While reading another Tao related blog, I came across a thread where someone asked how a Taoist feels about having a pet. Nothing in the Daodejing came to mind as guidance but I recall various stories in Chuang-Tzu, The Inner Chapters, that referenced animals. Basically, animals, in their natural wild state, are really an embodiment of Tao and something we can learn from through observation. From a Taoist perspective, capturing a wild animal to make it a pet would be interfering with its natural existence and therefore, would not be a Taoist practice. However, there is also mention of the use of animals such as horses and cattle. I believe these domesticated animals have a place in our culture and lives.
We have three cats that live with us. Two were rescued from a shelter, and one was given to us as a kitten by a friend who could not care for a litter of cats (that’s her in the photo, five years later). They’re all domesticated cats. Their natural environment is with people. Growing up, I had a dog, a domesticated dog. Their natural environment is with people. Dogs have had a symbiotic relationship with humans for tens of thousands of years. In facts, dogs have worked so close with people for so long, they actually are more in “tune” with people than any other animal. Rather than going into the details here, if you’re interested, watch Dogs Decoded.
Living with a domesticated pet, having a loving relationship with an animal is often very healthy for all involved. The important thing to me, is where you find that pet. I’m personally against pet stores because more often than not, these are animals treated like products. I wish I could find healthy happy homes for them, but in doing so I would just create an increased demand and the cycle escalates.
Good places to get pets are from small family owned breeders. The ones that probably check you out more than you check them out. the ones who won’t sell to just anyone with a credit card because they love their animals. Of course shelters are also a great place to get pets. One of our shelter cats is blind in one eye due to early neglect. We’ve had him for 14 years now. It’s hard to imagine not having him around. You don’t need a special breed with papers spouting the purity of its lineage. It doesn’t need to have the perfect form or the perfect background. Go to a local shelter and visit with the animals there. If you connect with one, take it home with you, love it and accept it as part of your family.
Exotic, non-domesticated pets, in my opinion, should be avoided. That python would be better off not living in a glass aquarium. That parrot would be better off flying free. A rule of thumb is, if it has to live in a cage, you don’t need it as a pet. There are always some exceptions. I doubt fish really notice a difference and I’ve seen some pretty happy looking hamsters with elaborate habitats connected by fun tunnels and all sorts of exercise wheels and other things they certainly seem to enjoy. Watching them I sorta wish I could play in their homes.
Finally, don’t bring a pet into the wrong kind of home or a habitat too small for it. If you don’t have a big, safe yard, don’t get a big dog. Having a dog chained to a post or in a small pen for most of its life is horrible. If you have small children in the home, it may not be suitable for a cat. I know the ones living with us don’t care for small humans chasing them about.
A little common sense goes a long way when preparing to share your life with an animal. Many animals, especially domestic cats and dogs, need affection and will certainly return it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
The meanings evoked by the word faith are many. In this post, I define faith as accepting something as true without any solid evidence. Intellectually, this may first seem a pointless position for anyone to take. Isn’t it a risk to believe in something that may by all rights be false? I want to be clear that I am referring to believing in an unproven possibility as faith. Believing contrary to something that’s certain or even all but certain is delusional. Having faith that I will fly if I jump from a building is delusional.
Yet faith has a lot in common with trust and confidence. In a relationship, we say someone is faithful if they do not cheat on their partner. It means their partner trusts them and that trust is honored. If someone says, “I have faith in you”, it’s implying they believe you can accomplish whatever it is they are referring to at the time. They think you are capable and will be successful. They don’t actually know the outcome with certainty, but they have confidence in you.
In simple terms, Qi (pronounced ‘chee‘) refers to the body’s vital life force energy and the concept of Qi is an underlying principle to Traditional Chinese Medicine and martial arts. It can also be translated as ‘breath’ or ‘gas (air)’.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qi is said to flow through the body along channels or meridians. These meridians, or pathways of energy, run from head to toe along the body and correspond to the health of the skin, hair, muscles, bones, internal organs, the mind and spirit. Any disruption to the flow of Qi along these meridians is said to be the cause of pain and/or illness.
Qi helps us move, breathe, think, grow and develop. It protects the body by resisting invasion from germs, and fights them off if they manage to get in. Qi helps us digest our food and produce blood, sweat and tears.It maintains the structure of the body, keeps the organs in place, keeps blood in the veins and prevents the excessive loss of body fluids. Qi warms the body and maintains an even temperature throughout the entire body at all times, in all types of environments.
There are many different types of Qi in the body and I will touch on just a few in this blog.
WRITTEN BY taichicircle
A regular practice of Qigong or Tai Chi brings numerous health benefits to body, mind and spirit and here are 5 reasons why.
Qigong and Tai Chi movements:
1)Prevent stagnation in the body
The exercises are done gently and slowly, thereby promoting the smooth flow of blood, body fluid and Qi throughout the body. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, where there is flow there is healing and life. Adequate circulation is essential for the removal of toxins and dead cells, for the delivery of essential nutrients and blood to the tissues, and for growth and repair. When the flow is disrupted for any reason (injury, illness, stress, for example), then fluids and Qi in the body can become stagnant or sluggish resulting in poor health over time.
Being so close to the 2012 U.S. Presidential elections, I am bombarded with campaign ads in my e-mail, my snail mail, on television, on the radio and in website ads (including some Google sends to this site). This year I will be voting for the Libertarian Party candidate because their platform is more in sync with my views on what government should and should not do. I do not expect him to win, but the two party system will never be overcome if people always cast a vote for the lesser of two evils instead of voting for their issues. So what are my issues? What would I like to see a President do? Read on.