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A very un-Dao verbose intro

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I'm not sure where of how to begin, so I'll just jump in headlong with a few things:

First, my interest in Daoism is probably more specifically an interest in the Laozi and Zhuangzi texts, and (on some preliminary level) Wang Bi's ontological approach. I was introduced by a friend to the Daodejing some 25 years ago when I was in my mid-20s.

My spiritual and philosophical interests have been wide and varied over the years: Christian mysticism (Eckhart, The Cloud of Unknowing, etc.), Plato, Plotinus, Seneca, Emerson, Thoreau, Rilke, Buber, and more. I practiced Zen Buddhism for a little over four years, and for one year met with a sangha at a Vietnamese monastery in the southern US. The Soto Zen approach of Dogen has also played an important role in my spiritual journey.

At least at this point in my life, I don't feel compelled to identify myself as anything, including "Daoist." My interest in a very particular scope of (Neo-)Daoist philosophy is more a matter of an essential personal inspiration to me in my own wandering spiritual path -- which also includes much of the above-mentioned interests with waxing and waning degrees of attraction.

Over the years, my appeal to all of these spiritual expressions is that of what I perceive as an underlying "grammar" so to speak -- the languages may be different and don't match up. It isn't so much the transcendent aspect that interests me so much as the different ways of experiencing some form of ontological selflessness (not merely moral, though ontological selflessness may indeed be related to that -- wuwei, sunyata, kenosis, are indications of this experience).

These different "languages" have helped me recognize more the underlying grammar of selflessness common to all of them, though they all say it differently. But Daoism is a special case for me because it resonates most deeply with me -- it's appeal to nature and solitude, its strong intuitive approach.

Yes, all this is verbose, but I have quieter, more contemplative moments, too! And this is just an introduction of sorts.

A few other interests: poetry (Western and Eastern) and also haiku (which I occasionally write as a spiritual practice), classic literature, classical music, early music, ambient music, philology, etymology, the history of ideas, nature walks, and hot tea.

I've lived a number of places in the US, Italy as a child (my father was in the navy), and New Zealand. I have been living in upstate New York the past year and a half with my wife.

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