"How to Dance with the Tao" by Wu Tao Dance founder Michelle Locke

A belated post but a worthy one! This is a beautiful article by Wu Tao Dance founder Michelle Locke on the philosophy and principles of Wu Tao as viewed through the lens of the Tao, or "way" according to Chinese philosophy. Michelle wrote this article and sent it out last month as part of her January newsletter. If you are interested to learn and read more, please visit the Wu Tao Dance main website and sign up for her newsletter there!

How to Dance with the Tao

Many people ask me what inspired Wu Tao. Well, there was really two things. My love for dance and my belief in the philosophy of Taoism. I have always loved the Tao. It’s abstract. It’s not a religion, but it gives awesome guidance on how to live in harmony with Life. This video gives some good insights into Taoism

I wrote the Wu Tao philosophy and Principles based on my personal experience and understanding of the Tao. They have served me well so far and the dances have helped me and many other people embody them. I’ve listed them here. I hope they may be of benefit to you.

 Wu Tao Philosophy and Principles

  • All of life is connected, there is only the One.  Everything is a part of the One.

There is only One Life.  We are all part of it and there is no separation between its parts.  In the beginning, according to Taoism there was the One which gave birth to all life.  Life expressed itself first as one, then became the two (yin and yang) which then became all things.  Therefore you are one with Life and one with all aspects of life.

  • Life is like a river.  We cannot push the flow of the river.

The river is a metaphor for the flowing nature of life energy.  Life holds within it the stillness of being as well as the dynamic flow of creation.  Life is living itself through you.  When you can allow it to flow without the need to control it through your limited mind you will experience ease, peace and fulfilment.  When you attempt to push or control Life you will find it to be more effortful and difficult.

  • Surrendering to the flow of Life ensures our journey in life will be all that it is meant to be.

Surrendering to the flow means to go with the energy as it is presenting itself to you, responding appropriately to it and moving with it.  It by no means suggests that you should be passive continuously or allow your life circumstances to act upon you without action.  Surrender means being in trust enough to follow your inner voice and guidance which may direct you to take action or not.  It is an experience of opening and allowing Life to be lived through you once and bringing yourself into alignment with Life.

  • Resisting the flow of Life suggests difficulty, suffering and hardship will be yours to experience.

If you resist the flow you will experience pain of some kind.  Only your limited mind can resist the flow out of fear.  If you are experiencing pain or suffering in any way you are in resistance at some level of your being.  One of the best ways to move out of resistance is to give thanks for whatever you are experiencing and open to the gift that Life is offering you in the moment.  Life is a gift, and there is always an opening available to you that will bring you peace and joy in every circumstance.  Dancing Wu Tao will help to move you through your resistance to what life is offering you and help you to trust the process.

  • Surrendering to the flow means moving through life responsively.  Responding to life intuitively and acting appropriately in each experience.

The more you are able to be in a state of internal balance, the easier it is to respond intuitively and appropriately.  If you are off balance significantly, of course your responses will reflect your state of mind and body.

  • The aim of Wu Tao is to restore balance between the individual and the universe.

 There is no difference between what you are made of and what the rest of the universe is made of.  We are all made of the same stuff and we are all connected.  Wu Tao helps to restore your connection to the ocean of oneness which the entire universe is a part of. Your healing and restoration heals the universe.

  •  Life is constantly evolving and moving.  Your ability to flow with this movement and change reflects our harmony with Life.

If you can flow with Life as it presents itself to you and through you, you will feel a deep sense of inner peace, balance and trust.  This is in complete contrast to what you will feel if you resist Life.  If you are resisting you are not trusting in the only thing that is trustworthy, which is Life itself.

  • Heart, mind, spirit and body, all have equal bearing in your being.  All parts need to be in balanced relationship with the other parts for your being to function optimally.

All aspects of our being need to be kept healthy and functioning well.  The heart needs to be free of disturbing emotions in order to house the spirit.  The mind needs to be tamed and negative thought patterns reprogrammed.  The spirit needs to be radiating its compassion and love to all, and the body needs to be looked after and honoured in order to be a good physical vehicle for our spirit to shine through.  

  • An imbalance between these parts of yourself, creates disharmony throughout your entire system and this in turn affects your ability to respond to life effectively and diminishes all life through your ineffectiveness.

An imbalance in your being affects the whole.  It diminishes your experience of life as well as causing imbalance in the whole.  Just as we imagine a stone thrown into a pond and the ripples can be felt and seen across the whole pond, so your balance or imbalanced state creates ripples that affect the whole of life.

  • Balance and harmony can always be restored.

The One is always in a state of perfect balance and harmony, in and of Itself.  Therefore you are already whole because you are part of the One.  As soon as you bring yourself into alignment with Life, balance is restored.