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Posted on 2007.08.12 at 00:52
Current Location: typing in bed
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
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Among the Taoist practices (like Fengshui, Tai Chi, Chinese Medicine, Tea) are various forms of divination. This topic came up during the latest Twin Cities Taoism Meetup Group meeting. Turns out that two of the folks that attend have practiced with the Yi Ching (one with computer, one with cards and coins). While I've not invested enough time in studying the Yi Ching for it to be clear to me what message it is trying to tell me, I have noticed that since I began to call myself a Taoist, fortune cookies have been eerily accurate (when I'm following my path). Tea leaves also have actually spelled out pretty obviously (once even in English) stuff to me. It's interesting how this doesn't work so much for me if I'm not paying attention to life around me and trying to live life as it comes.

Elder Zhang Guo's (Zhāng Guǒ Lǎo/張果老) Birthday?

Posted on 2006.10.31 at 10:43
Current Location: Roseville Library Dunn Bros.,Roseville, MN
Current Mood: peacefulpeaceful
Current Music: piano jazz
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According to the Taoist Restoration Society, whose home page seems to have disappeared, Today is Elder Zhang Guo's birthday. Brock Silvers' "The Taoist Manual doesn't have this happening until November 30th.

In the interest of laziness, I'll postpone my comments on this holiday until then.

Highly Sensitive Person Pointers

Posted on 2006.10.30 at 18:01
Current Location: Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave. N.,Roseville,MN,55113
Current Mood: hungryhungry
Current Music: I'm gonna be (500 miles) - The Proclaimers
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The Highly Sensitive Persons Survival Guide

I accidently stumbled on a book called "The Highly Sensitive Person's Survival Guide" by Ted Zeff, PhD. while perusing my favorite local library's stacks.

Since I suffer from numerous allergies and sensitivities, I thought I might take a look to see if it had relevance for me.

Here are some of the thoughts I've taken from this book

  • Turn off media in the evening
  • Be a witness to your thoughts
  • imaginary arguments with others just make you more anxious and upset and do nothing toward addressing the issue at hand
  • smile and laugh more
  • do spiritual things with your loved ones
  • spend silent time with your loved ones
  • If you need to, find a way to create your own job schedule
  • "the ego thrives on conflict to maintain its separate identity" (p.125)
  • use aromas to create a relaxing atmosphere
  • say no to "extra" commitments
  • take walking or stretching breaks if you sit or stand in the same position all day
  • meditate
  • working for yourself has many benefits for a sensitive person
  • eat healthy
  • create a daily work schedule
  • show appreciation
  • there are many good things about being sensitive
  • "My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends - it gives a lovely light!" - Edna St. Vincent Millay

For more information about high sensitivity check out

Changes to Taoist Holidays Google Calendar

Posted on 2006.10.30 at 09:10
Current Location: Roseville Library Dunn Bros., Roseville, MN
Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
Current Music: Whatever Jazz they're playing
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If you use my Taoist Holidays Google calendar, you'll notice that I've added a bunch more holidays (only through December for now).

These new holidays are from Brock Silvers' "The Taoist Manual". Brock's calendar differs somewhat from other Taoist calendars I've seen, so you may find some instances where the same holiday is on different days. The concept of this calendar is one of inclusion, so I've added the duplicates, and for each holiday I try to note a source.

If you want to add "Taoist Holidays" to your google calendar, just click on this button.

Three Magic Keys

Posted on 2006.10.25 at 11:35
Current Location: Living room
Current Mood: rushedrushed
Current Music: "Billy, Don't Be a Hero"
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What if you had Three Magic Keys?

Three Mao Brothers' (三茅真君) Birthday

Posted on 2006.10.24 at 19:42
Current Location: Living room couch
Current Mood: fullfull
Current Music: "Whiskers" - On Demand Hallmark Movie
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According to the calendar, today is the birthday of the three Mao brothers.

Since it doesn't appear from "The Taoist Manual" (TTM, p. 39) that the Mao Brothers are triplets, I have to guess that their birthdays (as a holiday) were consolidated at some point in time to make them easier to celebrate.

According to TTM, their names were Mao Ying, Mao Gu, and Mao Zhong. Mao Ying was the first of them to dedicate himself to Taoist cultivation.

Eventually they all became great mystics and healers and asceneded to immortality after their physical deaths.

Later on, a holy mountain was named after them and a monastery was built there.

I've no idea how this particular holiday is normally celebrated.

I also have no great ideas about what this holiday might mean to me personally.

I would love to hear from others who might know more about this holiday, or might have more to say.

Have a backup plan

Posted on 2006.10.23 at 13:26
Current Location: Roseville Library, Roseville, MN, USA
Current Mood: thankfulthankful
Current Music: "Redemption Song" - Bob Marley and the Wailers
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This morning as I flopped into my green Subaru wagon, my glasses hit the window.


my right lens popped out and hit the snow moistened tan and brown leaves on my driveway.

"Sheesh", I thought, "I'm late already". I was to meet my friend at the Roseville Library Dunn Bros. for a working session on our current project.

Then it occurred to me. I carry a backup pair of glasses in the top pocket of my rolling computer bag.

hunky dory and away I go.


My wife has a saying, "Have a backup plan".

I know she says this because I've heard her say it. Recently. Loudly.

We had a friend and her son staying with us for the past year, and things had started to fall apart for our friend. A divorce finalizing, bills due, school work behind, medication being missed, all these things began to take their toll on our friend, and the resulting fallout began to take its toll on my family. We, especially my amazing wife, found ourselves increasingly in the "care taker", perhaps even "enabler", roll for our friend as mental illness began to once again show its face in the full daylight of our friend's life. Our friend has strength of character, and is used to fighting this particular battle, but as familiar as this enemy is, she doesn't seem to have fully armed herself. She would frequently find herself in corners painted by her own neglect, forgetfulness, fear, or even paranoia. She began to turn to my wife more frequently for advice and counseling. Ironically, she also began to listen less to and trust less what my wife had to say.

My wife is a strong and wise woman, but being faced with these issues on a daily basis had worn her down. I heard her do what I'd never heard her do before, shout at someone outside of our family. Even with family members, she only raises her voice in times of extreme frustration and exhaustion. We really try hard not to yell at one another, and we normally view it as a sign that respect and communication have broken down. So when I heard her voice raised, I knew things had deteriorated pretty badly.

"Always have a backup plan!"

I'm thinking that if it has to be shouted, it's probably too late.

long come short, and we had to ask our friend to leave to preserve the hard fought peace of our home. She's got brothers to turn to, and she's got Veterans benefits. She's got a pre-built "backup plan", so
she'll be as "ok" as she will allow herself to be, but the little things in life, the broken glasses and lost keys if you will, will continue to take her by surprise.

I hope not.

Always have a backup plan.

x-post: dumb movies I watched tonight

Posted on 2006.10.23 at 06:04
Current Location: Roseville Library, Roseville, MN, USA
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: the sound of people in a library
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In case you're interested, I keep my popular culture/entertainment/stupid stuff I'm thinking blog at a different site.

The latest entry there is Dumb movies I watched tonight.


"My family's really cool"

Posted on 2006.10.15 at 21:27
Current Location: Dining room table next to the fish tanks
Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: My youngest reading a book out loud
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As I sat opening our stack of CD's we got at Cheapo after eating at NalaPak, my eldest came into our dining room and said to me

"My family's really cool. Each of us is unique, and I LIKE that!"

I do so agree.

Today is a double holiday on the Taoist calendar (using the calendar from Tao Restore). There's Sa Zu Zhen Ren's (a.k.a. Sa ShouJian, a.k.a. Perfect Man Sa) Birthday and then there's also Ancestor Day (also celebrated by Reform Daoists). It's worth noting here that Brock Silvers book "The Taoist Manual: An Illustrated Guide Applying Taoism To Daily Life" lists Sa Shoujian's birthday as November 13th this year.

It seems that Sa ShouJian was best known as the teacher of Wang Lingguan (a.k.a. Wang the Good, Wang the Spirit Protector, etc...), a reformed child eating demon (pictured left).

I couldn't find any references as to what Perfect Man Sa does (other than guard temples), but I figure that if he can make a saint out of a bad character like Wang, then he's proof that the right teacher can teach anyone (if the student is ready, right?).

You can read further about Wang at Tao Restore, http://www.eng.taoism.org.hk
or on Pages 41,47 and 48 of "The Taoist Manual".

I don't know much about Ancestor Day, but it looks like it's originally a Mahayanna Bhudist holiday somewhat akin to Haloween.

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