“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. – George Bernard Shaw.”
Today I completed a journey that has truly changed my life. Last January (2015), I purchased a book entitled, “Change your thoughts – Change your life. Living the wisdom of the Tao.” The book consists of 81 verses known as the Tao Te Ching which were authored by a Chinese prophet named Lao-tzu. This edition, however, included Dr. Wayne Dyer’s interpretation of the ancient text and how the wisdom of this profound philosophy can be applied to daily, modern life.
What is the Tao? The Tao, as Wayne describes, can be interpreted as The Way, and what Lao-tzu is providing through these verses is guidance—suggestions of ‘a Way’ one can choose to live their life.
Wayne spent one year reading various interpretations of the Tao Te Ching and making these passages his personal journey by living each one. In the preface of his book, he describes how he read one verse for three days in order to really apply the wisdom of each passage, transform his conditioning, and open up to new ideas. He highlighted that the more you walk The Way (the Tao), the farther you are from ordinary society and the closer you come to realizing the truth of life. As such, Wayne advised that in order to maximize its benefit, do not simply read his book and the passages; spend time with each verse and individualize each passage in order to absorb its wisdom and reconceptualise your own ideas.
I have followed Wayne and his teachings for many years, and have only obtained more peace through his works and suggestions of how to live life. As such, I too chose to live the Tao for a year—reading each passage for three days, sometimes four, and truly allowing my Self the time to absorb each message.
As I close this book and reflect on my journey, which took me nearly 14 months to complete, these thoughts come to mind:
That it is possible to stay calm and serene in all circumstances. Not being ‘right’ allows more peace into my life. We do not need ‘beautiful’ words to describe, because ALL things are beautiful. Change is inevitable due to the nature of being, so quit seeking permanence and accept that ALL is formless. Know how much my life matters and concentrate of one area to make a difference. And lastly, the more a person lives for others the greater his life. The more he gives to others, the greater his abundance.
It was funny how each verse was exactly what I needed to hear each time I read it. And each time I read it, I ‘heard’ the words differently.
Last August (2015), Wayne Dyer passed away. I heard about his death while trekking in the Himalayas, a place that continually brings peace and joy to my life. When I learned about of his death from another trekker, I remember not feeling sad. Instead, I was overcome with a deep sense of gratitude to Wayne and all the clarity he brought to my life—either through the Tao or his other works. In no way do I feel I am a Master now that I’ve spent time living The Way. Mastery would imply I have reached the end, and I have a whole life to live yet. As such, I will turn the book over and do as S.N. Goenka suggests when you catch yourself wandering in meditation, don’t get upset or frustrated simply start again.
I have attached a PBS Special of Wayne speaking about the Tao for those interested. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UO3WAUOGU64
Thank You Wayne and Lao-tzu for bringing clarity and peace to my life.I see now that if I am willing, I can change my life.