Taoist Hermitage - Ecuador

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The Taoist Path of the Immortal

Stillness and movement.

In the beginning stillness and movement apply to the body. Stillness within movement is achieved when we do Chi Kung or Tai chi while in a meditative state. Movement within stillness happens when we feel the energy moving in our bodies while in sitting meditation.

There are several deeper aspects of stillness and movement. Stillness is essence and movement is life. In the mind, stillness is pure awareness, movement is thought. In the beginning and for a long time, one must still the mind while meditating untill enlightenment is achieved. Later this mental stillness is established little by little during non meditational activities. Once stillness of the mind is permanently established during our day to day routine then thought can return because it can no longer distract one out of stillness and clarity into unstillness. When thought returns to stillness then that is stillness within movement of the mind, which is much harder to achieve than stillness within movement of the body.

After these abilities have become firmly established then the hardest part of the Way becomes a person's lifelong persuit, and this is stillness within movement in ethics. This is Te, the skillfull movement through life's situations while maintaining an inner stillness (virtue).

This is the stage of wisdom accumulation. This striving for perfection in ethics is a practice which never ends, and no one is perfect, not even the immortals. Immortality is achieved when the motivational energies within us are in accord with conscience. The opposite of this is having an inner knowing that we should do something and then not doing it. This conflict is what is healed in Taoist alchemy. So Chi Kung not only heals your body but also your mind and your emotions, so that all the forces within you have been aligned with the ethical. The result of this is that the motivation to do the right thing is automatic and is stronger than sexual arousal.

This level of cultivation can only be accomplished through the give and take of working with and interacting with others, not by sitting alone on a mountaintop. Through this process the highest form of sensitive alertness (stillness) is achieved until all ones being is conscience and ethical competence.

This is a person's mutual identity with Tao. At this point a person lacks any power contrary to the Way so they then have the power of the Way due to their complete interpenetration of the Way in Te.

This is what leads us to the essence of the immortal, at which point life becomes the preserving of the Way and the teaching of the way of the Way. Then, stillness is identity with the Way and movement, life, is ethical perfection.