Hello Folks and Welcome to American Taoist!
My name is Matt Timlin, I’d say I lead a pretty average life by American standards. I work an office job from 9-5 every week day and I have my hobbies that I pursue outside of work. My top passion in life is studying martial arts, I have been training Kung Fu and Tai Chi for a good while now and have no intention of stopping until one day I can teach them full time.
It was actually my passion for Chinese martial arts that originally introduced me to Taoism. Tai Chi is a martial art developed by Taoist monks and is based on the principles of the philosophy. In order to understand my martial arts more I decided that Taoism was something I needed to begin studying as well.
The first literature I read on Taoism was actually “The Tao of Pooh” which I still believe is hands down the best book someone who knows nothing about Taoism could read to begin to get an idea of what it’s all about. From there I moved on to the writings of Chuang-Tzu and his “Inner Chapters” and eventually discovered the rich and poetic chapters of Lao-Tzu’s Tao Te Ching.
Fast forward a few years to the present and I’d say I’ve probably read about a dozen different translations of the Tao Te Ching, another few translations of the Inner Chapters, and countless hours thinking and learning first hand about Tao just through trying to live it.
You will never, I repeat, never hear me call myself a Taoist master or a sage or even someone who has it figured out. The reason you will never hear me say this is because I in fact am not a master and I do not have it figured out. What I do have though is a passion for Taoism and a desire to let those who are interested in it learn something from my passion.
You see, the inspiration for this site, and ultimately what this site is “about” (and why I’m writing all this in the about section, brilliant!) is this: Taoist writings are beautiful and inspiring and thought provoking, but they were written to an audience of people living in China a few centuries ago. The lessons are timeless, of this I’m sure, but some of them need a little help being put into modern context.
As I live my life I am constantly experiencing things and thinking “oh, this is what they were talking about!”. Now it’s my hope that if I have questions or problems that I grapple with and reach conclusions about, that those conclusions may help you avoid those same problems. And so here we have this site. An average American learning about Taoism through living his average American life. Hopefully you’ll see something you can relate to.
Till next time, Thank you for visiting my site!