"Congratulations! Your readers have submitted and voted for your blog at The Daily Reviewer. We compiled an exclusive list of the Top 100 Taoism Blogs, and we are glad to let you know that your blog was included! You can see it at http://thedailyreviewer.com/top/taoism".
I am very honored and humbled at receiving this and want to sincerely thank everyone involved in promoting my blog this way and most of all, for validating this great love and calling of mine, my Path with Heart. Thank you!
I decided that I needed to write this blog about three or four years ago for two reasons. First, I was given a "very special" message from a "very special" messenger back in the late 1970's while going through rehab at TIRR in Houston, Texas. He appeared, gave me this message, and vanished. No one else saw him. I was in the middle of a large crowd of people and my friends were watching out for my safety. It was a hot night in July and no one in the crowd was over about 30 years of age. Everyone was obviously dressed in Summer clothing......everyone but my "special messenger". I was in my wheelchair listening to the great acoustical music coming out of this really cool burger and beer place called Hoolihans #2. He appeared right next to my left side and laid his hand on my left shoulder. I turned to see an ancient man with a sun-darkened, wrinkled face and clear, deep blue, calm, and kind eyes looking into mine. I was completely thrown off balance and turned to look for my friends. They were looking straight at me and smiled. I turned back to look at him when he gave me his message in a very calm and soothing voice. It did not make any sense to me and again I looked at my friends. He vanished before I turned my head back to him. Now, not only was this man many decades or more older than everyone else but he had long silver-grey hair, a long beard and mustache of the same color - both very knarled and twisted like they had never been combed. To top it off, he was dressed in a full-length wrinkled brown trench coat, all buttoned up! I immediately went throughout the crowd asking everyone if they saw him. I ask my friends who were looking right at me when he had his hand on my shoulder. No One Saw Him!! Impossible!! He was more obvious than an African-American at a Ku Klux Klan meeting without a hood!! I tried every way to rationalize this event but nothing, nothing in the world could explain this away! It took many years to come to terms with this and there is only one explanation. He was/is a Spirit Guide or Angel, if you prefer, and he had something of incredible importance to tell me. Here is the exact message:
"You are a teacher. You don't know it yet but you are a teacher."
I had been studying Eastern philosophy starting back in the early 1970's while studying, training in, and later teaching martial arts. A deadly serious event ended my hopes of being a great martial artist and came as close as possible to ending my life. I did "die" twice during emergency surgery but was somehow revived each time. My life has been and still is a life of rehab, one day at a time. Over these many years I have experienced so many inexplicable events that eventually came together in 1990 to reveal a major Truth. The "special message", the very strange experiences, everything, finally became clear to me. I Was a teacher and had always been one. A detailed review of my entire life showed me teaching others one thing or another since I can remember. It was then that I became interested in my martial arts again. I had been studying Comparative Religion and Philosophy for quite some time, particularly the "Tao Te Ching" which was written 2500 years ago by Lao-tse, the founder of Taoism. I became interested in the Taoist martial art, T'ai Chi Ch'uan, and decided to try to add this graceful, slow-motion practice to my rehab to help me relax my mind and body and to relearn how to meditate. It took everything I had to eventually learn this one short form - the same form I have now been doing for over 19 years. I have had my ups and downs over these years - some of my own doing but most beyond my control. I have, however, stayed true to my Path with Heart of 34 years and have gained a tremendous amount of Wisdom. This Wisdom is what the "special messenger" meant for me to teach and I have devoted my life to doing so for the last few years.
Secondly, the farther you go on your Path, the faster the Wisdom is revealed. I wanted to be sure I recorded this as I gained it and continue to gain to this day. Coming to a "Knowing" of this Truth has been and is the most exhilarating feeling imaginable. It is actually far beyond words anymore but manifests as Compassion, Love, and this Blissful Energy that permeates my entire Being at times. I Know without any doubt that I Am experiencing my True Nature more and more each and every day. This has come from all of these years of hard work, great pain and suffering, and 19 years of dedicated Practice. In Zen, this is called "to enter by practice". Anyone interested in learning more about my Path with Heart, how it began, and the incredible Blessing I received for all of the years of pain, suffering, and bull-headed determination, please read these two previous posts:
"To enter by practice refers to four all-inclusive practices: Suffering injustice, adapting to conditions, seeking nothing, and practicing the Dharma.
~ Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen in the Shaolin Temple.
I will continue my Practice, stay true to my Path with Heart, and continue sharing my experiences and Wisdom here on Gathering Wisdom. Please join me on my journey through the heart of Wisdom as I follow my Path back Home to our Source, our True Nature. Domo Arigato!
"All things flow with the Taoas rivers flow into the sea." ~ Tao Te Ching