"Open yourself to the Tao,
then trust your natural responses;
and everything will fall into place."
Tao Te Ching
The Buddha once said that, along with meditation (dyana) and the teachings of Truth (dharma), having a spiritual sangha (community) to gather and meditate with, was the single most important part of living an awakened and joyous life. This past week, the Tao Tribe gathered to mark it's 8 year Anniversary with a celebration that was joyful and fun. It is hard to believe that it's been all those years ago that three of us gathered over at the old Common Ground space on Newport Ave for what was to be the first meeting of the Tao Tribe (though it wasn't called Tao Tribe way back then), where we read from the Tao Te Ching, discussed and meditated for about 10 minutes. Who was to know that, eight years later, through countless locations and literally hundreds of people coming and going, that this one little meeting all those years ago, would give birth to a small but thriving community of Taoist/Buddhist practitioners today?
If you're reading this, then chances are that you have been to one of our meditations, intensives or Qigong classes. and perhaps even came to stay for awhile, having found something that you were looking for. Perhaps it was a group of dedicated, loving and genuine fellow-travelers on the path of Life, with whom you were able to share a depth of stillness and peace that you had never felt before, or maybe it was the utter simplicity of the Taoist teachings. Whether you came for just one class, or stayed for a month, a year or continue to show up weekly for the spiritual sustenance that comes through meditating and studying with a group of loving and authentic people, you know first-hand what a unique and powerful group the Tao Tribe has become. Oh, and by the way, the name Tao Tribe started to stick around three or four years ago, when I overheard one of our community (Renee Schwan), refer to us with that name, and I thought that it summed us up perfectly.
I often think of Lao Tzu or Chunag Tzu, our Taoist spiritual grandfathers, laughing with delight at the idea of a group of people in Orange County, California, gathering together to practice the teachings that they handed down 2800 years ago. They're simple message back then: to surrender our resistance and trust the ever-present and perfect flow of the Tao (the unfolding perfection of the present moment), is as significant and needed today, as it was all those years ago. So, to all of you who have supported and brought your openness and presence to one of our gatherings over the years, please know that your participation was, and is, like a powerful dragon of truth, that shines to a world in need of it's light, and may that light shine eternally through all of you.