How Good Are You as a Taoist?

I know many people don’t like to compete with others; they want to be “themselves” and be the best “of themselves.” However, as a Taoist, should you think that way anymore? Let me bring you a lesson that I have learned from my upper. Before I begin, I have to say that this isn’t something I agreed with before, but I have accepted the teachings from my upper and followed them. After a while, I realized that they are right, as always, and it does create a huge difference and impact on oneself. Let me tell you why.

Let me give you a whack to wake you up from your fantasy mindset. Yes, it is painful, and it is not fun. Swallow this medicine; it’s bitter but good for you. We all say that we don’t want to compete with others, not because we don’t want to, but because we are afraid to lose. If you don’t feel like you will win anyway, then why join the race? Just stay home and call yourself the best, tomorrow is better than yesterday, how nice. It feels so positive, nice, and easy until you poke your head out the window and realize you are nothing close to the “good” ones out there. Now your heart is shattered. You already did what you “can do” and still cannot be as good as the others out there. It feels hopeless, sad, and discouraging. Kids are like that, but so are adults.

Adults are way worse in this regard. Kids will join competitions and accept failures, listen to the adults, pick up from where they fall and improve, retrain, and join another competition next year. Adults are cowards because we don’t even like the idea of joining a competition anymore. It feels like a loser before you even show up. We know the “pros” are too good, and we have no way to catch up unless we get a chance to start over our life like them. Right?  Next, we explain to ourselves how old we are now, it’s too late to start, we have no time, we are busy with work daily, we have to make a living, and we don’t have time to “play” or do other things maybe if you have children, even better excuses.

How Should Taoists Compete?

I am not talking about people in the lineage competing against each other, but more about competing with anyone worldwide. We are looking at other religious people, sects, and religions. How are you doing now as a Saam Law Taoist, compared to maybe the Muslim next door? How are you doing now compared to the guy in China learning from Quan Zhen Sect in Wu Dang? Look out there, don’t be a frog in the well; you are not good, not even close.

Feeling shameful means you are about to have courage. It’s because we know we are not good enough; we know what we need to improve and what we should work on. At least better than what we are today.

When my uppers taught me this, they said, “You cannot think you are a Saam Law Taoist then you are the best in the world. You have a good source to learn from, but you still have to output effort to learn, grow, and achieve anything.”  It’s like a rich family kid thinking he is the best in the world because he has all the good stuff that others don’t. Sure, you might be fortunate enough to be like that, but if you don’t learn, grow, and achieve anything, what you are, later on, is just a rich spoiled kid. You will be like those who only know how to use the money to buy your way out, but in the end, you feel like you are the biggest loser in the world because you feel empty inside.

Taoists should look at things in 3 major categories (like our Saam Law principle).

The sky is all about the time we spent in the Tao. How much time are you investing in something? Average Christian or Catholic believers will attend church once a week and stay about 2 hours. Every day they will pray and do their rituals which take about 1 hour. If you are a Saam Law Taoist, you should be at least going to our JLG class once a week and showing up on zoom for that 1-2 hour-long lesson. Can’t you even make it to class once a week? Shame, just like how the Catholic people cannot go to church because of XYZ’s reason. Hey, you know it’s every Sunday, so you don’t even plan things accordingly to “make time for your god”? For a Taoist, the same thing; you should know there is a class every Saturday, then you should know how to plan your life not to take away that time since it is always the same time slot anyway. Not hard, but many people have trillions of excuses because they are unwilling to sacrifice and invest their time into the Tao. This category will determine how much you can get out of the Tao because it is the first element, all about investing the capital into the Tao for it to grow later. If you don’t invest the time, there will be nothing growing later. Think about other things you might be learning in life; it’s the same deal. Learning piano, photography, art, cooking, sports, anything is the same. Imagine you only play the piano once a month for 2 hours. Enjoy daydreaming, but you aren’t getting anywhere for sure.

Ground, the category is about the effort and energy spent. How much have you been outputting in that time? For example, during the 2 hours in the Church on Sunday, all you did was sit and wait for things to finish; your mind is blanked out and just waiting for it to end. What can you achieve out of the 2 hours like that? Nothing. When you come to class on Saturday, I teach, and you listen.  However, did you practice? Did you spend the time and EFFORT to recite your spells, repeatedly copy the FU heads, or even chant the scriptures? Your effort determines how much can be grown out of the capital investment. The more effort and energy, the bigger the success can be. I have seen some elders who are Buddhist; they go on the bus with a little scripture book and then start to chant the scripture on the bus while everyone else is taking a nap. This kind of commitment and dedication shows how much the person is output; therefore, they will have many more achievements in the end. If you are learning here, have you been doing your daily practice? Have you been spending the effort to make use of the class time by asking questions and trying to interact more with me?

Human, this is the heart, the passion, the love. When you are trying to spend time practicing 6 hours piano daily, but you hate it so much, there is nothing you can get out of that 6 hours. It’s just purely venting and hate. However, if you spend 1 hour chanting some spells as a Taoist, and your heart is very passionate and loving the stuff you are doing, you will get much more out of that session than the ordinary people who “do it because they are told to do it. “If one has no passion, love, or desire, then it is just a waste of time to do anything because it won’t blossom in the end.

For Disciples

There are a few things that I would like you to look at yourself and compare with some other Taoists. Compete against them, see how you are doing, and set goals to improve and do better than you today.

  1. The professional Taoist do not hold a book when they do ceremonies or chant spells; do you still need to read notes and hold your papers when doing your daily spells and rituals?
  2. The professional Taoist should at least spend time cultivating the Tao stuff daily. Have you been doing that enough?
  3. The professional Taoist can answer anything a newbie asks and guide them on understanding their sects and religion’s doctrine and concept. Can you do the same?
  4. Can you spit out the commandments and rules of the lineage without thinking or looking?
  5. Can you open the altar and invoke the gods etc., without using notes or reading spells off your kindle?
  6. Can you explain to people the powers of the gods you worship and tell them when to ask which god for help?
  7. Can you explain the whole lineage structure to people and how all the different levels work?
  8. How many spells or scriptures have you memorized, and can you do them naturally without looking?
  9. What is so special about being a Saam Law Taoist? Why should one ordain and become a Saam Law Taois instead of going into another sect?
  10. Have you written your FU monthly, and can you write nice enough to show off to other people?

No? Don’t feel good? Sure, now you know what to improve on. Ordain today to start learning!