If you are to be, you must begin by assuming responsibility. You alone are responsible for every moment of your life, for every one of your acts. — Antoine De Saint-Exupery
For the last thirty five years or so I have reaffirmed the same two resolution each New Year’s Eve: (1) to grow in wisdom and (2) to love more. It is a small ritual. I sit down in meditation and speak these resolutions first to my heart, then to my mind and then to my spirit. These two statements are my life resolutions, my manifesto, and started with the study of martial arts and philosophy. Specifically, traditional Chinese philosophy.
When most people think of the martial arts, they envision actors like Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan in combat against a slew of other martial experts which is a misconception glorified by Hollywood. The martial arts are much more than hand to hand combat. They are really about improving your wisdom. From the study and understanding of the martial arts one learns how to cultivate and conduct his life. This understanding can improve one’s self confidence in any situation. You have the wisdom to do whatever you set your mind to do and will have garnered the courage to do it. Even though I no longer practice martial arts directly, except for the occasional tai chi workout, the philosophy infuses every part of my life. My writing, calligraphy, the way I think and the way I live.
So, how am I doing with my two life resolutions?
Since moving to Fiji, six months ago, my life has accelerated at a much faster pace. It reminds me of an experience of awakening I had at Esalen but this time I am not afraid. The pace of my inner life is in direct contrast to the pace of life in Fiji but not in a destructive way. My experiences and state of mind, my state of being, my understanding of life, and my overall health have all grown from the wisdom of place. I did not know that one’s location could have such an effect on one’s life, but it does. My dear friend Julie did an astrology reading after I moved here to chart my Jupiter line which determines the best place for one to live on the planet. My Jupiter line comes directly through Savusavu and makes where I live the best place on earth for me to be and grow. I feel rich with the wisdom I have gained throughout my life. This memoir is in part a manifestation of that wisdom.
For me, love is about acceptance without conditions of my fellow man/woman and of myself. Learning to love is something I do practice everyday and it works in harmony with growing in wisdom. Both are life long goals and not accomplished over night. Although I have learned, their pace can be accelerated.
One last note. Traditionally when initiates of a discipline have a transformation of consciousness, they are often given a new name to reflect the embodiment of a new being and consciousness. Since my arrival in Fiji, my life has felt like the interception point for being and non-being, for what is and what is not, and so for the years remaining in my life I want my name to mirror who I am. A mirror of who I have consciously become and who in truth I have always been. I am everything and I am nothing. My name is Tao.