My Daoist theology, with scientific- and earth-centered focuses, sees change (birth, death, and rebirth) as the only constant in this world. Our responsibility as humans is to stay attuned to the change that is happening around us and respond in ways that inspire creativity and adaptability. This attunement practice is the Daoist “Way.”
One of the ways that I find attunement, and a great example of change, is through nature. Nature shows us how to adapt and evolve and its own process of becoming allows us to become as well. Whether it is the murmuration of starlings showing us how to move as a community or mycelium intertwining with tree roots to communicate to the forest, we can learn from creation.
I do not believe this practice of attunement to be one focused on mediative practices. Rather, I rely on scholars who translate Daoism to be the practice of “Making this Life Significant.”*
In a congregational setting, we too can be adaptive and creative. We can use our own imagination and creativity to work with the cycle of change in our own congregations to facilitate the process of transforming ourselves into our full potential as humans and Unitarian Universalists. That is, to embrace change rather than fight it and in the process make our lives a significant force for bringing justice into the world.
Vital to our transformation are the ways that we end oppression in our congregations and the world. I believe that working towards the embodiment of anti-oppression as a way of life is one of the most significant things we can do in our lives. I see the work of dismantling racism, classism, ableism, heterosexism, sexism, patriarchy, supremacy, genderism, and protecting our planet and our children as a faithful obligation for anyone who adheres to the Unitarian Universalist principles. Within Daoism, anything that is not life-sustaining is that which dies permanently without re-creation, oppression is just such a force. Together, by cultivating practices that work with, rather than against life, we become a force of love that gives birth to possibility.
*Roger T. Ames & David L. Hall