Hello. I have been putting off making this thread since it's hard to put this stuff into words.
As I said in my intro post, I have strong influence from schools of Chan, and an inclination towards Dao, even though my background on these is rather on the lacking side.
I mentioned that I don't like to subscribe to a "religion" because of their coercive nature, but I do like to inmerse myself when something interests me.
I don't know much about Dao besides having read the Daodejing a few times (actually, I usually stop where it stops making sense for me, near the middle of the book), even less about the religious aspect of this. I don't know much about buddhism either, so I try to stay in the point where both systems (Dao and Chan) overlap.
I think at the core of my aspiration lies one single idea: Simplicity. Which is probably why I have a stronger inclination towards Dao. That is one reason that I don't go into the more exotic aspects of either school. As with any discipline, mastery of the fundamentals is where the substance lies, where the plethora of different techniques and variations are like the flowers that stem from the roots of a handful of "strokes", as I like to call these fundamentals.
Back to the point: Simplicity. Once I saw a video of a chinese old man making a porcelain vase, and it caught me. The man was putting his whole mind into it, and after decades of doing that, he had developed a sort of perfection (or as close as it gets) in his practice.
That's why works like the Ox Herding Pictures are so appealing: as they simply and succintly express the path (any path, really) with 10 pictures. Where the void picture is not the last, but "Return to the world" is the culmination of it. I don't know if I am making sense here, but for me, this last step for return to the world represtens the maximum point in simplicity: You're no longer a master of X, but one more among men.
Dao represents what would be the pinnacle of simplicity, and it's immutable nature, present in every situation and in every living being, a manifestation of such simplicity.
I like to think life is essentially simple, and that we overcomplicate ourselves. Contrary to the Western mindset, I think we ought to rediscover our animal nature.
Well, that's kind of what I strive for, and I am way too far from that yet. I am an overcomplicated person with possible ADD who is very confused about his path in life (and a huge ego that keeps talking about itself ). I can't even put my thoughts succintly into words.
What do you guys think of this? I mean about the whole "simplicity at the core of it all". I know this is a Daoist forum so perhaps everyone will agree, yet some feedback will be nice. What do you think about the multiple practices of "daoism" in relation to this?
Thanks for taking the time to read.