and space. By no stretch of the imagination am I a Taoist master, and this is not trying to summarize or analyze the entirety of the Tao Te Ching. I intend, rather, to share several passages and reflect on their meaning, in hopes of illuminating a basic picture of how Lao Tzu (or any Taoist) might have seen the world.
The particulars of the world grow and crumble endlessly in the inevitable flux of time. The sage is in tune with this impermanence, and thus creates, but does not indulge the illusion of possession. He learns to extinguish the Ego and realizes that life is not exactly what he had thought it to be. It is much more. Hollywood Tao goes deep within.
In this way Taoism offers a practical wisdom dedicated to personal well-being, social accord, and the accelerated evolution of individual consciousness. Its purpose has always been to help humans in experiencing their essential nature as inseparable from that of the cosmos. As such the concepts of Taoism function as a guide to spiritual growth and transformation and are directly applicable to daily life.
So this is one of the uses of the Tao Te Ching: to inspire, challenge, lead, support, encourage, align and give us insight on our personal journey. This journey has to be undertaken not only with our minds but with our feelings, emotions, intuition, spirit… in fact everything that makes us authentic, unique human beings.
Audience participation is encouraged and if you want to share a particular excerpt from the Tao Te Ching, please feel free to do so.