When my patients ask for lifestyle advice to handle stress, anxiety, and depression, I give them advice from the perspective of the Taoist lineage that I practice (Longmen Pai), because sometimes “Don’t Worry Be Happy” just doesn’t cut it.
I don’t want anyone to feel as if I’m trying to “convert” them into another belief even though the beauty of practicing Taoism is that there’s no deity, and there’s no belief system. That means that in Taoism, there’s no God to worship, and there certainly isn’t a group of people who’ll be on your case if you don’t worship him (or it) correctly. There is only “you” and “now” and “reality.” ***
The photo above is me practicing the fundamental aspect of Taoism that I practice called Zuowang, or “Sitting in Oblivion” (sometimes translated as “sitting/forgetting”). Through that practice, the only things that exist are my breath and “now,” which then merge into one. It allows me to fully realize this moment, and allows my peace of mind to rise back to the surface after years lying dormant beneath turbid layers of fear and anger after human society has sunk their claws into me for such a long time.
And because I practice Taoism, I rather enjoy speaking from that point of view to prolong the acupuncture treatments for stress, anxiety, and depression. In the same way that we acupuncturists give material advice (usually in the form of a specific diet and exercise) for a long-lasting treatment of physical pain, I give spiritual advice for a long-lasting treatment of emotional pain.
But be careful here, when I’m talking about spirituality, I’m referring to it as opposed to materialism. While the latter focuses mostly on external influences to reach a balanced state, such as taking herbal medicines, eating a healthy diet, or going to the gym… spirituality is all about finding a healthy balance from the within the mind.
Life from the Taoist point of view (with the help of Zen) is how I choose to help others, because it continues to help me. As I said before, it has no deity nor a belief system, and it’s only “goal” is inner peace. So no matter whether you’re an atheist or a devout Christian, it can help you tremendously.
After all, acupuncture theory has its roots in Taoism.
***Footnote: All three concepts are basically the same thing, but it’s a pretty advanced concept that I’m still working on, and it’s well outside the purposes of this post.