I apologize.

Chances are that you’ve likely landed on this site looking for something much deeper and profound than what you’ll find.  After all, the words Minimalist and Tao appear prominently within the header text and site name — it’s logical to assume that I am a blogger with special insight into one or the other or both (or claiming to have such insights), but you’d be wrong in making that assumption.  Nor will you find someone dissecting various passages or comparing translations of works attributed to Chuang Tzu, Lao Tzu, Lieh Tzu and others.  Nor am I looking for much in the way of debate about any of those subjects.  It’s all been done before by people more talented than I and, while I find value myself in exploring those topics, I’d rather leave the hard discussions to those who have the background to do it better than I could hope to do it.

There is no “How To”s on this site and I’m no self-proclaimed guru or wise man. I have nothing at my disposal that could be considered wisdom — in fact I likely make more mistakes than anyone else I know.

You’ve been misled, I fear.

What you will find is someone chronicling the changes he is attempting to evoke in his life. After many years of contemplating the contemplative life, of considering what it takes to be a modern Taoist or practitioner of Zen, of finding excuses to why the time is just not right for anything of the sort — I’ve decided that there will never be a right time to develop new habits and, if I continue to make excuses, I could very well be dead before I take the plunge.  As the subtitle of the site indicates, I intend to assume new habits which Cultivate Tao.

But its a difficult process to develop those kinds of habits which cultivate Tao when your life is chaotic and full of visual, aural and intellectual noise. In order to create an environment conducive to forming such habits, one that doesn’t sever my relationships with infant twin daughters, an elementary-level daughter, a wife and a career in environmental consulting (nor do I believe it is necessary to sever those relationships), it seems necessary to start simplifying my life and adopting some of the choices those classifying themselves as minimalists adhere to.  It is, in fact regularly stated as a value to cleave to in the classic Taoist texts.  The other option is to emulate Ryokan and lead a solitary life in rags with a three-walled shack for shelter — but that isn’t my style.

But a site that gives you a plan of action to simplify your life, or gives you the easy path towards the Tao? You just won’t find that here.  You might be able to use my mistakes as big flashing orange caution barriers keeping you from the edge of the pit, but I have no intention of giving guidance or advice even if I manage to achieve a few of my goals.

Once again, I am sorry this site is not what it may seem to be.

~ Michael


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