mindfulness taoism Dec 21, 2023

Exploring the Dao De Jing: A Journey into the Heart of Yoga Simplicity

In this blog and in my new podcast episode (here), I talk about a wonderful chapter of the Dao De Jing, particularly its teachings on simplicity.

樸 (pǔ) - simplicity
At the heart of Chapter 19 of the Dao De Jing is the character 樸 (pǔ - pronounced like pu in pull) - simplicity. This profound yet straightforward symbol, represented by a piece of uncarved wood, serves as a powerful metaphor for our existence too. Pǔ is a reminder of our natural, unpretentious state, our unadorned simplicity in life.

In this episode (found here), I explore how this single character encapsulates an quintessential guideline for our yoga practice, for our daily existence. Pǔ invites us to strip away the complexities and distractions that cloud our lives, guiding us towards a less cluttered, less complex way of being. Pǔ simplicity isn't about a non-rich or plain life; quite the opposite, Pǔ is recognizing and returning to our natural state, unburdened by superfluous desires and thoughts.

The Dao De Jing’s Teachings: A Guide for Modern Yogis

The Dao De Jing, over 2,500 years old, remains incredibly relevant to our modern world, I would even say it is more needed. Its teachings encourage us to look beyond the obvious and find contentment in fundamental aspects of life, appreciate things we miss. In yoga, this translates to a practice that isn't fixated on physical achievements but is focused on inner space and harmony.

So, for yogis, Chapter 19 emphasizes letting go of our pursuit of external validations, like status or possessions, and instead, focusing on internal development. This shift in perspective isn't just philosophical; it's practical and deeply transformative. As I share in the podcast, adopting this mindset can lead to a super fulfilling and serene yoga practice.

Embracing & Accepting Are Not the Same

Reflecting on my journey, I shared how the principles of the Dao De Jing have influenced my approach to yoga and life. Embracing simplicity, not just grudgingly going with where life takes me (or doesnt' take me) has allowed me to experience my practice more deeply, appreciating each moment and movement without the pressure of external expectations. My body can't do a lot of poses, doesn't look impressive in any shape or form, but man, I like waking up in it.

Conclusion: Integrating Dao De Jing’s Wisdom in Our Lives

In this episode, I invite listeners to consider how these teachings could apply to their own lives and practices. The Dao De Jing doesn't offer a one-size-fits-all solution but proposes a framework to discover your path to simplicity and your uncarved life (free of improving, updating or managing).

So find a copy and stick it next to your toilet (the best place to read philosophy).

Stay connected for more reflections and insights on yoga and mindfulness. 

 - Dhugal.

P.S. Come get your free mini yin yoga course here.



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